There were 9 of us to celebrate my mother’s 65th birthday; 5 adults and 4 children. We wanted to go somewhere special but at the same time, we didn’t want to be told off if one of the children did something only a child’s mind can conceive of as being kosher. Oh, and we didn’t want paella.
After some online snooping, I decided on Ona Nuit. A slow food, 0 km restaurant in what is essentially the airport’s backyard: El Prat de Llobregat. I read that the chef’s name is Susana, an auspicious sign.
The place looks like a modern mid-budget Asian restaurant – Thai maybe. There is a bright front room, with pretty pencil drawings up on the walls, then the kitchen, bundled in white tiles and then a darker more womb like room at the back. Because of the size of our party and presumably the abundance of small children in our cortege we are seated at the back.
Once we have put in orders for the children (chicken strips €7.90 and Iberian pork with potatoes €7.90) and ordered drinks, I ask the waiter if we can sit at the front as it is rather more cheery for a birthday lunch. Even though we’ve already unfolded napkins, dropped cutlery on the floor and generally laid claim to our assigned table, the two waiters, oblige us politely.
(Have I mentioned how this never gets old? People being nice? Waiters being nice? The check out personnel at my local supermarket giving my children sweets? It’s infinitely easier and more pleasurable to get through a day, a life, without having to be on the offensive during the most mundane of tasks!)
In the starters we find shrimp wrapped in brik pastry with a sweet chilli sauce (€8.90), large gyoza the size of my 6 year old’s fist (€10.90), there is even a salad of warm goats cheese with cranberry dressing. I haven’t seen warm goat cheese with a tart dressing on a menu for about 20 years, once I taste it however, I think that Susana was right to resuscitate it.
The mains are more traditional. My sister has the rice with seasonal artichokes (€11.90). I have the leg of Pota Blava (a locally bred chicken that has PGI status) that is popular at Christmas (€17.90). Cannelloni of course with meat or cod (€10.90). Inexplicably, there are ‘wok’ noodles, which my sister-in-law orders and enjoys.
We’ve ordered a strawberry birthday cake (€30) and I think at this point more than any other we are seduced by the charm of the place, by how different it is to most restaurants. I’ve imagined something stiff with rosettes of over whipped cream. I’m wrong, it is a moist spicy cake with softly whipped cream and slices of fresh strawberries. Our waiter with tattoo sleeves, a thick black beard and round vintage black horn rimmed glasses, invites the girls into the kitchen to ‘help’ him bring out the cake.
At some point, my sister-in-law asks me if they know me because we are being treated so well. Which of course I don’t. (I refer you to the “it never gets old” comment above.)
Susana can cook obviously, she had 2 tapas out of 12 in the recent Tapa de l’any, but it’s the whole package that is so attractive, slow food, easy to eat, service, a recommendable restaurant, particularly the front room for lunch.
Carrer Joan Cirera i Pons, 13.
El Prat de Llobregat 08820