Hoja Santa Restaurant // Barcelona
Written by Dàmaris Coll
(only available in English)
Barcelona is lately living a high cuisine rush for Latin American gastronomy, specially Peruvian and Mexican. The restaurants are created for and by those who love and know what those gastronomies can offer and are ready to have a different experience becoming a game of surprises and delight.
Hoja Santa is a high cuisine Mexican restaurant located in the Paral·lel neighborhood inside what the Adrià brothers called “El Barri”, the gastronomic project brought by the (most) famous Spanish chefs that comprises so far 5 restaurants and that have received in 2016 a total amount of 3 Michelin stars (Pakta, Tickets and Hoja Santa, each one with 1 star) in the prestigious restaurant guide ranking. The chef Paco Méndez was born in Mexico D.F and has been able to give a homage to his roots at Hoja Santa interpreting through the high gastronomy perspective classical dishes such as moles that can now be understood under a new concept of textures and combinations.
The decoration of Hoja Santa is also one of its main assets, the spaces are inspired by Mexican “haciendas” with wide tables where the food has a great display. The restaurant also has subtle Mexican accents, such as fabrics on the pillows.
The menu is divided into four categories: “antojitos” that are small dishes while “from the sea”, “tacos” and “moles & traditional dishes” which are rather self-explanatory would be the main dishes for your choice. Antojitos are served individually and we think are a must to experience the great value of Hoja Santa, among them we tasted the cantine olives which are a sphere created with olive oil and a little touch of chile, but the most amazing bite will come with the cornbread prawns toast with shrimp broth and a hard opponent arrives when you try the cochinita pibil. If you love ceviche you should choose their “ceviche underneath a frozen pond” we would not like to give away too much but under a frozen surface a surprising black ceviche sauce, with no squid ink used, emerges. For the moles we went for the ashes mole of roses with bresse quail, a tender bite where you will be able to savory the chocolate in the sauce with a rose smell. Don’t forget to leave a little room for desserts, although the coriander ice-cream was the most creative, reproducing little bugs walking on coriander sticks, we were floored by the corn, chocolate and cajeta; a corn ice-cream with chocolate truffles and the most creamy caramel sauce. I think I sometimes I still dream about that dessert, for real.
We were lucky to visit Hoja Santa for our wedding anniversary, but if you are in the mood for a more relaxed atmosphere and affordable prices you could also visit it’s younger brother “Niño Viejo” a “taqueria” created by the same team that is attached to the restaurant, and even shares the same bathrooms.
Address: Av. Mistral 54, Sant Antoni Barcelona