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LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Álex Serrano, Co-Founder of Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant from Barcelona

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Álex Serrano, Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

by Beren Dere

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Mondoré would be a nice stop for you if you want to take a break and living a gastronomic experience in Barcelona. Mondoré Cervecería Gastronómica offers carefully selected special beers, tasty tapas, and good music in Floridablanca, Barcelona. I talked to Álex Serrano, Co-Founder of Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant, about their special beers, delicious tapas, and traditional hospitality of Barcelona.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Could you tell us about Mondore Beer House & Restaurant?

Mondoré is a pioneer concept in Barcelona that offers a beer pairing with tapas. Although beer pairing is nowadays well known, the fact that it is combined with tapas adds a social and fun component to the gastronomic experience. We opened five years ago and, since then, we have also added wine option as well as our own artisan beers, MondoréCoure and Mondoré Brutal.

What is your overall restaurant concept?

Our restaurant is conceived as a versatile space with bar, restaurant, and cocktail area, where you can enjoy a full gastronomic experience: beers before dinner or lunch with your friends, a great meal based on fresh tapas from the best products of Catalan and Spanish cuisine and, to finish, an enjoyable after dinner chat with a gin tonic or cocktail. Our gastronomic brewery has been conceived to relax and enjoy in good company.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Who is the audience for your restaurant?

The audience is people from late twenties to 50 or even 60. Most of our local customers are loyal and come to enjoy our specialties, like our bravas, croquetas, octopus or veal cheek. We also welcome lots of foreigners looking for an authentic tapas meal made with fresh local ingredients under a great quality-price ratio. Our prices are affordable to all kinds of pockets, you can order some tapas and craft beer for less than 18€ or you can come from 1 pm to 4 pm on working days to enjoy a proper daily menu for less than 10€.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

How often do you change up your menu? What are you paying attention to while selecting new drinks and dishes for your new menu?

We keep our creativity alive by introducing new dishes every season. However, some people visit us only to taste our classics so we could say that about the 30% of the menu is dynamic and means fresh air for those who like to come very often. Menu review also affects our beer and wine references but new flavours and tastes are always anchored to our roots which is very much appreciated by locals and foreigners looking for a Catalan/Spanish culinary experience. What we change the most is, of course, the daily menu that is always chosen based on market’s freshest products.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Which dishes and drinks are your customer's favorite?

Bravas and croquetas are some of our most popular dishes since they are deeply rooted in Spanish culture. Needless to say, that part of the success also lies in our way of cooking them. Apart from these two recipes, our customers also appreciate our octopus a la llauna with mashed potato, one of our own creations that surprises for its flavour and presentation, different from the so typical Galician style. Our veal cheek with caramelized red onion or the seafood paella are two of the Mondoré gems and really appreciated by those who escape from topics. In our paella, the absolute protagonist is the seafood broth we make to provide an intense sea flavour. As opposed to the typical Paella, we do not include lots of seafood elements to decorate, just some mussels and Norway lobster. When the rice itself is great, you do not need much more, do you?

If a customer asks you to make all the choices instead of him or her, which drinks and meals do you offer?

Every palate is different and the taste is subjective. As we know it pretty well, we usually ask which are more or less the preferences of the customer and recommend the best choice of food and beer/wine according to it. When there is any doubt with regards to the beverage we always invite the customer to taste the beer or wine that makes the best pairing with the tapas. By following these simple steps we are able to round off the customer’s experience at Mondoré.

Barcelona has lots of beer houses and restaurants. How does Mondore differentiate itself from other beer houses and restaurants in Barcelona?

Beerhouses usually offer a wide range of references (even hundreds) with no explanation which makes the customer’s choice very difficult. Furthermore, handling such a huge beer offer makes the management too complex to complement it with a serious kitchen (food offer). Aware of this handicap we decided to create our own Mondoré craft beer, narrow our beer list to 16-20 references and focus all our efforts on the food, that’s why we decided to call it “Gastronomic Beer House”. For us, beer is the necessary complement but it’s not our core business: you can come to Mondoré and have a delightful experience without tasting our beers, although we strongly recommend choosing them! We believe that our food gets enhanced with our beers while the rest of beer houses just offer the food as a complement, in other words, they are breweries with food choice while we are a restaurant with carefully selected beer.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

What are the most popular and traditional dishes or drinks in Barcelona cuisine?

Catalan cuisine is a very complete and varied one and it is difficult to choose only a few recipes. Some of the most popular are those made with fish, seafood, and meat -we call it here "mar y montaña"- one example are cuttlefish meatballs, although it is also commonly used when cooking rice. “A la llaunastlyle” -with a special recipient to grill the food in the oven- is also a very famous Catalan preparation used in many dishes. This technique is perfect to use it when cooking Codfish, although in Mondoré we use it for the grilled Octopus. The esqueixada -cod salad- or the butifarra -Catalan sausage- are also key products in Catalan cuisine. To round it off you must taste our version of the famous Catalan dessert“Crema Catalana” similar tocrémebrulée”. In Mondoré we got mad and serve it as a generous foam covering a delicious ice cream ball. If you want to know more you must come and taste it!

What do you think about advantages of purchasing from local suppliers? What percentage of your needs comes from Barcelona local suppliers?

For us, purchasing from local suppliers is not a question of money, but an ethical-quality choice. In our restaurant, most of our products are from Catalunya. It is our label and our vision to promote the quality and variety of Catalan products. Regarding artisan beers and wine, we believe Catalunya is one of most flourishing regions, that’s why more than the 70% of our references are Catalan.

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant

If you have only one weekend in Barcelona as a first time visitor, in this limited time, what are the best things to do?

Apart from visiting the famous attractions like Sagrada Familia, Montjuic’s Magic Fountain, Park Guell or The Ramblas, we recommend to visit less touristic neighbourhoods to discover local life and beautiful buildings: Gr cia with its charming and lively squares, Sant Antoni with the recently open market, Barceloneta to get lost in their narrow streets with white humble buildings and fishermen's ambience and, lastly, the Raval, with its explosion of cultures.

How do you describe Barcelona in one sentence?

Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city where everyone is welcome: culture, food, life and unique experiences are waiting for you in every corner.

Thank you Alex.

For more information, please visit website of Mondoré Gastronomic Beer House and Restaurant





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