I don’t often go in. Deflected by an invisible shield or a feeling? I’m afraid of the doorman taking a step towards me, asking if I need help as I pause to get my bearings of the lobby thus outing myself as a nonguest – probably there to use the bathroom and the good soap.
I’ve strode in with confidence on previous occasions when there is an anchor chef and I’ve done my due diligence and armed with a reservation – Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin in London. It was the era of the foie gras mandarin and the flavoured wallpaper he invited guests to lick.
If I am not courting a well-known chef, I forget about this category entirely. Except for today, today my attention has been brought to the award-winning hotel The One by the GM.
“Would I like to have lunch?” he asks me.
“Yes,” I answer. If only to have something to tell the doorman when he approaches me.
(Coincidentally, I have been following Miguel Muñoz their Executive Chef on Instagram.)
We are to be treated to a few things. There is a Tuna Tataki on a bright avocado mousse (23€). A single oyster (3.9€) for my friend Isabelle (Who makes those lists for Condé Nast Traveller). We move on to some peeled tomatoes with jelly. Then smoke-infused steak tartar (24€), literally coming under a glass dome of the stuff. There is a crazy dish of blue lobster wrapped in avocado, so that it looks like some distant relation of an armadillo, served on a red plate (26€). A truffled cannelloni stuffed with roast duck bechamel and foie (19€) which I remember fondly from last year’s Tapa tour. Isabelle and I enjoy it all, grown-up representations of things that turn up on menus in Barcelona.
Two courses will put you somewhere in the 40€ spending mark, without wine or dessert and when I show you dessert, I think you will want to order it. The way around that price tag is to go for the 28€ lunch menu (33€ with wine).
It’s a good lunch. Unexpectedly so. The doorman is quite nice, all the staff are and it makes a change to eat in a well turned out dining room and choose a considered, well-plated dish. Or a few dishes, via the lunch menu.
Somni Restaurant* inside The One Hotel
*I was a guest of Somni Restaurant