Since getting back from her trip to Barcelona and Palma this summer Dr C can’t get enough of Spanish food. She’s found some great places so far and was excited to be invited to try the tasting menu at Tast Catala.
Tast Catala is located on the ever so swanky King Street. Its menu is designed by world renowned Michelin star chef Paco Perez. Whilst there may be a Michelin star chef curating the food Tast have very clearly stated that they aren’t in the game to chase that coveted star for Manchester. The restaurant is split over three levels, each encompassing a different vibe. On the ground floor is “Pinya” a casual dining and bar area. The second floor houses “Folre” – the restaurant proper, with a great view of the open kitchen. The third floor is home to “Enxaneta” the private dining rooms and the perfect place to sample the tasting menus.
What we Ate – La Seleccio De Paco Perez
To sample the offerings at Tast Catala we were treated to the “La Seleccio De Paco Perez” tasting menu. Just as an FYI, a vegetarian version of this can be prepared for all you non-meat eaters. So, on to the food!
First up was the Duck’in Donut. An item borrowed from the menu at Perez’s Miramar restaurant. Initially I was super excited about this one – it looked incredible! I adored duck liver filling, but there was just too heavy a coating of white chocolate on it for me.
Next we had the Sandwich de Fromtage Trufat. This for me was heavenly! Who can resist the delicious completion of cheese and truffles sandwiched between two lighter than air crisps? I would happily order this again, especially as a bar snack to pair with some delicious gin.
For our next foray into the menu it was on to a Spanish classic of croquettes. We tried both the Croqueta de Pebrot Escalivat and Croqueta de Pollastre Rostit. That’s the red pepper and the roasted chicken croquettes to you and me. These were rich and delicious perfect little pillows of fluffy goodness. I really enjoyed the red pepper version. Although I’m not sure it beats my personal favourite of cheese and ham croquettes.
After our little bites we moved on to the more substantial sharing style dishes on the menu. Whilst it wasn’t on our printed menu, we also got to try the Esparrecs Verds, Bauma, Cherry I Rucula. These were perfectly cooked stalks of asparagus served with cherry tomatoes, bauma cheese and rocket. The combination for cheese asparagus and tomato was a complete winner for me! The next dish to reach our table was the Espinacs a La Catalana. This ended up being a total winner for me. The spinach sauce was incredible and I even enjoyed the presence of raisins in the dish, which was new for me. I really wanted some delicious Catalonian bread to mop up every single morsel!
Next up were a duo of seafood dishes. The Tomaquet I Bou de Mar arrived at the table looking resplendent in its jigglyness! This was a dish of king crab and tomato, eleveated to exceptional standards. That tomato dome which initially looked like it would jelly was in fact a super silky foam packing a serious flavour punch. I loved this and it was a stand out for me. Next in the fish section was the Anguilla All I Pebre. Eel with potato and chilli. I had never eaten eel and didn’t quite know what to expect. This dish was heavenly. The eel was flavourful and cooked beautifully, and the mashed potato it was served with was magnificent. Not one I’d have ordered on my own, but I’m so glad I got to try it.
Our last savoury dish was the Arros de Verdures definitely not your normal Spanish style paella dish. This was a twice cooked rice dish, spread out thin in a tin tray and baked to sticky perfection. We had the vegetable version which had mushrooms and broccoli running through it as well as a delicious herby mayonnaise. There’s also a squid and red prawn version that I’d definitely love to try when I next visit Tast.
Finally almost full to bursting our dessert course came along, Pinya, Toffee I Mango. This was a delightfully light dish of pineapple, toffee and mango. It was delicious, but I think overall I’m not hugely into desserts at the moment – pass me the cheese course!
I had a wonderful evening at Tast Catala. It brought back so many of the tastes that I’d experienced whilst in Spain. I also really loved the relaxed atmosphere. I’m keen to pop back and sit at the bar to enjoy some gin and some pinxtos type bites and watch the world go by. The “La Seleccio de Paco Perez” is designed for sharing, and cost £40 per person which I think is a really great deal for the number of dishes we got to try.
Are you a fan of Spanish food? Would you go to Tast Catala? Or have you been? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Dr C was invited down to Tast Catala as a guest to try out their tasting menu on opening. As ever all words, photos and opinions are her own.
P.P.S. Tast Catala is located at20-22 King St, Manchester M2 6AG.