Ilanit, my best friend from high school, is always at me about how I need to go to Israel because the food is so amazing. We were recently in New York together and her sum total of the food was a deadpan: “the food is better in Israel.”. Obviously I’ve had a lot of Jordanian food, which is similar but the Israeli’s probably have an advantage of having more fluctuations and updates: fresh input into traditional dishes by people who have travelled abroad and returned home. Where as in Jordan the restaurant industry is generally entrenched.
I am telling you all this because there is a new kid in town: Ugot which sounds like a character out of Game of Thrones but comes from the Hebrew word for cake. Because cake is what moves Adi (Nachshon) her sister Ofir tells me. “Ever since she was a little girl, she was crazy with that.” Ofir has come from Israel to give her sister a helping hand in this bijou spot that already has an enthusiastic following.
It’s easy to tell why. One wall is clad in flamingo wallpaper, someone has clearly raided the flea markets for chairs, big rustic cakes are displayed on a glass antique cabinet in which an army of dinky floral teacups sit prettily.
The carrot cake (€3.9) is so moist that there is a slump in its center, which just leaves more room for the silky buttercream (no complaints from me). There is shaksuka (7.5) (Shaksuka! In Barcelona – happy days). Lots of brunch appropriate things and burgers.
As always, I opt for the Menu del dia. In this case it is pan-fried sea bass, with a couple of roasted tomatoes, some sliced green beans and black rice. Not, I would like to point out, rice coloured that way with squid ink but chewy, nutty black rice. It’s fab and big, I take half the portion home to finish it later.
After being practically turned upside down and shaken for loose change by many a restaurant in New York, I am really appreciative of the incredible value that can be found in this city with the menu del dia. Underline that at Ugot where the €9.20 menu includes a beverage and a coffee to round off the meal.
And if you are lucky enough to have Ofir wait on you, she brightens up what is already a great space.
See this and more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map