Tonka restaurant, bar, café – Poble Sec, Barcelona

Tonka restaurant and cafe - Barcelona

c/marques de campo sagrado, 27
Poble Sec

Tonka is a newish spot poles apart from the usual more traditional cafes and restaurants serving unchanging fare in and around Poble Sec – the area between El Raval and Montjuic.

It’s modern interior matches its somewhat contemporary menu, its fig-green walls and ochre tiles a bright welcome. A glass cabinet waves at you as you enter threatening your willpower with muffins, croissants, tarts, brownies and cookies. However, it’s not all unhealthy fodder here. Until 13hrs you can find vegetarian sandwiches (vegetables and cheese) served with a coffee for a miniscule €3. There is also organic yogurt served with nuts for €2.50. Also available on the breakfast menu is toast served with either tomato and olive oil (Catalan style) or with butter and jam. Toast is available prepared with delicious dark wholemeal bread (ask for ‘pain integral’) and costs €3.

Toasted sandwiches are also served on wholemeal bread and have two vegetarian options: brie, sun-dried tomato and avocado; or mozzarella, tomato and rocket. These cost €4 or €4.50 respectively.

From the tapas menu you can have Patatas Tonka which are patatas bravas prepared in the house style. These cost €5. There are also giant olives, a selection of cheeses or mushrooms.

If you want to go healthy, then head for the salad menu where you can find three vegetarian options, and one that appears to be vegan. Mediterranea contains tender leaves, kalamata olives, feta, herbs and tomato; Asiatica (looks vegan but check) contains soba noodles, vegetables, cilantro, smoked tofu and peanuts with a spicy dressing; Cabrales with tender leaves, pine nuts, nuts, dried figs and goat cheese and finally a Balsamica which contains tender leaves, rocket, parmesan and cherry tomato jam. Salads cost €7.

Coques are made with crunchy bread and have two vegetarian-friendly numbers: Escalivada with goat cheese and romesco sauce or with dried tomato, mozzarella, and spinach and hazelnut pesto. Coques cost €8.

They use organic eggs and all desserts are made inhouse. Organic soya milk is available with drinks. And they have organic hot chocolate.

There is also a menu del dia with options like curried vegetable soup, and wok-fried vegetables with soba noodles. Good vegetarian options.

Staff are young and handsome and the ambience is likeable. The upside is that they also have wi-fi (table at the very back by the loo has plug sockets). Music ranges from what sounded like Wendy James being raped by a balloon to Johnny Cash making U2’s ‘love’ sound almost bearable. It’s Johnny Cash for fucksake. He could make anything sound good. Downside is that the menu is only available in Catalan.

Organic hot chocolate, organic soya milk, wholewheat bread, wi-fi and lots of vegetarian options. And Johnny Cash! What the fuck are you waiting for?

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