IN MEAT-LOVING SPAIN, FINDING A VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT LIKE SESAMO IS A TREASURE:
In Barcelona’s multicultural El Raval district, you’ll never go hungry. There is a wide range of cafés, restaurants and takeaways catering to all kinds of dining preferences. Many of the Spanish restaurants offer budget tourist menus. There are also the cheap and cheerful Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern eateries. But the El Raval district also has a number of stylish and interesting restaurants. One of these is Sésamo.
A Vegetarian in Barcelona
If you don’t eat any meat, finding a decent restaurant in Catalunya can be tricky, especially if you haven’t done any prior research.
Sésamo was just around the corner from our Barcelona apartment. We wandered into this restaurant late one evening, out of desperation for a place to dine at. As the restaurant entrance looked a bit plain, we actually gave it a miss the first time we saw it. We also didn’t know that it was a totally vegetarian restaurant until when we were ordering our meal. When the waiter came around to explain the specials, we told him to skip the meat dishes. He was surprised and said, “Ah! Sésamo is a vegetarian restaurant“. We were in turn were pleasantly surprised. Had we known earlier, it would have saved us a lot of time searching for a restaurant.
A Vegetarian Delight
Sésamo’s menu is interesting and imaginative. We ordered a range of tapas dishes, including olives, pan am tomat – a popular Catalonian bread and tomato staple, pimientos de padrón (fried Padrón peppers) and grilled brie on figs.
They were all delicious and the pimientos de padrón was my favourite. For dessert I had the home-made ice-cream with caramel and sea salt. Tony went for the Manchego with quince. Our bill, including two Aperol Spritz and wine came to Euros 54, a real bargain.
Sésamo’s vegetarian dishes would easily match those of a fine-dining restaurant. We enjoyed the food so much that we went back again and this time we tried the tasting menu. This comprised seven tasting dishes, two glasses of wine, water and dessert. At Euros 25 per person, it was a bargain.
Although we were supposed to have seven dishes to taste, Alfredo must have given us over ten dishes as the food kept coming after plate number seven. We started with a refreshing melon and ginger soup, then potatoes with two types of dips, pimientos de padrón, peas with a truffle sauce, mushroom croquette, rice with a chickpea curry, etc.
Alfredo Marcus, the chef/owner is a quietly-spoken and friendly guy. Although he had his hands full in the kitchen, he took time to greet his guests by going up to each table and serving one of their dishes. We liked Alfredo’s cooking so much that we tried to talk him into setting up shop in Sydney, Australia so that we can enjoy more of his food.
Alfredo, thank you for the excellent dining experience. We hope that we can come back to Barcelona before too long to enjoy your food again.
Sésamo is near the St Antoni Market in the Raval District. With so many good reviews online, it is no longer a ‘hidden secret’. My advise is to make a reservation if you have limited time in Barcelona and would like to dine there. For those of you who are committed carnivores, fear not, you will enjoy Sésamo’s tasty and creative food. Who knows, you may find yourself becoming a vegetarian after that.
Carrer de Sant Antoni Abat 52
Barcelona + 934 41 64 11
Where it is: