The Costa Brava isn’t the only place to find good restaurants, hidden gems can also be found inland. The countryside is littered with many fine farmhouse or ‘masia’ type restaurants offering traditional Catalan cuisine.
Serious foodies are flocking to the region which boasts many Michelin starred places like Girona’s Celler Can Roca and Massana. For my not deep pockets they’re still on my bucket list.
The ongoing quest for somewhere fresh and different led us to Mooma, a cider house and restaurant. I’d googled the place beforehand and read some good reviews. How did I not know about it? Are people keeping it a secret?
You enter along a long dirt track flanked by extensive apple groves, arriving at a mix of commercial looking warehouses and buildings. It is after all a place where they make cider, as evidenced by the sheer number of large wooden crates containing green apples.
Car parking is plentiful and dotted with a mish-mash of wooden sign posts and information panels, spouting sustainable agriculture. Are they trying to set the tone of what to expect?
Turning a corner brought us to its large stone built restaurant building. We were meeting friends who’d already arrived. We followed the young server through a mix of well appointed interior and exterior dining spaces. For a Friday lunchtime the place looked busy. Not a bad sign.
Maybe because we had our dogs, we got given a large wooden table within a marquee populated with patio heaters. It is late October and the clear plastic sides means we’re protected against the wind.
Our friends have already sampled the house cider (1 litre 6.90€), curious to try it all we ordered a further 3 bottles of the other types on offer. The menu can be viewed via their QR code or on paper. Rarely does a menu excite or cause doubt about what to have, but this one is fresh and intriguing.
We shared the following dishes as starters:
Assortit de croquetas, 8.20€ (assortment of different croquettes), Amanida brie de fruits, 8.70€ (green salad with brie cheese and a mix of red berries).
Calamars Andalusa, 10.90€ (squid, Andalusian style) and Xistorra a la sidra, 7.90€ (very small sausages in cider). All eagerly consumed and their own brand cider is going down well too.
For mains two of us had the slow cooked lamb (Espatlla de xai) 18,50€, which came on the bone with diced fried chips, some cooked tomatoes covered with fried onions. I begin to regret what I’ve chosen.
A tuna dish, 17€ (Tataki de tonyina), and I had a sweet sausage with braised apple pieces in a cider broth 11.50€ (Botifarra dolca poma).
Thumbs up all around, and someone commented on my dish looking slightly phallic. I liked it but felt there were too many apple pieces, and wondered whether a dollop of mash and some gravy would have been better for my Anglo Saxon tastes.
Still, we’re not finished yet and the next hurdle was deciding on which desserts to have. Are these their achilles heal or a cut above the rest?
I needn’t have worried. We chose: pastis formatge, 6.50€ (cheesecake), xuixo de poma, 5,90€ and a crumble de poma, 5.90€ (apple crumble with condensed milk).
I think I’ve had my apple-fix today. I tried a piece of the cheesecake- it was sublime. I’ve had my fill and I’m ready for a siesta, but it’s a 15 minute drive away!
Mooma or shooma? Oh definitely a Mooma moment.
Okay some of us got carried away with one too many of their top notch versions of Calvados (spirit de Mooma). At 6.50€ the generous measure would make any Frenchman smile-if that’s possible.
Add our shared starters, 4 main courses, 4 desserts, ciders, coffees it all came to 187,80€
Sidreria Mooma, Ctra de Fontanilles, Mas Saulot, s/n Palau-Sator 17256