After a fantastic Champagne Brunch at the Majestic, the standard has been set for brunch in Barcelona. I did come to the Blanc Restaurant in 2014 for a light afternoon tea (which is not served anymore, unfortunately) and thus I had high expectations for the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona Sunday brunch buffet.
The Setting ★★★★★
The MO Barcelona sits on the busy Passeig de Gràcia avenue, a minute from Gaudi’s world-famous Casa Batlló. The hotel façade is very discrete but the interior is as modern and fashionable as one would expect from a Mandarin Oriental hotel.
The Blanc Restaurant ★★★★★
The Sunday brunch is served in the Blanc Restaurant, on the hotel’s ground floor. The restaurant was designed by chef Carme Ruscalleda, who has done a job worthy of a professional interior designer.
Even though the restaurant is technically underground, it offers plenty of natural light thus allowing you to enjoy the sunny Barcelona weather.
The venue is very comfy and cosy, with plenty of sofas that are basically begging you to spend the whole day at Blanc.
There is even a kid zone where the little ones can have a bit of fun on their own.
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona Brunch
The MO Barcelona Sunday brunch is pretty much your regular five-star brunch buffet. Most of the food and the drinks are included so it’s recommended to come with a big appetite.
The Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The Hot Drinks (Tea & Coffee ) ★★★☆☆
There are 16 teas and infusions from the JING tea company, as always with Mandarin Oriental hotels. The selection is quite varied: black, green, white, oolong and pur’erh 🙂
It’s a pity that the brew itself was a bit clumsy: the small teapots are filled with too many tea leaves so the tea overbrews quickly. I suggest ordering a pot of hot water along with each tea to compensate.
There is also your standard choice of coffee (espresso, latte, Irish…) but no hot chocolates. The full beverage menu can be found below.
The Cold Drinks (Juices, Cava & Bloody Mary) ★★★★★
This is where the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona brunch shines brighter: Freshly squeezed juices ♥ (Mango, Strawberry & Orange), free-flowing Cava and Bloody Mary 😀
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Savouries station ★★★★★
The savoury stations feature several choices of dumplings, noodles and various dishes. The cuttlefish with black rice ♥♥ and the Catalan chicken ♥ were the most remarkable dishes 🙂
The Savouries Buffet ★★★★☆
The buffet selection is more than generous and the overall quality is very good: salads, cold cuts, fish, seafood (ceviche, oysters, sushi…), verrines (gazpacho…), sandwiches, baguettes, savoury croissants, various hot dishes (eggs, potatoes, meat stew…), cheese… The list goes on and you can get a quick grasp of the savoury selection from the pictures below.
A couple of complaints though: All the oysters were gone within the hour and the cheese selection lacked variety (4 types of cheese).
The Savouries served from the kitchen ★★★☆☆
What I love the most when having brunch is when I have the possibility to help myself from a massive buffet AND order fresh à-la-carte food from the kitchen. While this is quite customary in Austria and Germanic countries (big breakfast cultures), it is a bit more unusual elsewhere.
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona sort of meets you in the middle: you may not order à-la-carte but the service team will periodically offer you fresh food from the kitchen: Egg-benedict with ham or salmon, Burger, Bao bun (meat and kimchi mayonnaise) and Ceviche. I wasn’t exactly convinced by either of these, especially the Ceviche.
The Cakes & Sweets
There are plenty of sweets to choose from, as seen in the pictures below. The star of the show would be the chocolate brownie ♥♥♥, one of the best I’ve had in ages.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
The sweets buffet is about as generous as the savoury selection, minus the à-la-carte options. I’m nitpicking a bit but I love to order a set of pancakes to start off dessert…
You’ll get pastries (croissants, pain au chocolat), various types of bread, cakes, granola shots, pies, fresh fruits and artisan yoghurts. That’s of course more than anyone will be able to digest in a single afternoon but I don’t recall seeing any jams and toppings on the buffet.
The staff is as professional as you’d expect from a Mandarin Oriental property. They will make sure that you have everything you need and kindly inform you when the buffet is closing so you can get the last plate of sweet happiness 🙂 We never felt pressured to leave either, which is always very appreciated.
Below is a video showing you the MO Barcelona brunch buffet:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★☆
The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona Sunday Brunch is excellent, offering plenty of all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat options.
I’d still place it slightly below the Majestic Barcelona Champagne Brunch, but the MO Barcelona is better for fresh juices fans and families with small kids.
+: The Blanc restaurant
+: The kid zone
+: Brilliant freshly squeezed juices
+: Free-flowing Cava & Bloody Mary
+: The Savoury station
+: Good food and great variety
+: MO Service
-: The JING teas
-: Oysters were MIA
-: Rather underwhelming savouries from the kitchen
Phone: +34 93 151 87 83