Kibuka is a delicious Japanese restaurant in the Gràcia area, and actually one of the best Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in Barcelona. It’s not exactly what you’d call “local food”, but we wanted to include it here because it offers a very interesting cultural mix, with influences from Japan, tropical touches and elements of the Mediterranean diet, too.
Kibuka is a mini-chain of two restaurants, both of which are located in Gràcia – one at c/Goya 9 and the other at c/Verdi 64. If you go to Kibuka, you can forget about wok-style “all you can eat” buffet restaurants, with production-chain style service. I subscribe to the mentality that good Japanese food comes at a price, and Kibuka, without being particularly cheap, isn’t wildly expensive either, given the quality of the food it offers.
Kibuka offers an extensive menu for lovers of sushi and Japanese food in general, and you’ll find a new delicacy with eat visit. The menu has lots of different options and mixes of tastes that I haven’t seen in any other Japanese restaurant in Barcelona (and I’ve visited quite a few!).
Kibuka is, more than anything, a restaurant of creative cuisine and fusion. The main cornerstone of the menu is formed by all kinds of sushi: maki, uramaki, fotomaki, nigiri… Despite including other Japanese delicacies, you’ll mainly go to Kibuka to eat sushi, and to eat it well.
Sushi of all shapes and colours in Gràcia
Kibuka’s dishes are all prepared with fresh ingredients, are great quality and have an original touch to them. We tried many different types, but would like to highlight the following for their exotic elements: the Thai Uramaki (covered in a crunchy batter, filled with prawns, spinach and courgette and dressed with a spicy green curry sauce); the Greek Uramaki (covered with avocado and pistachio, filled with salmon tempura, sun-dried tomato and tsatsiki – yoghurt, cucumber, mint and garlic sauce); the Italian Uramaki (covered with salmon, avocado and basil-infused oil) and the Basil Uramaki (salmon, tomato, cream cheese and basil). All were absolutely delicious and offered a genuinely sensational mix of intense flavours and textures. We also tried the gyozas (dumplings filled with pork and sesame sauce) and the kakiage (vegetables in tempura with kakiage sauce).
The service at Kibuka is highly attentive, despite the fact that waiters are often incredibly busy with the large numbers of clients. Despite the fact that Kibuka is nearly always packed, it’s fairly efficient and you won’t be kept waiting an excessive amount of time for your food. Furthermore, the atmosphere is pleasant and you can find people of all ages here.
Kibuka’s earned its name and fame in the local area via its own merits, which should also be appreciated. Its quality food and modern atmosphere have meant that both restaurants have become victims of their own success to a degree, so don’t come here if you’re expecting somewhere exclusive and adventurous.
Both restaurants offer large, well-decorated spaces, although they are a Little noisy for my taste. The restaurant is often quite full, and the acoustics a little complicated. Besides, tables are quite close together and there’s not much privacy, so it’s not the most romantic place ever if you want to go with your partner. The ideal option: go with friends – it’s always a safe bet.
The other main disadvantage of the Kibuka in c/Goya is that you can’t book here, so it gets full pretty quickly and you almost always have to wait. Because of this, it’s worth going early or being prepared to wait for a while before sitting down (20-30 minutes minimum depending on the day and time). On the other hand, the Kibuka in c/Verdi does take reservations, so on some occasions it can be worth coming here just to be sure.
Kibuka’s a great option if you’d like to try Barcelona’s own take on Japanese good, or if you’re in Gràcia with friends and you don’t mind splashing out a little in order to try some really good quality sushi. You’ll find a great variety of sushi here, an original menu, an incredible mix of flavours and a modern atmosphere.
The truth is: I’d go every week if it weren’t for the fact that I hate queueing up for my food and if it weren’t so bad for my wallet.
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