Pakta, Nikkei Cuisine, Poble Sec

PaktaMy two favourite Japanese restaurants in London are Dinings and Yashin (in that order).  Both are generous with the citrus and easy on the soy. I know that the executive chef at Dinings (Masaki Sugisaki ) worked at Nobu and that Nobu Matsuhisa was heavily influenced by Nikkei cuisine (a symbiosis of Japanese and Peruvian food).  So it is with very high expectations that I walk into Pakta on a sunny Saturday afternoon. That and it’s taken me over a month (as usual) to get a table at this Adria brothers spot (no it’s not your imagination, they do seem to own every restaurant worth going to in Barcelona).

The starterThere are two prix fix menus to choose from: the Fujiyama (€90 VAT included) and the Machu Picchu (€120 VAT included).  We opt for the latter and begin with the Honzen Ryori.  Which is an elaborately arranged tray of 5 small dishes the like of ‘Avocado tofu with sea urchin, yuzu and wasabi’ and ‘sweet corn cream with caviar’.  There are different spoons for different dishes and an order in which the 5 dishes should be eaten.  There are so many instructions to follow that our server uses a baton to point to the dishes as she explains what’s what, what’s first and with what – oh and don’t eat the tuft of leaves which is just a tuft of leaves.

The "loom" interior at PaktaThe fish on offer that lunch is spectacular. The sliver of tuna on the nigiri is the colour of pressed pomegranate juice. The rice it sits on is the best sushi rice I have ever had. The ‘Tuna te-maki’ is so so good and so so…small (curses!).  The “sea bass ceviche” – well how would the establishment feel about bowl slurping because the spoon they have provided me with is doggedly refusing to pick up those last dregs?  The warm ceviche with its spicy citrus sauce – divine.  Less successful; greasy overly salty mushroom tempura, ho-hum chicken “Anticucho”.

Dramatic Desserts at PaktaThe dessert is camouflaged.  We have to be told not to eat the branches except for the branches we are supposed to eat; those made of black sesame tuiles and decorated with puffs of yogurt cake. It’s an expensive afternoon but one that is well worth it. The tough reservation slots and limitation to prix fix menus takes out any hope for spontaneity.  However, on my way out I spot Espai Kru and I am not entirely sure if they are part of the Adria group or not but the waitress tells me we can get some similar-ish dishes up there; a la carte.  So that’s where I am going next…

Lleida, 5
El Poble Sec


  1. Marcel says

    Hi Suzy,

    i recently discovered your blog and i have so much fun reading it.
    Me and my boyfriend moved from berlin to barcelona about 2 years ago and since then we´re always on the hunt for nice places to eat which is not as easy here as you might think if you do not wanna eat tapas or hamburguesa every day :o)
    I enjoy your comments and experiences as we made exactly the same mostly.
    Thanks for this blog and for sharing it with others.

    • says

      Hi Marcel,
      Thanks for writing. No – it’s not that easy to find good places, which is odd because this is really a city that eats out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just like New Yorkers it seems. But I suppose it’s the choice, you have to comb through so many places. Thanks for reading and do let me know if you have any favourites I should try.

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