May 11, 2018
Priding itself on an innovative take on that most Spanish of dishes, tapas, Santa Maria isn’t your normal Spanish restaurant. This new wave tapas bar has a clear Asian/Indian influence evident in the dishes: expect patatas bravas rubbing shoulders with maki rolls, that sort of thing. It’s not quite Ferrian Adria (although the cooks do come from his school, so expect a similar culinary philosophy), but still pleasingly inventive and a welcome change from the norm. Larger groups should try the tasting menu, which brings together the best of the seasonally changing menu, including some of the quirkier dishes we’re not sure personally we could face the roasted frogs’ legs, but apparently that’s our loss, as they come very highly recommended. Portions are quite small, but courses are numerous, so you’re unlikely to leave hungry. Wash down your food with a cocktail or some quality cava, of which there is also a decent selection. Located in the heart of the El Born district, surrounded by similarly trendy spots, this is a lively place to spend an evening. Staff are young, friendly and attentive and the décor is stylish and welcoming think a mix of industrial chic (lots of that urban venue standby, exposed pipes) and bare stone. You can perch at the bar or take a table, depending on how long you want to linger. Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular place and gets pretty packed at peak times, but they have extra table space downstairs. Make sure you don’t fill up on the savouries: we recommend you try their splendidly-named Dracula dessert for a tongue-tingling experience you won’t forget.