When I ate at Commerc 24, there was a young woman eating alone and taking pictures of her food. A few days later, I came across her on the internet and the internet being the odd tool that it is, we arranged to have lunch first at Federal and then later at Koy Shunka Japanese.
She is Vietnamese. 20 years old to my 38, with a budget for lunch that surpasses mine (I wanted the €77 Koy menu while she insisted on the €110 (G)astro one because it included sea urchin) and an appetite that would make Thackeray blanch. And she eats everything, weird things too – or challenging ones. She polished up the 4 tablespoons of sea urchin interspersed among her tuna and shaved truffle. And didn’t hesitate when I offered her mine.
While I stared glumly at a plate of assorted mollusks, crowned with a single goose barnacle – she began to happily slurp on hers. Described by Charlie Skelton as smelling “strong as Poseidon’s armpit, but heavenly, like a mermaid’s burp. ” Well, I don’t know about that? It was sweet enough but I found it ugly to behold, with its wrinkled neck and beyond disconcerting when its toenail like shell clattered on the plate.
The Gastro menu at Koy Shunka is epic. Do not embark on this journey unless you have an empty leg into which you can pack the food. We are talking 11 substantial portions. I would have been satisfied with ‘Sashimi in Japan’ on its own: a plate of the most beautiful tuna I have ever eaten, interspersed with sea urchin and wearing shaved truffle. By the time I packed away course number 9: Japanese Wagyu beef with brown rice I was having trouble breathing and when I was handed 4 pieces of sushi right afterward I had to put my hands up in defeat. I could not eat another bite.
Consider yourself warned.
And now that I’ve dealt with that. Koy Shunka Japanese is a fantastic place. Dark and moody when you come in, opening on an enormous kitchen, where chefs busily clatter and cook. The best tuna I’ve ever eaten. Having sampled how far this kitchen can take the simulation, next time I will happily order a la carte. Especially since my young Vietnamese friend has gone back to Boston where she will be finishing her college degree.
c/ Copons 7
08002 El Barri Gòtic