Sesamo - 6.5
November 16, 2019 - 1 min read
Sesamo is a cute vegetarian restaurant right on the border of Raval and Sant Antoni. My parents are vegetarian, and I had a great time at this restaurant with my mom a few years ago when she came to visit Barcelona! So I went back the other day to see if it lived up to the hype, or if I was just a poor study abroad student appreciating eating things other than the pre-made tortilla española from Mercadona (true story).
The restaurant is small, dark and softly-lit, and most of the tables are two-tops (there’s a nice booth in the back for 6 people, which would be a good option for a group dinner). I walked in for a party of 2 on a Saturday night at 9pm, and there was no wait, and about 6 tables open.
The entire menu at Sesamo is vegetarian, and there are options to make most things either vegan or gluten free. There are two ways to order: you can order a la carte, from their regular menu and their giant board of specials that rotates daily. (Side note: I’m a huge fan of how they have one chalkboard board with the specials written on it, and they bring it around from table to table while people are deciding what to get. If a waiter rattles 10 specials at me without having anything written down, I’ll forget all of them and spend the next 15 minutes panicking about asking them to repeat the list).
Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do their tasting menu, which is 25€ per person and includes 7 tapas to share, 2 drinks each, water, and a dessert to share.
We weren’t particularly hungry and decided to order a la carte. From the specials menu we got a beet hummus with roasted carrots, and a roasted eggplant with labne (Turkish-style yogurt) and a red pepper sauce. For our main we shared agnolotti, a pasta stuffed with cheese and cooked in a garlic butter sauce. We also got a pan con tomate to have with the beet hummus at the suggestion of our server.
The food service was quick, and the beet hummus and pan con tomate came out within 5 minutes. The beet hummus was just stunning – the hummus itself is of a beautiful color, and the three roasted carrots on top with a green sauce made the plate super visually appealing. The hummus was so tasty that I was just eating it plain and kind of forgot about the bread, honestly. The carrots and green sauce were okay, but they needed salt and didn’t taste like much. The pan con tomate had a lot of tomato, which I liked, but also needed salt.
Next up came the roasted eggplant dish. When they brought it to the table I almost didn’t know what it was because it was covered in sauce (this was the red pepper sauce) and sitting on a pool of labneh. What it lacked in presentation was made up for in flavor, and the two sauces worked beautifully together to be tangy and creamy at the same time. I somewhat wonder if the eggplant got lost in the sauce, but I liked the dish overall anyway.
Last up was our main. This pasta was pretty and tasty (it’s really hard to go wrong with a garlic butter sauce), although I felt that it was a little dry. We did scrape the plate clean though.
We took a look at the dessert menu but it felt like there was a lot of repetition (many heavy things with chocolate and/or peanut butter), and we weren’t feeling inspired so we decided to skip it.
When we were ready to leave I was shocked that for what we ordered (plus a water and a wine) our check came to 38€ – for just 12 euros more we could have gotten way more food with the tasting menu. We also probably should have gotten one more thing (we had a snack when we got home) so I’d calculate this place to be around 45€ for two people if you order a la carte.
The food at Sesamo is sometimes tasty, but it can be hit or miss. If you’re with a vegetarian friend or feel like eating something light for dinner, I recommend going – but know that the tasting menu is definitely going to be the most bang for your buck.
address: c/ sant antoni abat, 52
price: 20-25€ per person
good for: vegetarians, vegans