Conrad Gessner once said that “the modern world overwhelmed people with data and that this overabundance was both “confusing and harmful” to the mind.” Conrad Gessner died in 1565. He was talking about the effects of the printing press. Which is funny, 450 years on and we are still neurotic about new things.
My view, as always, is that there is always good and bad. When I graduated from Leiths, I interned at a top circulating food magazine for a while. I was enthusiastic, dedicated and eager but getting anywhere would have entailed considerable sucking up to people who ate frozen meals. Frequently.
Which is why digital stars like Michael Schulz make me glad. The ingrained & entitled need to be overturned now and again. Which brings me to Koku. When Berlinstagram / Michael Schultz, was in Barcelona a few months back he posted only one food picture: it was of Koku’s neon red sign. #Barcelona told him that is where he should go eat.
Even with my penchant for Asian, it was one I had missed. Was that a neon red sign that spelled out R A M E N? A narrow cobble stone alley with a gutter full of water? How atmospheric. I could practically hear the electric sizzle of the sign.
It turns out that Koku has been around for over a year. A joint project between a couple of Irish guys and a Swede. The former having run a popular Ramen bar in Dublin. It has a delightful aesthetic that is applied to the big photographs on the wall. To the pretty patterned bowls they use and the tiny single stem of dried flowers in a beaker sized vase. There is homemade lemonade (a nice touch).
The ramen is spot on, the noodles are particularly good. Gyoza have an ample surface of grilled skin from where they have been allowed contact with a sizzling pan. Burning down the house plays and a Guns & Roses tune. Someone has even taken the time to make a playlist.
I like people who take time with the details. And I like the Ramen here.
See this and more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
C/ Carabassa, 19
El Barri Gotìc 08002