This review may be coloured by the fact that I just had a 5.5-hour paella lunch with some friends at Pez Vela. So…
It didn’t start brilliantly. We were left standing at the entrance for five full minutes. The wait staff assured us the front-of-house person would look after us soon, but it was busy. On a Monday.
Our last visit was on a cool winter’s day, and there were no outside tables occupied, and it was cosy. The full terrace is big, and the staff do seem to struggle to cope. To be fair, this sort of seasonal staffing must be difficult to manage.
That said, our waiter had a sense of humour. Some unfizzy Aperol spritzs were returned and replaced no-questions-asked. And the vibe of the place was just lovely. I suspect we were lucky to have avoided the weekend, because from my seat I could see the poolside DJ at the W but thankfully could barely hear any muzak. Who the hell needs a poolside DJ? The W gets marked down a notch in my estimation.
The meal consisted of a green salad with white asparagus, fried red prawns (a special), octopus leg, and a paella with squid, prawns and clams. A bottle of albariño made a nice accompaniment.
The salad was as expected, the prawns very nicely done and flavourful like only these Mediterranean prawns seem to manage, and the pulpo tender and packed with flavour too. So far so good.
The rice was actually one of the better ones I’ve had in a while – a nice saffron kick to start, and lovely umami seafood flavours. Win.
We finished with a more punchy verdello and a nougat ice cream and chocolate cake (described by our waiter friend as “not very exciting”!) and they were just fine.
A few after-lunch drinks as the sun dipped towards the horizon, along with some people-watching and goal-keeping with the kids playing soccer right in front finished the day perfectly.
I can see why it’s popular, paella by the beachfront in Barcelona doesn’t get much better than this. It’s nice in the wintertime, but that terrace is just spectacular on a lovely sunny early summer’s day.
Tel: +34 932 216 317
Click here for more of the best dining in Barcelona
Or here for Barcelona’s best hotels