Peruvian is the buzzword on every epicure’s lips right now. Say “pisco” and everybody with an opinion about contemporary food will know what you’re talking about. Say “pisco sour” and it will get you places… dark, smoky, fragrant places that will love their imprint on your mind and tastebuds. With all that said, there’s no point in explaining why we ended up at Kokka in Barcelona.
Kokka is the newest kid in the Grupo San Telmo family and it takes pride in saying that it is the first Peruvian bar in Barcelona. They might say Peruvian, but to us, it was closer to Nikkei, the lovechild of Peru and Japan that has been a reference point in the global food scene since the late 1800s. At this point, you’ll probably think: ‘Sure, but what about the Adrià-brothers’ Peruvian fusion institution... ” True, but since Nikkei cuisine is now witnessing its fourth wave, it comes as no surprise that new restaurants are still embracing it and making it their own. Even if recently opened in 2015, Kokka has already set itself apart in the Spanish food scene.
With a cozy Catalunyan approach, Kokka has made its menu simple. It is a journey that takes its cues from the fusion of flavours and cultures that Peru has to offer. Start with their causas, the quintessential Peruvian starters dating from pre-Columbian times. The savory potato mash balls topped with contemporary toppings such as chicken-shiso, salmon caviar or floral sashimi will become the perfect South American sliders.
If you’re still in need for an appetite kickoff, go for their chilled oysters with tiger's milk, passion fruit, chilli and coriander. Then travel through their selections of ceviche, tiradito and Peruvian tartars. What might also catch your eye is the Peruvian take on the Japanese tataki, which is basically marinated meat two-ways: local organic veal with enoki mushrooms in anticuchera sauce or Bluefin tuna with pak choy in miso sauce.
And then there’s the pisco sour, of course. They made it easy by offering it both as a drink and as a two textured dessert, to keep you company through the whole epicurious trip. We cheated a bit and also went for their second pisco dessert: a muscovado cake with passion fruit ice cream and pisco geleé.
Barcelona is a city with no shortage of amazing eateries, but with their contemporary approach, satisfying dishes and 100% value for money, Kokka is a safe bet for any taste journey.