Tag Archives: Shunka

Final Barcelona Post

14 Dec

After over three months of writing both reviews of Barcelona’s top sushi restaurants and about the concepts of Journalism 2.0, I am headed back to my hometown of New York City. In the next few weeks, I hope to continue writing reviews of sushi restaurants in New York, in a similar fashion to the way I covered the different spots in Barcelona.

Overall, I would classify the sushi quality in Barcelona as often good but rarely great. A lot of restaurants that I had the privilege of visiting during my time here served adequate and fresh sushi that I would categorize as good quality. My main critiques would be the limited selection of fish available at most places (granted, Barcelona’s location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea promotes local fishermen’s catches, which overlap greatly) and the lack of Japanese-run upscale sushi restaurants (again, this is most likely a biased opinion because of my upbringing in New York City). I leave Barcelona with a quick list recap of the best sushi restaurants I discovered during my time here, linked to my detailed reviews of them:

1. Wakasa

2. Koy Shunka

3. Shunka

4. ON Sushi

5. Nomo

Nakashita finishes in a close 6th place and Yamadori remains the one place I would have liked to try but never found time while in Barcelona. Looking forward to hearing feedback from any of you who try out my personal favorites!

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Spotlight on Shunka: Toro and Uni Dish

12 Dec

Way back in September, I wrote about Shunka, arguably recognized as the best sushi restaurant in Barcelona. The restaurant is Japanese-run, and sushi and non-sushi dishes alike are served fresh and with authentic flavor. As my time studying in Barcelona nears its end, I felt compelled to write about what undoubtedly was my favorite dish at any restaurant during my four month stay: the toro and uni combination dish at Shunka.

Shunka’s toro and uni dish combines two exquisite Japanese delicacies, namely, the belly of tuna with the eggs of sea urchin. Both items are considered to be among the tastiest and highest quality offered at Japanese restaurants, with their prices reflecting this sentiment. Shunka offers a plate of around 8 healthy cuts of toro, topped with generous amounts of uni and garnished with seaweed and sesame seeds. A sweetish soy sauce accompanies the dish. I just about fell in love with this dish as soon as I tried it – the large portions of toro melted in my mouth and were full of flavor, and the freshness of the uni provided the perfect smooth contrast. Having spent many summers diving for sea urchins in my native country of Greece and enjoying their contents mere minutes later, I am well aware of the taste of the freshest of sea urchins, and Shunka’s offerings are top notch. The color of the eggs are the exact shade of orange that I became accustomed to during my diving in the neighboring Mediterranean Sea.

At 19.60 euros, the toro and uni dish is priced comparably to other entrées at Shunka. While other options may offer more variety and quantity, I would suggest asking for a bowl of white rice to accompany this delicious combination and add more substance. I highly recommend trying this dish at Shunka (it can be found as one of the ‘special’ menu choices listed on the first page of the menu) and letting me know your thoughts!

 

Here’s a cliffhanger: In the next day, I will write about the sushi meal that I enjoyed last night, which I would call the best sushi I have eaten in Barcelona.

Shunka

21 Sep

I had several doubts about the quality of the sushi in my hometown for the next few months, Barcelona, Spain. Having grown up in New York City, I have been privileged (and spoiled) to have experienced some of the freshest (and priciest) sushi in the world. In my first few weeks here, I have been rather surprised at the high quality of some of the restaurants I have visited for sushi. Most of my visits were the result of recommendations from friends, the popular website TripAdvisor, and further research on the internet. The first place I will write about in Barcelona is Shunka.

Place: Shunka

Address: Carrer Sagristans, 5

Meal Eaten: Weekend Lunch

Background: I chose to dine at Shunka based on its number one rating for sushi restaurants in Barcelona on TripAdvisor.com. People commended the freshness of the fish and commented that the restaurant was always crowded, good indicators of the restaurant´s quality.

Setting: Shunka is located on a sidestreet behind the Cathedral, and does not grab the attention of pedestrians. The entrance is non-descript, and the inside is decorated with the traditional sushi bar and several wooden tables, located in a few different rooms. Nothing fancy about the place, but it was pretty full on an off-peak hour for lunch and the reservation book was already full for that night.

Food/Price: I wanted to try a wide variety of sushi, so my friend and I ordered two different sushi options to share: the Chef´s Choice (21 euros) and the Assortment of Sushi (19 euros). The latter option consisted of a traditional spread of sushi pieces: tuna, salmon, shrimp, whitefish, and eel with a split salmon and tuna roll. The Chef´s Choice (see picture) confirmed the reviews that I had read about the restaurant´s authenticity: there were several different types of shrimp, including a cooked shrimp head, as well as a few pieces considered to be of a high value: scallop, salmon roe, and fatty tuna. This dish is not for the sushi amateur – the taste of the fish was undoubtedly fresh and authentic, but only for the experienced palate. The various tastes melted gently in the mouth, and the ratio of fish to rice on each piece was perfect. The portions were also rather small (5 pieces of sushi and a few roll pieces). As a sidenote, the non-sushi dishes that we ordered, most notably the Udon Soup, were equally delicious.

Bottom Line:  Shunka is a must-try authentic restaurant for sushi-lovers, with a well-deserved reputation of having some of the freshest fish in Barcelona. Based on the quality and price of the fish, it will best suit those craving a small yet delectable meal, and not those hoping to come out feeling stuffed.

Additional Note: Shunka recently opened a sister restaurant, Koy Shunka, which has also received excellent reviews. This establishment focuses on a wider variety of Japanese non-sushi dishes, and the ambiance is slightly more upscale. There is a set menu available, though it is quite pricey (72 euros).

Ratings (Out of 10):

Food: 8.5

Ambiance: 7.25

Cost of Meal for One Person: 35 euros