THE ULTIMATE TASTE OF BARCELONA GUIDE
“I wish to surprise guests with an exciting ‘symphony of flavours’, bringing about authentic dining experiences.”
– Hector Costa Fernandez, Executive Chef of Barcelona Macau
Trolling into Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain, tranquil places are readily found for relaxation. Simple as sitting on a long bench adorned with wavy mosaic tiles, people can always be enchanted with an afterglow in the sky to put everything behind.
This is what a vivid landscape wall painting in Barcelona Macau projects upon me – enjoying a beautiful sunset in Park Güell – once stepping into this traditional Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant in Taipa Village, Macau.
Tender Octopus with Mashed Potato, Smoked Paprika & Olive Oil
Speaking of Barcelona, the genius works of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí are not the only thing coming to my mind. The Traditional Paella, Barcelona Style reaches a crescendo when I grope around in the city, yet Hector Costa Fernandez, Executive Chef of Barcelona Macau is going to talk me through this city seasoned with his profound culinary background.
“I come from Barcelona, where I embark on my life journey,” says Hector Costa. Hector Costa
is a native Spaniard, with over 20 years of knowledge and techniques accumulated from his work in numerous prestigious hotels and restaurants in Europe, Middle East and Asia including Macau and Hong Kong. He adds, “my cooking style originates from Catalonia, which comprises my experiences, be it work or leisure, across the globe.”
Hector Costa Fernandez, Executive Chef of Barcelona Macau
Hector Costa believes the best way to tell his stories is to cook. “The most memorable home dish is my grandmother’s Cannelloni, Barcelona style, which is also one of the typical Christmas dishes in Spain. For remembering her, this dish is therefore in my menu all along, ” he explains. Indeed, some memories fade away as if they never existed while some memories recur to us that they can be hardly erased.
“I strive to create authentic dining experiences with high respect for tradition, careful selection of product,” He continues, and his culinary art of home cooking is truly reflected on the tapas I try in the beginning.
Traditional Paella, Barcelona Style
Tender Octopus with Mashed Potato, Smoked Paprika & Olive Oil is the first dish to serve. The name says it all – the octopuses are very tender, spiked with smoked Paprika even satisfying duo ratios of tastes and smells. The mashed potato layering underneath is creamy enough that just as well absorbs the essence of octopus.
Following is Chef Hector’s Home Made Marinated Salmon Salad. The salmons make a delightful colour contrast with oranges and pomegranates. A side dish of sour chilis and olives provides a necessary jolt of acidity to cut through the sweetness of smoked salmons. All together drive me to spoon up every last bit from the saucer on the side.
Codfish with Dried Fruits & Honey Sauce
Scallops Ceviche with Beetroot, Corn, Avocado & Strawberries is nevertheless much more photogenic. Strewn on the plate with highly-skilled presentation, the scallops are sprinkled with corns and strawberries in an alternative arrangement of avocados and beetroots. Think, fineness to modernity and sweetness to fishy, in all the right ways.
As time passes, tapas is gradually transformed into main dish, with more diversifying kinds
of dishes (cold and hot dishes in particular). Hector Costa denotes that Spaniards usually have late dinner (around 9pm) and hence snack on some tapas beforehand, breeding the unique culinary culture of Spain.
Scallop Ceviche with Beetroot, Corn, Avocado, & Strawberries
Of course, wine pairing is the last thing to forget when it comes to tapas. I relish all dishes with glasses of Sangria, as the salty sweetness of which perfectly advance the flavours to the next level.
Main dishes finally arrive. Spaniards love eating pork, of barbeque style in general. Classic Suckling Pig Terrine is probably the most impressive pig terrine in my mind. Crispy skin, juicy meat, it is expertly cooked – taken just to the brink of doneness.
For Chef’s signature dish, Traditional Paella, Barcelona Style is well deserved. Waiter directly serves the dish with paella, offering the authentic taste of passion from Spain. On top, a stack of quality products is seen, such as cardinal prawn and crayfish helping tether the dish to the ocean; on bottom, a mixture of small squids and clams infuses more seafood richness of flavour into the rice. That being said, it is a definite highlight on the menu.
– A traditional Spanish restaurant like Barcelona Macau will be a shining star for sure, with prices being a fair cut below typical high-brow Spanish-style dining in everywhere. I count all food lovers, including myself, lucky that we have this experienced Spanish chef Hector Costa to ourselves, telling us the genuine attitude of culinary arts – Life should be wasted on wonderful things.