Barcelona has been lacking a restaurant that serves good Russian cuisine for a while, and now Catalan chef Gerard Barberán is in the kitchen to do just that at Ikra, where he successfully combines Russian dishes with Mediterranean cuisine. The two cuisines live happily together as manager and maitre d’ Juan explains.
It’s an appealing space, especially for the demanding young clientele who want to spend a different kind of evening with their friends or favourite dinner companion without their constantly threatened bank balance being under attack yet again. The modern, attractive and warm décor features noble materials and wisely selected colours, inviting you to settle in and get comfy.
The service is attentive and relaxed, friendly but they can get overwhelmed when there’s a full house, which happens quite often. From the kitchen come pleasant surprises: the ‘Russian’ part of the menu is high quality and taste, respecting Russian and Catalan traditions and with a modern presentation. You’ll of course find ikra ('caviar' in Russian) on the menu, in the tartar with sturgeon eggs. Herring also makes an appearance in the the pod shuboy, which is similar to the Spanish ‘Russian salad’, but tastier and made with cucumber instead of peas, and tongue instead of tuna, and a bit more mayonnaise, if that’s possible.
Young Russian gourmet Tanya Volkina regaled us with potato and bacon dranikis and pelmeni, exquisite Russian meat ravioli (home-made by a local specialist who brings them to Ikra) with a tasty dill sauce .
The new menu also includes a delicious and fresh cold soup with finely cut vegetables including cabbage, dill and cucumber. As for the Mediterranean cuisine, highlights include the beautifully presented duck breast, steak or scallops. Juan has rounded out the experience with an intelligent wine list that allows for some interesting pairings between Russian dishes and local wines.