Lime Cactus, Tequila, Green Leaves
Galician Salmon, Cured Egg Yolk, Trout Roe, Soya Butter, Nori Textures
Bloody Mary On the Rocks
Barnacles, Lemon Froth
Melon with Iberian Ham – Melon Meringue/Ham Ice, Melon Soup/Ham Spheres
Lobster au Naturel – Coral, Seaweed
Sun Dried Tomatoes, Salmorejo, Egg Yolk Cocktail, Frothed Toasted Honey
Cereal Bread, Apricot Bread, Olive Oil
Rock Fish, Crusty Scales, Thorns Consomme, Sea Beans, Citrus
Stewed Tuna Morillo, Sour Sherry Consomme, Mushroom with Tuna Marrow and Spinal Jelly Buñuelo
Tuna Rice, Mediterranean Stew, Tuna Belly, Pecorino Romano
Duck Rillettes, Spicy Blinis, Crunchy Nervures and Tongue Salad
Catalan Bean Stew with Butifarra Blanco, Butifarra Negro Pods, Beans, Pork Broth, Pistachios, Bean Leaves
Pigeon Royale, Offal, Garlic, Whey
“Fragile” Pillow with Strawberries, Roses, Yogurt, White Chocolate, Citrus
Infused and Frozen Wood, Vanilla, Chocolate, Sunchoke, Treacle, Resin
Double Espresso, Ice
Apple Tartin-inspired Tartlet
Mignardises – Raspberry ‘Lipstick,’ Lavender Meringue, Raspberry Cheesecake, Hazelnut Chocolate, Chocolate Tablet, Melon, Citrus Drops, Cocoa-Mint
Toqued by Chef Jordi Cruz since 2010, the 39 year old now holding two-Michelin Stars for the past five guides, ABaC Restaurant was booked as the final meal in Barcelona largely as a result of afternoon reservations available on Sunday, a 13h30 arrival at wooden gates where guests are buzzed in unfortunately followed by an excruciatingly long lunch featuring disinterested service and gaps as long thirty minutes separating one course from next.
Part of a Historical Building, the former home of photographer and film-maker Doña Madronita Andreu since renovated and converted into a boutique Hotel, ABaC Restaurant resides on the lower floor of a space containing rooms starting at roughly €225 and with a location far outside city-center those looking for a something a little more quiet and luxurious than average lodging are invited to partake in both Spa Therapies and several other amenities in addition to their meal.
Described as Modern Spanish Cuisine, Chef Cruz’s talents highly acclaimed since he was a teenager and the first of several Michelin Stars earned at the age of 24, guests arriving at ABaC from off-premises will immediately find themselves seated on a lush patio on arrival, the decision to forgo an Aperitif nonetheless followed by a lengthy wait before being led to a brief visit to the kitchen’s exterior, the meal starting off oddly as “Bloody Mary’s Macarons” listed on the menu were never presented, lunch instead beginning with a frozen Margherita Meringue served atop a Cactus and followed by foam-covered Salmon Tartare.
At this point finally led to a seat, the menu choice confirmed in a room with Grey drapes, thick linens and table ornaments reminiscent of those at Martin Berasategui’s 3* Lasarte, it was here that the concept of a Bloody Mary was apparently to be repeated in the form of a Eggplant-shaped Ice Sculpture intended to be cracked and eaten as a palate refresher, the idea better than its execution as the flavor was fairly bland while the follow-up of tender Barnacles in Citrus Broth was slightly briny but otherwise tilted towards acid.
Never having staged at ElBulli or other modernist temples like so many of Spain’s great young Chefs, Cruz’s talents instead learned in culinary school and honed across several Restaurants prior to settling at ABac, it was with a highly modernist duo of Melon Meringue with Ham Ice and Melon Soup with Porky Spheres that that the meal lurched forward after the first of several lengty waits, the space picked up slightly for chunks of tender Lobster served in a broth made from boiled Carapace, Roe and Seaweed.
Taking a big step away from subtle flavors with the next plate, traditional Salmorejo served with additional Tomato flavor thanks to three Sun-Dried Fruits resting in the creamy Potage beneath lightly sweet Froth, it was here that another twenty-minute gap would be bridged with two styles of housemade Bread and a tiny silver decanter of Olive Oil, both loaves quite good as was the Rockfish to follow, though much as with the Barnacles the flavor of Lemon mostly overwhelmed the Bone Broth.
Finally embracing the expected Catalan flavors with plate nine, a vertebrae topped in stewed Tuna with Spinal Jelly and Sherry served alongside a Donut packed with more Marrow and roasted Fish, it was in continuation of this concept that tender Rice arrived with Tuna Belly, Cheese Foam and Tomato Stew, a truly comforting dish that kicked off three meaty courses including smoky Duck Rillettes intended to be eaten like Tacos with a Salad made from fried Tongues and rich Bean Stew enriched by Pistachios and Sausage in two textures.
At this point bringing forth a tableside steamer, the waitress informing patrons that this would be used ‘later’ it was as the device bubbled away that meal’s final savory was presented, a thick cut of Pigeon served in mineral-rich sauce atop a Mousse of its insides funky and rich with just a bit of Garlic soon to be washed away by a the flavors of Strawberries and Flowers served as a light Cream wrapped in Sugary glass.
Apparently making a Souffle at the table, a small cake slowly rising and soon to be revealed as Chocolate infused with the flavors of “Wood and Vanilla,” it was alongside a much-needed Double Espresso that the moist Cake was enjoyed despite a dirty hint of Sunchoke, the “Apple Tartin-inspired Tartlet” an interesting blend of rounded Fruit Pieces and Dippin’ Dot-style Ice Cream while the Sweet Pumpkin suggested on the menu was again never seen, the meal concluding at nearly 16h45 with several Mignardises including a smooth Raspberry Cheesecake and a Popsicle made to resemble a tube of Lipstick.