PAKTA, EL POBLE-SEC
But huge respect is also due to Albert, Barcelona’s most successful restaurateur and one of the world’s most influential pastry chefs. Of Albert’s portfolio of half a dozen Barcelona locales, I had previously sampled three: 41 Degrees, a super-charged cocktail bar with Bulli-esque snacks; Bodega 1900, which takes the Catalan apéritif culture and runs with it; and the incredible Tickets, a circus-like confluence of food and hospitality so intense it seems hyper-real. Pakta (about £70 for a set menu), which specialises in Peruvian-Japanese fusion and last year won its first Michelin star, was at the top of my to-do list. Dinner here is an eye-opening, palate-widening experience.
The little dining room in the Poble Sec neighbourhood feels exclusive, even cosy, with a curious design of coloured threads around the walls that recall ethnic looms. Service is dazzlingly efficient. But the food is the star. There is sashimi and seaweed and ceviche and sandwichitos – sometimes all on the same plate.