“Onira” means dreams in Greek. Taverna Oniric reads as Dream Tavern. However the font they’ve chosen is overlayed with a fence, or it might be a landscape, of knives. A group of upright knives is more nightmare than dream.
Except to a chef.
Perhaps to a chef, it is the stuff of dreams.
Oniric is an informal taverna that serves Contempoarary Catalan food.
Oniric occupies the spot that was once Alkimia. It bills itself as “Cuina Catalana Actualiztada” so contemperary Catalan. A category that many have a go at. With mixed results. The menu reads well. The classic Catalan dishes are there. Like chickpeas with spinach. Or meatballs with squid (11.75€). I order an off the menu dish of tomatoes with boquerones. There are 4 varietals, peeled (tomatoes do tend end up thick skinned in this climate). They are “green”, “Cor de bou” (beefheart), Barbastro, & “Negro de Crimea”. The anchovies are layed up on top and the whole thing sits in a pool of tomato juice. The server has had the presence of mind to suggest I order the sourdough bread made by Montserrat El Raiguer. I use it to soak up the generous tomato essence.
I spot skate on the menu. A fish I hardly ever encounter. It’s prepared just the way I learned to do it at Leiths. In a brown butter, cut with acid and capers. It comes apart in the long chunky filaments that Skate is known for. Miquel, the chef, has paired it with some sweet florets of purple cauliflower. It mellows out the robust flavours of the other ingredients.
Dessert is more Spanish. A torrija or French Toast. It comes in the form of a cylinder. When I push into it with a spoon, it dribbles out custard from the middle. Next to it, a quenelle of Oniric ice cream. The stuff of dreams.
For more spots in Barcelona – have a look at my Best Eats page.