Koy Shunka

In case it is ever up for debate, do not try to go to two separate Michelin-starred restaurants on the same day! Unless you are truly the Superman of Eating, you won’t be able to give your second restaurant experience the proper attention it deserves. An unfortunate turn of events forced me to reschedule Koy Shunka for dinner on a Tuesday instead of lunch on a Sunday, which meant that I had my meal at Koy Shunka right after a very full lunch at ABaC. Nevertheless, I went for it because I was insistent on trying the Spanish-Japanese style fusion cuisine offered at Koy Shunka, which has 1 Michelin star.

I certainly don’t regret going…I just wish I had gone on a different day. As I mentioned in my Manairo post, if you are traveling to Spain any time soon and are interested in exploring tasting menus, be aware that many of the higher-end Spanish eateries are only open for dinner from Tuesday through Saturday.

Overall judgment: 4 of 5 stars

I had an excellent meal at Koy Shunka. I enjoyed the mix of Japanese-style dishes served with Mediterranean ingredients. I also applauded the creativity of the dishes, which kept me interested the entire meal. One thing I will point out is that although Koy Shunka serves Japanese cuisine, the majority of the servers were Chinese. In fact, we ended up communicating in Chinese to some of them because it was easier than English or Spanish (which I realized I had almost completely forgotten since high school). The atmosphere was dark and intimate, with seatings of couples and a few large, lively groups. Although we walked past an expansive open-kitchen style sushi bar, no one was seated there for dinner. We sat at a small table in what appeared to be a side dining room with 5-6 other parties.

We ordered the Koy, the smaller of the two tasting menus, priced at 82 euros per person. The meal itself was seafood-heavy, as expected, and used a lot of shellfish ingredients. The succession of courses was fairly strong overall, with the one sad exception being that the sushi course was sub-par. I’ll go into more detail below:

Appetizer: Prawn chips with nori. These chips reminded me of the shrimp chips my mom used to make for me when I was little. The texture was crispy, and the extra touch of nori was appreciated.

IMG_1130Miso soup. This is a different spin on the classic miso soup, served at a hot temperature and infused with mushroom flavors. I enjoyed the heavier consistency of the miso broth and wished I could have this kind of miso soup on cold, East Coast winter days.

IMG_1132Scallops, cucumber, and summer truffle. The scallops were remarkably delicate and fresh, and the summer truffle added savoriness to this dish.

IMG_1135Bonito. The aesthetic of this plate is that of a Japanese flag.

IMG_1136Prawn, muscle, barnacles. The presentation of this dish was interesting in that the shellfish were buried in salty “sand”, and you had to wiggle them out before eating.

IMG_1137Sashimi: razor clam, squid, otoro, white fish, tuna. The sashimi course stood out for how fresh all of the pieces were. I was impressed by the high quality of the fish — the pieces of fish were particularly succulent, with melt-in-your-mouth texture.  It’s very clear that Koy Shunka gets fresh sushi delivery on a daily basis.

IMG_1139Sake carafe. I thought that the sake carafe was clever.

IMG_1140“Estrella” prawns. The fried pieces of prawn at the heart of this plate reminded me of shrimp po’boy. The prawn was tender, and I liked the contrast between the fried and boiled pieces.

IMG_1142Lobster and turnip cream. I enjoyed the two different textures of lobster that were served: fried in the style of tempura and boiled in typical fashion. The turnip didn’t add much, if anything, for me.

IMG_1143Sushi, part 1. The truly disappointing part of the meal came second to last in the sushi course. For starters, the sushi pieces were much too large to be eaten with one bite, and the sushi rice was too grainy to be enjoyable.

IMG_1144Sushi, part 2. For some reason, the fish served in this course did not match the high quality of the fish that was served in the sashimi course. The difference was so alarming that the sushi pieces were inedible for me.

IMG_1145Tuna handroll. These two tuna handrolls were solid, albeit plebeian for a restaurant of this caliber.

IMG_1146Dessert: chocolate cake, berries, and white chocolate sauce. The dessert was served Western style. The white chocolate sauce was wonderfully sweet and rich, and both the chocolate cake and berries complemented it nicely.

IMG_1147

Overall, I would highly recommend Koy Shunka for its unique Spanish-Japanese style cuisine. While some of my meals in Spain started to blend together in my mind, Koy Shunka remained distinctive, with carefully conceived presentation of dishes and a well-executed tasting menu.

Koy Shunka, C/ Copons, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain

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