The Bikini at Gula Bar – Barcelona
The bikini sandwich is up there with croquetas and patatas bravas as must order dishes when visiting Barcelona. Traditionally, a slice of cheese and ham are sandwiched between two slices of industrially baked square white bread, grilled, then sliced in half from corner to corner leaving what looks like two bikini bottoms. It is enjoyed for breakfast or as an accompanying snack for a vermouth pre-lunch. Everyone loves a bikini from suited men to children. Gula Bar is the fun sibling of Santa Gula restaurant up the road. There is an open kitchen where cooks in black t-shirts that say “we know how to play with fire”, come up with creative reinterpretations of everyday dishes. Their ensalada russa, for example, comes with toasted flatbread and smoked eel. At Gula Bar they have taken the idea of the bikini and run with it. Their version of a bikini is thin buttered brioche bread filled with slow-cooked shredded beef. Instead of the typical triangle shape, it’s shaped like a narrow brick. It helpfully comes on a square of waxed paper so you can pick the whole thing up and tip it into your mouth. Once you try their version, you may not want to return to the traditional format. It’s that good.
I am the author and photographer of Foodie in Barcelona. A blog about restaurants and food in Barcelona. I moved to Barcelona 6 years ago from Berlin and before that I lived in London, Paris and Athens. I am a trained chef and have worked in the back and front of house, so not only do I love food, I know what it takes to make great food. I make it my mission to find the best this city has to offer and in so doing find out about the people that live here and the culture of this marvellous city.