Friday, 21 August 2009
Restaurant El Bulli
Rank #1 Restaurant in the World
3* Michelin Star
Type of Cuisine: Avant-Garde with Mediterranean + overall ecclectic influences
Phone Number: +34 972 150 457
Address: en Cala Montjoi
Roses, Girona, 17480
Jannice and I had planned to spend 4 weeks in 2001 in Mediterannean Europe
thoughout Portugal, Spain, Italy, and ending up in Greece.Since we both are food aficionados, we had naturally informed ourselves about several restaurants of interest (lol) at each of those destinations.
El Bulli was a no brainer and instantly made it's way on our list. It's also
a restaurant that we had visited earlier in 2000 and that had highly pleased us.
So a repeat at El Bulli was decided.
Bookings (both via email + phone calls) were easier at that time..
really way easier (nowadays, it's virtually impossible to get a table there!).
If you remember, from the old web site, I had a 7 pages of review on the 2001 visit at El Bulli and an even more extensive one of 12 pages (Yup!) from Jannice's and I visiting El Bulli in 2000. But as you already know, the old web site was terminated abruptly .... so needless to stress that I wont remember each details of those reviews. So the best thing I will do is to stick to some plates that both Jannice and I had enjoyed on our past 2 visits at El Bulli:
The seafood chunk had the perfect toothsome feel I expect from such. This dish had perfect balance of flavors and was utterly savourish. The choice of the horse mackerel (chinchard in French) had shocked Jannice..lol: she kept telling me "how such common low level fish had made it's way on such high end table"! She also had this complaint: "how come the cheap mock roe (female fish's eggs) BUT not Caviar??". Well, although a fish that's very common in mediterranean sea (atlantic ocean/red sea as well), it (the horse mackerel) still stands as a welcoming choice on such luxurious cuisine with respects to using local resources + it has a typical unique taste of it's own that adds to the palate's excitement. As for Caviar Vs Mock roe..well, they have very different tastes and purposes anyway. Caviar finds it's way more on the appetizer fare. I do not see caviar really fitting on a main course (sure, you can...it's like red wine with seafood lol...but keeping up with the traditions of fine gourmet, you do not want to see Caviar on that main course! Yep, Mock roe is cheap indeed ... but that is not the point here: Ferran si a genius who constantly searches for the perfect amazement of savors and flavors combinations. So if Mock roe brings the excitement better than caviar, cheap product or not, he may as well use tne one that accomplishes the duty! Amen!
When this was unveiled at our table, Jannice thought it was a cake! lol..And she said "it's like a rectangular muffin with a cheap pineapple'd brunoise topping!"! Rfaol!! You know, when I talk about Ferran being a genius..this is just one little detail of what I am talking about: the magician surprises you right from the visual appeal up to the contrast of flavors and savors that's inside there. You might be disappointed or amazed..but at least, be assured that it will call you! First, the duck foie gras: I found it a bit too much for a piece of foie gras (we had to actually share it both Jannice and I) -> foie gras is fatty and rich, so half that chunk would have been ideal. The outside has an appealing "caramelly" cake'd texture and the inside had an unevenly consistency: some bites of the inside were warmer than others, some had a cook'd feel while other had maintained the rich, buttery, and delicate "paté" consistency. The peach caviar is an awe of a beauty: few palates are used to such parade of flavors, trust me! And again, as I always remind people of: that's typical Ferran...his genius is in the Art (with a big A) of conducting your palates to new discoveries. Even Jannice, despite keeping a conservative attitude towards such fusion of politically-incorrect elements (the peach and the caviar in this case), conceeded that Ferran knows how to wake your senses up!!
Of the two precious visits we had enjoyed at Ferran's table, this is the dish that seduced both Jannice and I the most. The meat had an unbeatable toothsome (not too rough, not too tender - Just the right perfect toothsome!!). On it's own, the meat itself was delicious: that means I took one piece, had scrapped away the sauce-y topping and ate it ... and that bite was delicious. So, imagine it with that palate drooling sauce-y topping: I am ordering all the El Bulli's recipe books..lol..I'll then probably get one page away from the secret of that sauce. I need that secret! As for the hot apple jelly, well...how to put it: it was as artisticly beautiful as flavorfully well suitable to the overall enhanced amazement of that dish! Rfaol!
This is one of the very last meals we had on our last visit in 2001 at El Bulli. It was appealing to the eyes, indeed, but more importantly it was an art of a genius: the lobster was delicious, but the sauce'd topping was one of the most flavorful I ever imagined as an accompaniment to a lobster. Seafood, particularly lobsters, are expected to be as fresh as it can be. But Ferran had found a way to make it fresher than you could have imagined: I have no clue whether that lobster came from Norway or not...but what a genius: with that mention to the gold Northern Scandinavian gateway, he had put f-r-e-s-h-n-e-s-s one more time in the credentials of a plate that needs to not only taste fresh...but feel fresh..but think fresh..but breaths fresh..rfaol! And of course, as you might have expected from the genius of all geniuses, those pristine white snowy foams/emulsions adds the big F to Freshness! I told you, this guy is a GENIUS!!
Now, I hope you had enjoyed my humble writing about my divine lucky food experience at this --nowadays-- temple of fine gourmet (back then in 2000, 2001 .. I had no clue that you would be that much fans of this genius. I am just content to see that he deserves being recognizized for his humungous talent). As already stated, there was no way I would re-write the dozen ++ pages I had written on El Bulli in the past, so I thought it would be a good idea to 'reminisce" those great moments throughout couple of the meals we had there (Both Jannice and I, had way more than just those 4 meals..lol..but the point was to bring you some highlights rather than "decrypting" little by little each of the tapas, appetizers, desserts and so on ... that we had enjoyed at El Bulli - Anyways, they change their menu from 1 year to another but the main idea behind the food --- aka always searching for new combinations that will make your palate drool..lol..--- remains the same and that is what I had tried to point out via my reviews of those 4 meals at El Bulli). I am trying to get a table there for a 3rd time, but this time seems to be virtually impossible to materialize (I have no chance before the zillions of folks who now, yearly, fight for a table there)...so, well I guess I will find consolation in those two memorable visits at El Bulli!
Thanks for reading, Aromes.