Tuesday, 8 May 2012

El Celler de Can Roca

Reservation Date: January 17, 2012 at 9pm
Chefs: The Roca Brothers (Joan, Josep and Jordi)
Duration: ~4 hours
Address: Can Sunyer, 48 17007 Girona, Spain
Phone: +34 972 22 21 57
Tasting Cost: 175 Euros

Welcome to the world of El Celler Can Roca! The right picture shows the entrance of the restaurant from the outside. The left picture shows the unveiling of the first amuse-bouche called The World - Mexic, Peru, Lebanon, Morocco, and Korea.

We arrived at El Celler promptly at 9pm and found ourselves to be one of the early patrons so we took our sweet time taking photos of the venue. Our expectations were extremely high for this restaurant knowing that it was the 2nd World's Best restaurant. El Celler did not disappoint. If this is your first molecular gastronomy experience, prepare to be blown out of your mind. This was actually my 3rd experience (having been to Alinea and Colborne Lane) but I was still wow'ed by the creativity of some of the dishes. It really like a Disney World for your taste buds and other senses. My favorite was the king prawn dish and also the amuse-bouches that just explode with strong flavours in your mouth. The downside for me was dessert. I didn't find any of the desserts particularly memorable especially compared to other fine-dining restaurants.

The menu is pricey since the tasting involves 13+ dishes (including the amuse-bouche). However, if you compare the price to tasting menus at other restaurants, this is an absolute steal considering the calibre and status of this restaurant. I've heard from friends that reservations here are extremely hard to come by so be sure you reserve early! For our trip, we lucked out since it was winter so it was a low season. I reserved just a month and a half in advance and was able to secure a spot with no problem. 

The world: Mexic, Lebanon, Morocco, and Korea
Caramelized Olive
Truffled bombon
Ring calamar adapted
Campari bombon
Zucchini omelette
Truffled brioche
Green salad - Avocado, lime, melon, cucumber, Chartreuse, sorrel, green shiso, tarragon, rocket, oxalis
Autumn salad - Sea urchin, pumpkin, sweet potato, quince, kaki, tangerine, boletus, edulis, distilled sand, sand of boletus, edulis, sand of pumpkin seeds, sand of walnuts
Oyster with Palo Cortado and white and black garlic
A whole king prawn - Charcoal-grilled king prawn, king-prawn sand, ink rocks, fried logs, head juice and king-prawn essence
Charcoal-grilled sole meuniere - Milk skin, black butter, lemon, capers, flower and citrus peel
Salt-cod brandade - Braised salt-cod tripe, salt-cod foam, olive-oil soup, shallots and honey, thyme and chili pepper
Iberian suckling pig blanquette with Riesling
Mango and summer - truffle terrine, beet, garlic, orange concentrate and saffron pistil
Red mullet cooked at a low temperature - stuffed with red-mullet pate and aniseed-flavoured herb, orange and saffron pistil
Steak tartare with mustard ice cream
Spiced tomato, caper and lemon compote, hazelnut praline, bearnaise sauce, Oloroso-sherry raisin, chive butter, Sichuan pepper, Pimenton de la Vera smoked paprika and curry, small scoops of mustard ice cream, mustard leaves, baby onions with vinegar
Lamb with charcoal-grilled sweet pepper and tomato
Wood-pigeon liver with onion, caramelised hazelnuts with curry, juniper berries, orange skin and herbs
Orange colourology - Orange, tangerine, egg yolks, fruit passion and carrot
Milk desserts - Milk caramel, sheep's milk ice cream, sheep's milk curd-cheese foam, sheep's milk yoghurt and milk cloud
Understory - Beetroot, chocolate, tangerine, tonka bean, cocoa and shiso

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