Rafa’s

Food: pure and fresh fish- and seafood of best possible quality
Address: Carrer de Sant Sebastià 56, 17480 Roses, Spain
Phone Number: +34 972 25 40 03
Website: no; you have to do the reservation by phone (preferable in Spanish…)
What I paid: 126 € (tons of fish- and seafood for two persons including water and wine. We ate much more than a “normal” person would…)
Visited: July 13, 2013

Restaurant Rafa´s probably first became known to the wider audience when food writer (and chef) Anthony Bourdain made a film called “Decoding Ferran Adria”. In the film (i.e. a special episode of the “No Reservations” series) Bourdain visited Rafa´s together with Ferran Adria who said it was his favorite restaurants. This of course triggered a lot of foodies to visit the restaurant…

Rafa in the kitchen

Rafa in the kitchen

Restaurant Rafa’s is named after the man (Rafa…) who runs the restaurant (together with his wife). Rafa is in the kitchen and his wife is responsible for most of its service. It is all about the freshest and best fish- and seafood and salad, sides etc. are virtually non-existing! All focus is on the exceptionally quality of the treasures from the sea that you can have here.

Streetview

The restaurant is basically a storefront on a narrow touristic street in Roses that hoses many bars and restaurants.  More or less a “hole in the wall” restaurant, were you also could have a seat on the outside street (at least in the summer, which we did). It can eventually be a little bit tricky to identify the restaurant the first time though the sign of Rafa´s is not that easy to spot. That said, the Sant Sebastià street is probably one of the most visited in Roses and easy to find, so its basically just to follow/walk (no cars allowed) that and keep track of the street number until number 56 shows up (Rafa’s on Google Maps).

Do not expect the most attended service though the restaurant is very popular and busy (this is not fine dining even though the ingredients are the finest possible) and I think they have also acquired the next-door premises which was not part of the original Rafa’s, so they have now more potential customers to take care of (especially in the summer when the guests can double though half of the possible seats are available on the outside street). Rafa’s wife was to my knowledge the only one running the service before but when we were there, it was at least one other person helping out in the facility (and that person basically just put the plates on the table in a hurry without saying anything at all).

Rafas-29 Rafas-19

There are no menus; it is all about the “catch of the day” that is on offer (Rafa simply does not open the restaurant if he cannot find fish of the freshness and quality he expects, so be aware of this).  This is what we had:

Anchovies:

Rafas-4

Clams:

Rafas-7

Squids:

Rafas-11

Shrimps:

Rafas-13

Monkfish:

Rafas-15

Sole:

Rafas-22

“Red fish” (I am not sure, but I think it is Red Mullet):

Rafas-25

To summarize: you cannot possible eat better fish and seafood than this (and you cannot basically eat anything else either here for that matter)!  Do not expect fine dining: the cuisine is simplicity in its best meaning. I have read comments saying that the food at Rafa´s is expensive but that is simply not true. We ate tons of food (4 starters and 3 mains) of the uttermost superiority together with some cava and the bill ended up at 126€ for two persons which I think is great considering what we ate. Highly recommended!

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