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“The worst meal we have had in 15 years living in Catalonia”
Review of Hispania

Hispania
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed 22 July 2017

My husband is a trained chef, I love to cook and we know our food. We have owned and run highly rated restaurants in the past life before we moved to Spain. With this in mind we rarely if ever leave a poor restaurant review.

We are foodies. We eat out regularly in 'menu del dia' cheap restaurants and in Michelin rated restaurants and anything in between both in Spain and on our travels abroad.
I can unreservedly say the food we were served on Thursday at lunch time was inedible and we left most of it. To add insult to injury the cost was double what we are used to paying for excellent lunches in our part of the Costa Brava which by most standards is an expensive area.

The 'menu at €30' had no choice but we were assured it was very good by the very attentive waiting staff. It most definitely was not.
After one mouthful of the starter I decided that tinned vegetables mixed in heavy catering quality mayonnaise was not very appetising.
The next course was a monk fish crepe. Sadly the fish, which was scarce, in the crepe and most definitely not monk fish. The sauce covering the crepe was congealed and cold. This we also left.
The main course came with four medallions of pork fillet well enough cooked but coated with the grease from the pan to which no emulsifier had been added.It most definitely was not a sauce. This was served with 'mashed/pureed' potato which looked as if it had been regurgitated. Disgusting. I ate two of the four medallions which were tender but the greasy 'sauce' defeated me and gave up.

At this point I was still hungry but didn't even want to try a pudding. My husband did. He had Crema Catalana to round off his €30 menu. Something which at the lower end €12 menu is commonplace.

He said the coffee was good. This was served with a dry spongecake.

The building is lovely, the staff impeccably trained in the old school way which is sadly lacking in some restaurants but appreciated in more classic establishments. This has obviously been a very famous restaurant in its day and I have no doubt there is a clientele which have been dining here for many years. Maybe the proprietors are happy with the business they are doing. When we were there this Thursday lunchtime there were 9 other people. A family of four with a small child and two other tables of two made up the entire lunch trade in a very large restaurant with space of well over a hundred guests.
Maybe the owners of this restaurant need to dine out at lunchtime and see what other people are offering for half the price. They might also look at what places like Pa i Raim in Palafrugell are offering for their €22 'menu' which is considered 'pricy' locally but is superb.
We expected to be wowed for €30 we most certainly were not. Did we complain? We were asked if everything was OK we said not really. The waiter didn't ask why not, just walked away. It was obvious that it was not, as plate after plate went back uneaten.
Perhaps we should have had the a la carte. Yes, perhaps but the meal would have cost well over €60 pp for lunch which for us is a treat. For that there is a 10 course tasting menu at NU in Girona which is superb.

It is such a pity that somewhere that obviously was great in its heyday has become so sadly lacking in todays restaurant world with excellent young, progressive chefs.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank CBCBegur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 214 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2016 via mobile

For already 64 years, Paquita & Lolita have been proving how you can cook all the catalan feedstock in such a unique way. Best tomatoes, onions, peas...fish...meat...canelons...whatever...
I've been coming once a year and every time I feel the same, high quality, incredible food and as always very friendly staff. If you visit the Maresme area, it's a stop you must take.

Thank Adomhower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2016

We have been here twice recently and have taken groups of friends both times. We love it here and will continue to make it our 'must go to' when we are in Caldes d'Estrac.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank lovestravel65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2016 via mobile

Beautiful restaurant with big parking. There are not many places in Arenys where you can enjoy spacious greatly-done interior and white table cloths, and great food. My only reason for 4 star instead of 5, is that in my opinion the chef doesn't take the salads seriously. There are only few salads available. The one I've got, Provençal I think, was dressed with the vinegar and was too sour. Otherwise it was a pleasant night!

Thank AnastaciaJetsetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2016 via mobile

We can definitely say that this restaurant is the worst one we have been to in our lives. Food is very very low quality. We ordered fried calmars and it was just not eatable. Paela is far from being good. We tried the restaurant next door the day after (porto veil) and it was just amazing.. The service in Hispania is super bad.. They are nice at the begining to make u enter and then they are just not professional and mean. Definitely don't recommend at all. Avoid or be disapointed!

Thank Mina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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