Hitsumabushi - Tsukiji Market Roots in Gracia

 

Gracia has a (fairly new) restaurant that many want to keep a secret. It’s not much talked about, but those who have visited return and evenings here get fully booked. Hitsumabushi is located in an area where there’s not much else interesting, which means you don’t pass by this Japanese restaurant by accident. But it is easy to get to by metro (Fontana) or FGC.

Sea bass carpaccio at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Sea bass carpaccio at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Hitsumabushi is a humble place, sparingly decorated. There is a room in the back (with larger tables that are good for groups), but right at the entrance you’ll find what might be the most interesting place to sit: at the bar by the chef, Nobuyuki Kawai, from renowned Yashima restaurant. He has also worked in a sushi restaurant in the famous Tsukiji market in Tokyo, which counts for something, don’t you think?

Uni gunkan at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Uni gunkan at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

So what’s on the menu? For starters, to name a few, there are edamame, gyozas, and different kinds of fish carpaccio (we opted for a delicious sea bass carpaccio). Make sure to pay attention to the daily specials.

Eel nigiri at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Eel nigiri at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Looking at the mains you’ll find a long list of nigiris (and much more) together with eel. DO NOT MISS THE EEL. Chef Kawai comes from Hamamatsu, an area where eel is a specialty. Here it melts in your mouth. The gyozas are also a regional specialty, so make sure to add them to the order.

Seared scallop nigiri at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Seared scallop nigiri at Hitsumabushi, Barcelona. Photo © Barcelona Food Experience.

Oh, and the uni. I had it in the form of a gunkan and it was absolutely packed with sea urchin. Another must-try is the seared scallop, anything seared here is a feast, really.

Here you can be certain to get fresh wasabi, in some dishes it comes freshly grated. There is also a curated selection of good quality sakes. For dessert make sure to opt for the matcha tiramisu, made in-house.

Hitsumabushi, Av. Príncep d’Astúries 3, Barcelona (Gracia)