For me, planning restaurant and bar visits is one of the best parts of holiday preparation. With a short weekend in Barcelona booked, I wanted to pack in the very best I could find. Now, Barcelona is a a city where you'd can't throw a pepper mill or potato ricer without hitting a Michelin-starred chef. Reading the latest articles on the hottest new dining spots, it became clear that every chef who is a Michelin-someone has branched out into casual dining. The legendary Ferran Adria has Tickets while Carles Abellan has Tapas 24 (one of my firm favourites). But when we discovered that Paco Perez (holder of 4 stars) had opened a restaurant devoted to the staple egg, it was game over.
L'EGGS is located on the sophisticated Passeig de Gracia and is a clever blend of trendy and classic styles. A neon window sign of a cracked egg signals that things are a little different within, a feeling which is reinforced by the straw-lined walls, farmyard fittings and now-mandatory cool lightbulbs. However, the leather toolbelts worn by the waiters in lieu of the classic bistro apron should not distract from the precise, classic elements of the restaurant, including perfect crystal and linen napery. It's very, very cool. It may feel like a chicken coop, but it's a very upmarket chicken coop.
|Place setting at L'EGGS|
The menu is available in Spanish, Catalan and English with a plethora of egg-based dishes to choose from. The dishes are categorised into simple sounding categories such as fried eggs, omelettes and classic eggs. But obviously this is no simple restaurant… Our amuse bouche of a cream cheese, topped with diced green olives was deceptively simple and clean. But internally, I was beginning to get excited about the dishes to come.
Both of our starters came from the "Eggs Up" portion of the menu, described as "as a section in which the egg is not the protagonist". A bacon and cheese soufflé came to the table, puffed delicately above the edges of the little cast iron pot. We gave it a few minutes before judging it safe to dive in, as a burnt tongue is never the ideal start to a meal. The browned, softly crusty top gave way to what only can be described as a lusciously light cheese soup, which I simply didn't want to end. A salad of forgotten and kept tomatoes with chills and capers was visually beautiful and featured a selection of heirloom tomatoes atop a rich tomato tartare.
|Cheese and bacon souffle|
|Salad of forgotten and kept tomatoes|
Our main courses came courtesy of the "Fried Eggs" section. His dish of arrabbiata spaghetti with lobster was topped with what appeared to be a deep-fried, poached egg. The crispy outer layer of the egg opened to let the velvety yolk ooze out over the pasta and meaty chunks of lobster claw meat. My choice of quail eggs were delivered to the table, atop a section of bone, split lengthways, grilled and mounted on rock salt. Just like their larger companion, the tiny quail eggs were cooked to yolky perfection, mingling with the rich fatty primevalness of the bone marrow.
|Quail eggs on bone marrow with tender onions|
|Arribbiata spaghetti with lobster and fried egg|
Dessert only served to underline and emphasise the skill, palette and creativity of the kitchen. One dish caught our attention, mainly because we couldn't figure out what it could be. The "cocoegg" turned out to be a ethereal creation of light coconut mousse inside a delicate white chocolate shell, complete with soft mango spheres as yolks and some fluffy "bread" to act a a soldier. In a wonderful balance of flavours, the white chocolate sat quietly in the background, letting the light coconut rule the show.
|Cocoegg with mango and chocolate|
L'EGGS is the kind of restaurant name that invites one to "crack" a few puns, or to say that how "eggs-cellent" it is. In our case, a whole bottle of excellent Rimarts Brut Reserva cava, three delicious courses, plus sparkling water cost just €75, making it rather "in-hen-expensive" for the quality food, surrounding and service. That's all yolks! (OK, I'll stop now, but seriously, if you're in Barcelona, visit L'EGGS).
Tel: + 93 330 0303