Carrer de la Cera 23
Telephone: 934 42 08 08
Overall rating: 6/10
Date of visit: January 2013
We went to Cera 23 simply because we wanted something fairly simple, reasonably priced and somewhat typical Spanish. People on Tripdadvisor gave Cera 23 the thumbs up so we gave it a shot. The food was traditional but still with some creativity.
Before our courses we were actually given a small appetizer in the form of cream cheese with jam, chives, reduced balsamic vinegar and grissini.
I chose black rice (coloured with squid ink) with squid, octopus and prawns for my main course. The prawns were in the form of “paper” on top. On top was chives and a saffron sauce, which was a bit too light on the saffron. A very decent dish, although I would have liked some more seasoning (which I usually do in Spain). I misplaced the bill, but I think this dish was either €8.75 or around €10.
My wife at the time chose a salad with watercress and peaches with melted cheese on top. Around it was drizzled a light dressing and reduced balsamic vinegar. Especially the cheese was nice, but she felt the peaches tasted like they were tinned peaches. I believe this dish cost around €6.
For dessert I chose a cheesecake with nutella sauce. Honestly, I’m hard to impress when it comes to cheesecake, as the recipe by Danish pastry chef Morten Heiberg that I usually use (with rosemary, mascarpone and white chocolate in the filling, and biscuits, walnuts, browned butter and cardamom in the base) is very hard to beat. This here was definitely a decent cheese cake, but not much better or different than so many others I’ve tried. The nutella sauce was supposed to be warm, which it wasn’t. I think it was simply nutella they had heated up, and then it had been sitting for too long before they served it.
My wife at the time chose cold mango cream with a pineapple “brioche”, which meant a piece of pineapple that had been fried in a bit of sugar to caramelise it. The mango tasted like it had been made with a bottle of juice, but it had a “surprise” in the form of stardust candy. The pineapple was devoid of flavour. I think both desserts were around €5 each.
Lastly, we finished off with the restaurant’s specialty cocktail, which was a mojito with blackberries. It did look quite beautiful, but unfortunately the flavours didn’t live up to the appearance. The blackberries, both the fresh ones on top and the ones in the drink didn’t have any flavour (but then it wasn’t the season for them), and the sugar hadn’t been dissolved, so it was lying on the bottom, making the rest of the drink a bit sour. I believe these were €8 each.
Then there was the service, which was actually surprisingly good. It’s of course nothing like what you find in a Michelin star restaurants (topping up, holding chairs, etc.), but then I didn’t expect that. Our waiter was very friendly, talkative, humorous and helpful. He also seemed eager to get feedback about the food, which I rarely see in restaurants at this level. We asked if he could recommend us a night club, and then he fetched his colleague who gave us a recommendation according to our wishes and marked it on our map.
All in all, a pleasant meal with decent food with a certain amount of creativity, nice presentation and very nice waiters. The prices were reasonable, and at this price level this is more or less as good as you can expect. Although Spain is cheap compared to Northern Europe, I find it difficult to have a very good meal for less than €40 + drinks per person – which is also the case in Northern Europe. If I were in the mood for this type of food again, I would come back here.