Across from the Sant Antoni market is a lovely spot called Düal Café. I was pointed in its direction by Ella who runs Espai Egg in the Raval. I had just finished a meeting in her space and was listing off places I was thinking of going for lunch and being met with mild cringing gestures from her.
“Well, where shall I have lunch then?” I asked Ella exasperated.
“You know where you should try? Düal. It’s just up the street. They make fresh pasta every day, tell them I sent you.”
I convinced Sara (Appetite & Other Stories) and Yvonne to join me.
I don’t know where the name Düal comes from. Maybe because it’s run by a couple of sisters? Or perhaps the dual nature of the food on offer at the little restaurant. 1 part pasta dishes and the other – well anything else.
When we have lunch, there is a dish with quinoa. Another is an octopus salad with courgette ribbons. Our arancini come on top of a spicy mango chutney. (During the summer I see on their Facebook page that they are serving up Poke bowls). It’s every bit a fusion restaurant with no obvious food anchor that I can identify. I ask our waitress (who is also one of the owners) about this.
“It’s just food that we feel like eating.” she smiles and shrugs. It’s the bowl of pasta that has the 3 of us awkwardly tangling our forks. A handmade pasta that looks like an elongated orecchiette, green pepper, olives, a little seafood and all painted over in a glossy tomato glaze that months later, launch my salivary glands into action.
Whilst I think that restaurant concepts missing a clear theme overwhelmingly tend to make for dismal eating, the earnestness of intention by the sisters at Düal eschew this. They are just making food they want to eat – and what they want to eat aligns with what I want to eat.
The undeniable star of our table that day is the pasta. Whatever they say it is, order it.
C/ Comte Borrell, 65
Sant Antoni 08015