About a month ago, a new vegan restaurant opened it’s doors in Barcelona. I was excited to hear that the chef, Javier Guarascio, is one of the creative minds behind Dimención Vegana, a blog famous for its imaginative vegan recipes. The stuff they post (especially the cheeses and the desserts) is just so delicious and inspiring, I just had to check out this new place to see what amazing dishes would come out of Javier’s kitchen. Dinner at Rizoma it is!
Needless to say, I had high expectations going in, not just for the food but for the décor and the layout of the restaurant too. I think subconsciously I was expecting to see the creativity that goes in their recipes reflected in the environment of the restaurant. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. With the exception of a couple hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling, and some flower drawings on the sides of bar, there was not much else there. It’s true that less is more, and yes the look is very “clean”, but it just really seemed like they spent no time thinking about the look and feel of the restaurant. I found the atmosphere cold and boring to say the least, and the fake tiles wallpaper…well, let’s just say they could do without it.
Going in I was pleased to see how full the place was! For having opened just a month ago, Rizoma looked like it was a hit. As we walked to be seated, I sneaked a glance over at some of the tables to see what people were eating, and the food looked promising!
Regarding the service, there isn’t much to say. All as it should be. We got a table very fast, the waiter was friendly and attentive (he forgot to bring our drinks twice, but I’ll let that one slide because it looked like he was still learning), and the food came out of the kitchen at a steady pace. I liked that the waiter took the time to introduce the restaurant and explain some of the items on the menu. We noticed that the prices were a bit steep but given the effort that goes into creating the dishes, and the ingredients they use, I thought it was only fair.
You’re probably wondering how the food was! All in all, good. There is a bit of everything on the menu: soups, salads, hot dishes, raw food, hamburgers, pizzas, pasta, and yummy desserts. We had a tough time deciding was to order but in the end we went for a cheesey mushroomy starter, two main dishes (spirulina ravioli and seitan bbq ribs), and a tiramisu. The starter was amazing. The mushrooms were just delicious, and the vegan cheese was one of the best I’ve tried so far. I was almost sad I had to share them!
When the mains came, the first thing I noticed was the presentation. The food was just so colourful and beautifully plated, everything looked great. After that glorious starter, I was hoping the mains would be just as good or even better. Sadly enough, both dishes were a bit of a hit and miss. I guess I just expected more. The raviolis were surprisingly tasteless…I kept thinking, how is it possible that there are so many ingredients in this dish but the taste is so underwhelming?
As for the ribs, I love the creativity and effort that went into the presentation. Wrapping the seitan around wooden sticks to replicate the look of “classic” ribs is something I´ve never seen before. The vegetables that came with the seitan were really great, can’t say the same about the ribs. The biggest problem I had with them was the sauce; it was just too sweet.
The dessert, however, a whole different story! Their tiramisu is just sooo delicious. I was really full at the point but I didn’t stop eating until I cleared the plate.
Overall rating: 4/5
Will I go back again?
Yes! I love the idea behind this place and the diversity of the menu. I think they still have some kinks to work out, but hey, they just opened. There’s still time to improve. Will be returning to try the pizza and the burger!