Saturday, 18 February 2012

Tickets.... Oh how I wish I had gone to El Bulli

So was in Barcelona this week. Had to go there for work and well as a bonus I was able to go to have dinner at Tickets Albert Adria´s ¨Tapas¨ restaurant... http://ticketsbar.es/  I use ¨tapas¨ as this is not the typical tapas place that you can find in Spain... or better still in the world. First thing you must know is that its a RESERVATIONS only restaurant, so you have to go with a reservation... second you can only reserve online... so get online... third there is limited places and you can only reserve 3 months ahead... therefore the calendar online is a rolling 90 day calendar and availability is normally only available on day 90 at midnight... so stay up and book ASAP... aside from that welcome to a unique experience!!!!!


First no, I did not make a mistake and was standing in front of a ticketing booth to go to the theatre... although at 7pm  in Spain that is probably what people were thinking and not that I was going to have dinner... welcome to Tickets

Not your typical restaurant window...


So lets start, one of the most ground breaking techniques that El Bulli has given us in the last 5 years... spherifications... so olives anyone? The one on the right is made with gordal olives and the one on the left with verdial olives... the intense flavor of both olives came through from the lovely liquid centre...

Pescadito frito: Fried fish... crispy cod with powdered nori... they make a paste with the cod, dry the paste and then fry them... like eating crispy kropek but flavored with cod... light and delicate and like kropek addictive 

Spectacular and unique fatty tuna belly Toro with iberico ham fat, pine nuts and sea salt they serve it with a homemade bread stick to help contrast the flavors... Now I am probably, like a lot of people, a great fan of Toro and this was spectacular... not to mention that they request that you use the tweezers they provide to eat it with (got to excited and forgot to take a photo of the tweezers) makes it easier to lift the paper thin slices of toro to your mouth... 

Air bags filled with cheese foam and hazelnut oil caviar... the air bags a really thin hollow bread balloons, I mean paper thin bread with a lovely cheese foam, topped with a slice of  manchego cheese and finished with hazelnut oil caviar... they literally explode in your mouth, both the caviar and the air bag !!! 

This is a tiradito of I think it was sea bass but I can't remember what fish it was, they change it depending on what is the freshest fish that day... with a special marinade made with sake, mirin, sugar, soy sauce and ginger... there are also some mini shitake mushrooms also marinated in the same sauce... lovely depth of flavor!!!

Crispy cone of nori with tuna belly tartar, tomato seed,  flying fish roe and chilli strand... the cone is made with brick pastry and nori wrapped together... crispy, full of flavor... beautiful to look at and to taste !!!

Runny duck egg yolk with potato foam and duck fat truffle... there is something so primeval about having runny egg yolk and potato that brings me back to childhood... something about dunking potatoes into runny egg yolk... and the truffle taste well thats for the grown up in me ...


This is called Roast Chicken... Wow, in one bite (well maybe two for normal people) you get blown away by the intense taste of roast chicken that you get... so run down of this: crispy skin that is the base, slow cooked chicken breast sliced on top (smooth and succulent texture), a powerful reduced chicken sauce on top and to finish a little bit of lemon zest and cracked black pepper... a perfect bite of roast chicken!!!!

Steamed mollete bun with pork papada: so for those of you who don't know mollete is a kind of soft baked bun that is typical from the south of spain and papada is the jowl part of the pig, in some places its called jowl bacon. So you get a lovely soft velvety papada and this great spongy bread that is grilled with a little bit of mustard in the centre... a powerful and intense mouthful...

Taco of rabbit al salmorejo... traditional rabbit stew from the Canary Islands... powerful taco, loved the soft wheat taco... the flavors reminded me of the tacos in mexico... 

Boiled Iberico pork with potatoes and pork broth... this I loved... its a refined version of a typical Gallegan dish that is boiled salt pork with potatoes olive oil and paprika... but refined in flavor and texture...

Liquid Payoyo cheese ravioli... typical cheese from Andalusia... my pre-dessert !!! 

Hot-Cold Chocolate fritters: they explode in your mouth with this rich chocolaty sauce !!!!  I could have eaten another plate of these !!!! 

Hot Liquid Almond cake with red peach sorbet... its almost like a liquid soufflĂ© when you start eating it the centre oozes out this warm almond mousse that contrast so well with the cold peach sorbet... 

I know what you are thinking and so was I but no they really are stones... its the chocolate and hazelnut rock on top that was the dessert... its always nice to finish off with a great chocolaty flavor !!!

Even the coffee is served in a different way... suspension of different liquids with different densities anyone??

video

I thought I would leave you with a video of the restaurant from the inside... it really is in my opinion a unique dinning experience... so I suggest get online... and try and book cause you won't be disappointed !!!!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Bar Masa NYC our last lunch before leaving!!!

So with about 4 hours before our flight leaves we decide to have a light lunch... so had to be Japanese. We had been told that the menu it the main restaurant Masa is around $500 per person so we decided that better the bar !! It has been 5 days of eating so... And what an experience it was. http://masanyc.com/



This is what happens when you sit to have lunch about 1 minute after the restaurant opens... time was tight...

Rockshrimp Frito with romescu... beautifully fried and the romescu was nice and creamy (the only thing I was able to  try  of this dish) it was so good that we ordered another one!!

Kanpachi sashimi with jalapeneos and fried potatoes... smooth and loved the spicy kick of the jalapeneos!!! 

Fried calamari with onions great tempura crispy, and not oily at all !! 

Wagyu beef sashimi with garlic soy... interesting though the cold of the sashimi dulls the lovely flavor of the beef... the touch of soy does help with the flavor...

Peking duck and foie gras crepe... it was good, I mean come one peking duck good, foie gras good... crepe good... all together very good. Though there were 5 of us... so.... 

Braised black cod with daikon... this dish I absolutely loved... not only because it was another way of eating black cod that was not glazed with miso (a preparation that I adore) the braising liquid was according to the waiter dashi, soy, sake, mirin, ginger and sugar. Spectacular !!!!

Nasu Eggplant with yuzu miso... well we really could not resist not having something with a miso glaze and I personally love eggplant... very good though a little strong on the sake tasted very alcoholly !!! But still good.

Another fried chicken !!! Garlic Chicken Karaage well this was I ordered as the rock shrimp was so well fried I wanted to try too!!! 

Braised short rib with tosazu vinaigrette... tender melt in your mouth short rib and the acidity of the vinaigrette really helped counter the richness of the beef...

Chefs selection of rolls... we also had sushi... the rice was at the perfect temperature and the seasoning was just right, slight touch of acidity and saltines really worth it !!!

Now just looking forward to going back and trying the big brother Masa restaurant and that $500 menu !!!! On the wish list for 2012!!!!