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Gamba de la Costa

Restaurants, Mediterranean Dreta de l'Eixample
3 out of 5 stars
Gamba de la Costa
© Maria Dias Gamba de la Costa
Gamba de la Costa
© Maria Dias Gamba de la Costa
Gamba de la Costa
© Maria Dias Gamba de la Costa

I'd heard the best thing about Gamba de la Costa were the grilled prawns, a simple dish where the outcome depends on the right grill, the quality of the prawns, and most of all, on the chef not cooking them like they did in the early '70s, before the arrival of the maestro Jean-Louis Neichel: with all the tenderness and flavour of the sole of a shoe.

I went to Gamba de la Costa with my 16-year-old son whose stomach has the capacity of an industrial cement mixer. First the little angel ordered monkfish and prawn cannelloni with a side of artichoke chips, and for his main, black rice with squid. I ordered grilled prawns and rice with tuna and artichokes.

The prawns were juicy and tender, including the oft-left-behind meat you can get out of the head. Between conversations (mostly about Barça and YouTubers), my son let me know that the artichoke chips were crispy and fried well, and that the cannelloni, with tomato bechamel sauce, had the perfect balance of flavours between the prawns and the monkfish.

The problem came with the rice dishes – well, one of them, anyway. Black rice with squid is usually a lovely recipe, though in a lot of restaurants black rice can taste only of the squid ink, so it can be a risky order. However, that wasn't the case here. On the other hand, my rice was a bit overdone, and looking at it from previous experiences, I think the guilty party here is the tuna. It often falls apart and drags the rice down with it into certain tragedy. In spite of my son's teenage digestive system, there's no room for dessert.

To my horror, he ordered a Coca-Cola to drink, and I had a glass of Celistia, a white wine from Costers del Segre. When I go back to Gamba de la Costa, I'll order the tuna tartare with soy sauce caviar.

By: Daniel Vázquez Sallés


Venue name: Gamba de la Costa
Address: Roger de Flor, 252
Sagrada Familia
Opening hours: Mon closed; Tue-Sat 1pm-3.30pm, 8.30pm-11pm; Sun closed
Transport: Sagrada Família (M: L2,L5)
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