It was a miserable Sunday morning, made even more miserable as we had just landed back from Barcelona and all of us were now harbouring a serious chill in our bones. We had all decided that a Sunday lunch was in order but the question of where to go was beginning to get heated. After 5 days in the Catalan capital, money wasn’t exactly flowing and some of our favourite spots were ruled out purely on that basis. I thought to check the Bistro Nua website and copped their 3 course Sunday lunch for €19.95 per person, perfect.
I arrived first to an empty restaurant and although we had only booked for 5, the waiter was very accomadating in extending our table to cater for the 8 that we turned into. I was surprised to see nobody else there and although 2 more couples arrived while we were there, it was tough for an atmosphere to develop. As we were reading our menus the waiter arrived with a few boards of bread. They were wonderfully moist and full of flavour, joined on the board by some butter, basil pesto and roasted red pepper pesto.
For starter I went for the “Duo of Salmon Fish Cakes with Tomato and Ginger Chutney.” I found the dish to be generous but somewhat unspectacular. I like to be punched with flavour and this just didn’t succeed in that. The chutney was good but leaned too heavy on the aniseed which overpowered the tomato and ginger. The two large fish cakes were well cooked but lacked a little seasoning. The salad was a surprising bonus, the dressing was great and with a good mixture of leaves it was full flavoured and delicious.
For mains I decided on the “Slow Cooked Braised Beef with Champ Mash and Gravy,” The beef was tender and the mash was great but I’ve a feeling the chef may be immune to the power of aniseed! I found the gravy to again be overpowered by the aniseed flavour which was a real pity as it completely overpowered everything else on the plate.
For dessert I ordered the “Vanilla Pana Cotta with a Mixed Berry Compote.” The Pana Cotta had a great flavour and was cut perfectly by the compote. A simple and delicious end to the meal.
The service was excellent. Our waiter was friendly and helpful and answered any questions we had. The ambiance was a little dead due to the lack of people but I can imagine it hopping on a busy night.
It is on value that Bistro Nua really stands out. €19.95 for three courses is exceptional value and regardless of a few blips on the starter and mains (which could be rectified by somebody hiding the star anise) it was well worth the money.