|Shoko Restaurant & Club|
Shoko is one of Barcelona's well-known club/restaurants. It sits proudly on the beach front, sandwiched between other beach bars. It has been open for five years and has already made quite an impression on Barcelona. It is popular amongst tourists and locals alike who are in search of a glamorous setting to eat, drink and dance the night away.
The restaurant is often popular amongst groups for its set menus. This makes it a particularly useful option for tourists travelling in a large gang. Book a night at Shoko before you go and you have a whole night planned - right through from pre-diner drinks to losing your cloakroom ticket in the way home.
In this review I have commented on the food, décor, service and music policy at Shoko Restaurant.
|A Shoko Dessert|
The focus on the food at Shoko, as with the bar itself, is all about the show. All of the food that arrived at our table was impressively presented - like works of art on a plate. The food options are both Modern European and Asian. This will appeal to those who like some variety in their options, but less so to food purists who enjoy remaining on one continent during their dining experience.
The starters we sampled were a goats cheese salad with mixed berries and a foie gras served with toasts and a Waldorf style salad. The salad was a safe and enjoyable option - with a generous helping of goats cheese served alongside a well-dressed salad. The foie gras was slightly disappointing - lacking in flavour and served with confusingly crumbly and air flavoured toasts.
These were followed by a selection of sushi. This included the restaurant's speciality of hot sushi - sushi rolls in a deep fried tempura style. I was unsure of the concept - being a fan of the refreshing and chilled nature of sushi. However, my friend was impressed by the lightness of the batter and thought that the dish worked well.
After this we enjoyed a flavoursome and hearty chow mein style rice dish with a stir fry of beef. This restaurant was simple and perhaps overpriced for what it was.
The desserts were the part of the meal that really stole the show. A chocolate fondant was served with a sweet strawberry ice cream and a wafer thin fan of chocolate that practically obstructed my view of the restaurant. The brownie was similarly impressive and was served with a delicious crema catalana flavour ice cream.
|Shoko's Outdoor Terrace|
Shoko Restaurant's crowning glory is its setting. Underneath Barceloneta's promenade, its outdoor terrace sits directly in front of the beach. Large red cushioned seats allow for a stylish and comfortable environment to sit in. Regularly placed outdoor heaters make al fresco eating a viable option practically all year round.
As Shoko's name suggests, its décor, as well as its food has Asian influences. The interior of the restaurant and club has black walls with splashes of colour. A section of the restaurant's ceiling is covered with what appear to be upturned red and yellow parasols creating light shades.
A section of the restaurant is partitioned off from the club part of the building with a large shelf style wall housing candles. This provides necessary cosiness to an area that, especially in the early evening, might otherwise feel like a nightclub waiting to begin.
The staff at Shoko are both efficient and friendly. If you come to the restaurant in a large group, your table will have a host who will answer all of your questions and make sure that everything runs smoothly.
A constant and attentive supply of bread to the table is always welcome. This is coupled by a complimentary small tapa of olive, cherry tomato and cheese at the start of the meal. A waitress is always close at hand to keep supplies of drinks and anything else requested flowing.
If you wish to stay on and enjoy the party, this is free for those who have dined in the restaurant and it is not necessary to be on the normally obligatory guest list. The style of the club is glamorous - with numerous VIP areas and an impressive cocktail list.
Shoko is an ideal location for those in search of Barcelona beachside glamour - this is where people come to see and be seen. On a sunny summer evening, watching the sunset over the beach, some will find this to be what Barcelona is all about. The food is fun and experimental, if at times slightly more about the appearance and the flavour. But maybe that is what we should expect from and love about Shoko - it is a showy world where style is the plat du jour.
Shoko is located right on the beach front. It is necessary to walk towards Barceloneta's promenade - heading for the Hotel Arts or the big golden fish. You will see a row of small boxes that act as the entrances to the downstairs clubs. Alternatively if you choose to walk directly on the beach front, Shoko is the fourth restaurant on your right when heading towards Port Olimpico.
Metro: Ciutadella Villa Olimpic (Yellow Line, L4)
Paseo Maritimo de la Barceloneta, 36
08003 Barcelona, España.