Frozen Passionfruit Ladyfinger with Rum
The Beet that comes out of the Land
Lychee and Roses
Panchino con Caviar
Savory Walnut Candy with Mango, Tonka Beans and Whiskey
Smoked Instant Apple Cider
Mille Feuille of Idiazabal
Mandarin Flower Wafer
Gazpacho Sandwich with Vinegar Garnish
Super Tender Almonds in Vinaigrette
Crispy Egg Yolk with Mushrooms Gelatin
Multi Spherical Tatin of Foie Gras and Corn
Salmon Ribs with Tarragon Mojo
Razor Clams and Seaweed in Salt
Our Macaroni Carbonara
Liquid Salad, Tomato Polvoron and Arbequina Oil Caviar
Sea Cucumber Noodles
Langoustine in Suquet, Cappuccino Suquet
Pigeon Consommé with Tarragon
Pigeon and its Liver BonBon
Pibil Style Pigeon
Black Sesame Cone
Tarta Al Whiskey
Coffee Swiss Roll
Cotton of Cocoa and Mint
Already a Michelin Star recipient and seeing a marked increase in interest since being named the “Miele One to Watch” winner at the 50 Best Awards earlier this year it was for lunch on Wednesday that a seat was taken at Disfrutar, former El Bulli Chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch putting on quite a show and packing the place even as many claim that “molecular cuisine” has run its course.
Translated as “to enjoy” in English, the restaurant’s signage going so far as to create its first letter from in the form of a smile as a sort of wink towards the experience diners are promised within, it was just prior to 13h00 that a short queue stood in front of 163 Calle Villarroel, the doors soon to unlock and guests quickly guided through a narrow bar as well as the kitchen en route to the expansive dining room complete with outdoor garden.
A completely self-funded operation, the three friends expressing in multiple interviews how their collective process is essential to the restaurant and a continuous goal of refining and perfecting each guest’s experience, it is at both banquets and tables in a room of layered textures that seats are offered, the service a perfect blend of personality and professionalism that is absolutely essential given both the pace of the meal and the number of tableside presentations.
Offering three menus, one classic and one seasonal with the longest a blend of the two that totals 32 items it was with all allergies and aversions declined that the Menu Disfrutar was selected, the first bite arriving less than two minutes later featuring light-as-air Passionfruit Ice mellowed by Rum followed by a swirling bowl revealing Beet Sugar Meringue and a Rose from which perfumed Gelee are licked off before finishing with a frozen “Raspberry” made entirely of Lychee.
Dining without pairings, a vocal table to the right from San Francisco frequently heard complaining about both the rapid pace of the meal and how Wine never lasted long enough for all the courses with which it was intended to be consumed, it was tuning them out and focusing on the intended experience that dish four immediately raised eyebrows by packing hot bread with Cream and pristine Fish Eggs, the brine washing over the palate in a very pleasant way and lingering there until it was cleared just a few moments later by an edible Walnut Packet and Mango poached in Vanilla with Whiskey.
At this point setting up a boiling tableside contraption for later, the Chefs featuring several fluids as part of the menu either as dishes themselves or as compliments to another flavor, it was as the “Smoked Instant Apple Cider” boiled that a crunchy Mille Feuille of Idiazabal Mousse was enjoyed before a floral Communion Wafer sandwich, “Disfrutar’s Gilda” next on the list with slices of Mackerel and Anchovy served next to styles of Olive both pure and modified.
Impressed by the Gazpacho Sandwich, a Macaroon-textured two-bites that taste exactly like the namesake Soup, it was in follow-up that both raw Almonds and Nut Pudding were served in a bubbling broth followed by a fried Yolk over an Egg filled with Mushroom Consommé, the “Multi Spherical Tatin of Foie Gras and Corn” taking Ferran Adria’s Olives to a new level with eighteen individual bubbles served on buttery pastry layered with Foie Gras.
Not particularly impressed by “Ceviche Deconstruction,” the Ice and Panna Cotta textures contrasting oddly on the palate, it was with the ship back on course that tiny bites of Bone-In Salmon with their Roe were presented next, the Salt-Roasted Razor Clams unearthed tableside another very impressive dish that married performance to flavor as was “Our Macaroni Carbonara” that eschewed Italy by way of Cream from an ISI container and perfectly al dente “Noodles” made of Gelatin.
Continuing to dance back and forth between rich flavors and light ones, the duo of Liquid Salad and a Tomato Shortbread refreshing before again diving deep to taste “Noodles” of Sea Cucumber, spicy Mussel Laksa and Langoustine Stew served next to foamy Bisque of the same, fans of Fowl will no doubt be impressed by the three-part finale of cold Pigeon Consommé, an Offal Bon-Bon and Pibil-style Breast with Baby Corn and pickled Onions used to offset light heat and a pronounced acidity.
Bridging savory to sweet with Pandan in several textures, the leaves presented as part of a description of the plant for those unfamiliar, it was with the sweetened flavors of Black Sesame that the meal marched onward, one real Cherry and one made of Ice Cream offered next before guests were asked to consume a boozy two-part “Cream Pie” after washing their hands with a shot of Single Malt Whiskey.
At this point just 130 minutes in, the kitchen’s suggested pace perfect for solo diners and those visiting the restaurant to dine as opposed to reminisce, it was after a bitter-sweet Swiss-Roll that tasted like Tiramisu that the meal’s final plate arrived, a single puff of Cotton Candy plucked from a blooming plant with the bold up-front flavor of Chocolate and cooling linger of Mint.