27 times Tickets

The last impressive swirl of tapas from Albert Adrià’s fine dining bar. Today, it’s the most coveted place in Barcelona

28-07-2017

Toasted chicken skin with anchovy bone, the first of a magnificent series of 27 tapas at Tickets, Barcelona, one Michelin star and 25th in the World's 50 Best (translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso)

Photogallery

Consommè de garbanzos. Before the tasting menu begins, they serve a glass bottle with a cold chickpea broth (top right corner). Twenty-three dishes later, at the end of the "savoury" itinerary, they’ll serve some hot broth made with Iberian jamon in a grappa glass from a teapot. On top, a cold foamy chickpea broth. A special warm-cold combination (photo @ticketsbar instagram)
Tosta de pollo y anchoa. First dish: Chicken skin toast with an anchovy bone on it. It’s serves with anchovy cream (butter and anchovy paste) on top. 
Olive Gordal. One of the emblems of the Adrià saga: the olives are dipped in a liquid made with extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon, lemon zest and star anise. You lift them with a teaspoon with holes, place them on a wood shell on the side, and then in the mouth. Gordal is a variety from Andalusia
First dish finished at the table: Polo de almendras

«In these past six years the style at Tickets has changed greatly. Initially, we wanted it to be a bar, but over time it became much more than a restaurant: it now expresses a concept of its own. I don’t know what limits it can have because my team improves everyday».

Albert Adriàcoordinador gastronomico of one of the most intelligent and successful places in the world is happy. It’s a round-the-corner place, informal and noisy, serving fine dining. A vortex of 1000 tapas per night, prepared by 55 professionals who squeeze in between kitchen, counters and tables, remotely controlled in a way that didn’t even Guardiola’s Barça wasn’t capable of.

Some one hundred guests, sitting on iron benches, benefit from this. They’re dubious whether to pay attention to the magnificent nibbles appearing under their nose, to the circus islands directed by sommeliers dressed like lion tamers or to the ice cream trolleys puffing roving liquid nitrogen.

Albert Adrià, 48, gastronomic coordinator at Tickets and 5 more restaurants in Barcelona (photo @ticketsbar instagram)

Albert Adrià, 48, gastronomic coordinator at Tickets and 5 more restaurants in Barcelona (photo @ticketsbar instagram)

People should go to the restaurant to have good (great) food but also to enjoy a memorable show. The Adrià brothers have always been convinced of this: «Decontextualisation, irony, spectacle, performance are completely legitimate» is what they wrote some time ago at number 21 in the Bulli manifesto. This is why, when the Cala Montjoi era ended in 2011, Albert and Ferran never gave up to the post-crisis funereal atmosphere that suddenly erased the smiles of chefs and restaurateurs, forced by the balance sheet to silence the euphoria of technique and focus on ingredients.

In March 2011, Living la vida tapa, Tickets’s refrain (one Michelin star a short while later), started to shake el Barri around Avenida del Parallel with liveliness, a love for micro-cuisine with new scores that two years later paved the way for the nikkei cuisine of Pakta (another star), the perfect new take on Catalan case da comida offered by Bodega 1900. And in 2014 arrived taqueria Niño Viejo and the signature cuisine of Hoja Santa (third star), for Grant Achatz «the two best Mexican restaurants outside Mexico». A picture completed by Enigma, the most ambitious establishment, opened last February, a meal in three acts that is still looking for a fully developed plot.

«Six restaurants [plus Heart in Ibiza], 200 employees and we’re not losing money»: Albert Adrià sums up the numbers of the business opened with Ferran and the Iglesias brothers, called elBarri. With flagship Tickets setting the example, and putting into practice even the second part of the famous number 21: «Irony and performance indeed, as long as they’re not banal and follow or are connected to a gastronomic thought».

In the 27 tapas journey from two weeks ago [every detail in the photo gallery above], we found formidable noble products (caviar, foie gras, lobster, wagyu beef) and poor products (chicken skin, sea cucumber); Bullinian  icons (spherified olives and the airbaguette of Iberian jamon, already in the menu at Bulli) and new discoveries (everything else); global techniques (panko, dashi, “sushi”) and local explorations (manchego cheese, regaña). Everything adds up and defines a round-the-corner bar that makes its guests have a damn good time.


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Photogallery

Consommè de garbanzos. Before the tasting menu begins, they serve a glass bottle with a cold chickpea broth (top right corner). Twenty-three dishes later, at the end of the "savoury" itinerary, they’ll serve some hot broth made with Iberian jamon in a grappa glass from a teapot. On top, a cold foamy chickpea broth. A special warm-cold combination (photo @ticketsbar instagram)
Tosta de pollo y anchoa. First dish: Chicken skin toast with an anchovy bone on it. It’s serves with anchovy cream (butter and anchovy paste) on top. 
Olive Gordal. One of the emblems of the Adrià saga: the olives are dipped in a liquid made with extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon, lemon zest and star anise. You lift them with a teaspoon with holes, place them on a wood shell on the side, and then in the mouth. Gordal is a variety from Andalusia
First dish finished at the table: Polo de almendras
Polo de almendras is an almond milk ice cream, painted with olive oil upon serving it, topped up with soft almond, elderflower and salt. It’s served on a plate with ice cubes. Sweet (savoury) and ice cream at the beginning of the meal and not at the end, a format typical of Adrià
Coliflor y caviar. Cauliflower ganache and Schrenkii caviar. 
Gamba a la sal fría. Prawn marinated in Lapsang Souchong tea, bergamot zest on top. Presented on top of salt snow, which looks like ice at the fish market
Atún con cerezas. Raw tuna belly comfit in ham fat and accompanied with a smoked cherry
Ceviche de melón cantaloup. Cantaloupe melon ceviche with lime juice, coriander and kumquat leche de tigre. Served with kumquat, coriander oil and kumquat snow. Very citrusy
Pizza crujiente. Tickets’s "pizza": mille-fuille of regañà (a crispy bread cake originally from Andalusia), stracciatella, bottarga and figs
Porex de Calix. Dashi marshmallow filled with sour cream and topped with Kalix caviar, red roe from Swedish lake whitefish, with sweet and elegant notes
Nigiri de berenjena. Aubergine nigiri