I’ve spoken to you before about this restaurant group. En Compañia de Lobos is the son (only) part of the mother and son Groupo Tragaluz. The two of them combined own 24 restaurants in 4 cities. Their openings are popular and long-lasting. “They had some serious family money when they started off.” a connected friend tells me conspiratorially. Starting off with a pot of money will get you a good space and the right chef to begin with but after that you have to know what you are doing.
These guys have done tapas, Japanese, fish, market, fusion but now they are doing something that Barcelona is seeing the first of: vegetarian food. Unapologetically so and not directed solely at vegetarians but at people who like good food.
The space is fabulous. Vaulted white arches, wood clad walls, a walled in central garden like a tropical riad. You should see this space at night.” the young Italian waitress tells us “they light up the walls and it looks beautiful.” The light fixtures are covetable in the extreme. There is even a large table, stacked with magazines and surrounded by low comfortable sofas that seems to serve no purpose (there are no place setting on it) other than for someone to lounge.
The menu – they open at 12 but start serving at 13 – is extensive enough that it fits an A3 page. We have breaded cauliflower with a tamarind dipping sauce (€7.25), a fennel apple salad (€9.75), the Thai style carbon active black pizza (€14) and the rhubarb crumble (€5.75). None of it cheap but not extortionate either.
We enjoy eating it all. Although we do poke fun at the Thai black pizza because the only thing that makes it Thai is the Thai Sweet Chilli sauce – which is an overused knee jerk sauce that comes on most ‘asian’ dishes conceived by non-Asians in Barcelona. (If Thai Sweet Chilli sauce quietly retired from the table tops of this city, I would not despair.) We are similarly bemused by the use of coconut in a rhubarb crumble – it reminds me of an incident where I was served humus with tortilla chips. (It’s incongruous, like a duck with a chicken for a girlfriend.)
I’m nitpicking here. Green spot is gorgeous, our waitress has received good training on the menu contents (a bugbear of mine) and is both charming and friendly. The food is bright, fresh and a welcome change. The thing most likely to bring me back? The fantasy tropical chalet they’ve put together.
Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 12