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Posts posted by Neu

  1. Gabe, I just wanted to thank you for your explanations on how the different meringues

    were made.

    I went to the German 3 start restaurant Dieter Müller this weekend and it was the first time that I

    was asked if I wanted to have a look at the cookbook during the meal.

    This would have distracted me too much at El Bulli but it was quite nice to be able to look up

    how parts of the food I was eating had been perpared.

  2. Hello Yin,

    thanks a lot for uploading your photos.

    I'm very impressed by the number variations from the dishes I had.

    With the exception of the raw shrimps and the blueberries with milk skin

    the courses seemed to be different, even the rasberries with beetroot look

    unlike the ones I had.

    I will definately be back, hopefully rather sooner than later.

  3. I noticed that at El Bulli this year there was an unusual high number of dishes that

    included meringue. There's a beetroot meringue, a fever tree tonic meringue, a pistachios meringue

    and I think the fresh pine cone was a kind of meringue, too.

    Does anyone have a any ideas of why there are so that many meringue dishes?

    My speculation would be that the meringue's at El Bulli are done with the freeze drying techique

    (though I'm not sure about this) which I think is a relatively new introduction to Adria's repertoire.

    Another reason might be that the meringues add an element of crunch and crispness to the dishes

    an aspect that is sometimes missing in Adria's preparations.

  4. thank you for the feedback, yin.

    it would be great to see photos of the extra dishes you had.

    as you've been to noma in different seasons did you have any

    meals there that you preferred to others?

    i really liked how fruits und fruit juices were included in the dishes

    and was wondereing if you missed them in a winter meal.

  5. Heston Blumenthal’s Chilled Summer Treats



    It’s already been a month now since Blumenthal served his summer treats as part of the Manchester International Festival but I still wanted to post some photos of the dishes.

    Mushy Pea Sorbet with Candied Bacon and Mint Syrup


    The pea sorbet was very mild and it’s smooth texture was a nice contrast to the sweet strips of bacon.

    Strawberry & Vanilla Sundae with Olive and Leather


    The leather aroma that came in the form of an articficial (and therefore vegetarian) oil was barely noticeable compared to the taste of olives. I guess it was mostly there for the fun and for the attention it would get. I would have found this out of place at Fat Duck but I think it fitted under these circumstances. There was also a surprise element to this dish: some poppy candies that exploded in your mouth.

    Chocolate Wine Slushicles with Millionaire’s Shortbread


    The chocolate wine slushicle was extremely rich. And what made the shortbread a „millionaire’s“ one were the gold flakes placed on top of it. The snack was served with a napkin on which a culinary history of the chocolate wine slushicle was printed.

    The thing that most struck me the day I visited Blumenthal’s beach hut is how many parents took their children there. It was great to see the children’s reactions to the mushy pea sorbet and the sundae. Some were reuctant and didn’t want to try pea sorbet. Others got a kick out of the fact that they were eating leather and seemed very excited. Assuming that not many kids are usually dining at Blumenthal’s restaurant I found this a great way of introducing unusual flavour combinations to children and have them think about what they are eating.

    I also found that Blumenthal’s event at the Manchester International Festival would have been a good alternative to Ferran Adrian’s decision to participate at Kassel’s Documenta by simply hanging a menue at a wall and flying two diners to El Bulli every day. To have a snack stand in addition wouldn’t have compromised the cooking at his restaurant while giving more people an idea about his take on cooking.

  6. I'd be interested to hear what you had. I went to Noma for lunch so it might be quite different.

    If you have either the lobsters or the vegetables on the rock: I'm wondering what spices the lobster

    was prepared with and how the malt earth on the vegetables was done.

  7. It’s been taking a while to post this – almost six weeks in fact.

    We walked to Can Roca from the city centre which I can only recommend. It’s

    A nice 24 minutes walk through a park and over a bridge and the restaurant was easy to find.

    We had the lunch tasting menu, which cost €78 (a bit more I think than in previous years).

    Because our menu was in most parts the same as docsconz’s and fromagophile’s on their recent visits I don’t write a dish by dish report but just comment on some of the dishes.

    Overall, the meal was of very high quality and made for a fantastic dining experience. Apart from El Bullli it was the most memorable meal we had on our trip to Catalonia where we also ate at Sauc, Hisop and Espai Sucre in Barcelona among others.

    Here is the menu we ordered:


    Parmesan chips with truffle oil

    Crunchy Cod Fish

    Black olives crunchy

    Sesame crunchy


    Fennel Veloute with sea water and barnacles

    Parfait of pigeon, Bristol Cream, orange and spices

    Fig’s terrine with bitter tender almonds and foie gras


    Spring Mushrooms cold soup with avocado and pines ice cream

    Artichokes with sunflowers and orange

    White asparagus souffle on embers

    Codfish with pumpkins and red paprika oil

    Kid with goat milk parmentier and mint


    Lactic dessert

    Roses souffle

    Trip to Havana

    With one exception I liked all dishes a lot. Some particular favourites were the foie gras bon bon, the artichokes, the asparagus souffle, the kid, lactic milk and trip to havana.


    Very good bread selection as well. I had to restrain myself not to eat too much of the bread and butter.

    White asparagus souffle on embers



    This was the best asparagus dish I’ve ever had. I thought that the smoke was not just a nice effect but actually enhanced the taste of the dish. Our waiter was very young and eager to help in explaining the dishes to us. When we asked how the smoke was put under the dome he said that it’s the same pipe that’s used for marihuana pipes...

    Codfish with pumpkin and red paprika oil


    What I did like about this course were the caramelized pumpkin seeds that added some bite to the dish and were a nice and surprising sweet contrast to the red paprika oil. However, for the rest I didn’t care much about and I agreed with BrianZ, docsconnz and fromagophile: this was the most disappointing part of our menu. I don’t think that it was tasting bad just quite bland. Because of this (and because I knew that another main course was still to come) I returned the half full plate. The waiter was truely concerned about this, asked if I didn’t like it and offered to have another fish dish prepared (which sounded tempting but I declined nevertheless. What happened next took me a bit by surprise. The plate was brought back into the kitchen. Because of the placement of our table I could look into the kitchen from where I was sitting. A few people people in the kitchen glanced the returned plate and then one member of the kitchen staff looked at me through the window and then shook his head in disapproving disbelief. The not empty plate seemed to have truely shocked him and it left me with a mixed feeling of amusement and being unpolite for not having eaten everyting.

    Vegetables with potato purée


    This was the vegetarian course that my girlfriend got instead instead of the codfish. I would have much preferred to get this as well. It was just potato mash and cooked vegetables but judging from the two bites I could steal from my girlfriend it was the best I ever had. The next vegetarian course (as a replacement for the goat kid) was equally traditional and excellent at the same time: a risotto with Spanish mushrooms that were just in season and white truffles. Unfortunately i didn’t take a picture of this.

    Trip to Havana


    I couldn’t resist asking for this Can Roca classic, despite being a non-smoker. The cigar smoke that was pumped into the vanilla icecream lingered in your mouth for a good while after you ate a bit and the deconstructed mojito provided a refreshing contrast to the cigar taste. A great way to finish a meal.

    After this we were asked by the waiter if wanted to have a look at the kitchen. We were introcued to the youngest of the three Roca brothers Jordi who is the patissier at Can Roca and created Trip to Havana. He showed us the devices that he used to put the cigar smoke into the cream and the smoke that got in the dome for the asparagus dish (the first one was a simple mechanical pump, the second an electric pump).

    We walked back to Girona’s city center. Around the corner of Can Roca we saw a big building site of a house with a big glass front that said Torre de Can Roca. So could this be their new location?

  8. I finally made it to Noma yesterday after hearing and reading so many great things about it. They had just started their new monthly changing menu and the individual courses were clearly marked by great summer herbs, fruits and vegetables.

    Compared to previous reports you could see a distinct thread of familiar products and preparations running through the August menu. However, all dishes except the skin snack were newly composed.

    Quail eggs


    The egg was very soft and delicious. My only regret is that I ate it too fast and that my memory of it’s taste disappeared too quickly. Of course the bed of hay was not meant to be eaten. But hay did end up in my mouth three courses later, though in a different state.

    Raw shrimps and green gooseberries – Fresh cream and dill


    Very cold and fresh. The gooseberry granité added a great juicy flavour to the shrimps. The combination of three clear harmonic taste components seems typical of René Redzepi’s kitchen. The dish also exemplifys Noma’s approach in that it is unmistakenly Nordic and places the seasonal product at its centre using modern preparations.

    Shoots and malt – Potato puré


    The stone that the dish was placed on was warm. Some would have probably found the vegetables undercooked but I preferred the bite they had. The al dente texture was also a nice contrast to the malt dust on top and the hidden, creamy potato puré.

    Skate wing and mussel liquor – Cauliflower in different textures


    Here, the hay turns up in the form of ashes. The small cauliflower stems on the fish cooked at different lengths reminded me of Ferran Adria’s „asparagus in different textures“. The surprise element that brought a smile to my face was a sharp acidic note that suddenly popped up on my tongue. I first thought of capers but it turned out to be elderberries that were salted and pickled in vinegar for 3 months.

    Warm lobster salad. Red current wine and beach herbs


    The lobsted was caught in Danish waters and was unbelievably sweet and meaty. Simply the best two bites of lobster I’ve ever had. The fruity sauce was a joy as well.

    Goat-kid and „dust“ of thyme – Hazelnuts and mushroom


    Both, the kid and the thyme almost melted on the tongue. The kid was cooked sous vide for 24 hours at 63 degrees celcius together with cream and gammeldansk – a Danish bitter. The crunch of the nuts and mushrooms was a good contrast to the softness of the meat.

    Raspberries and beet roots – Marinated rose hips


    I’m not a big fan of beet roots but this was a fantastic dessert. When mixed together the bitter taste of beet was an excellent contrast to the sweetness of the rasberry sorbet. Similarly to the potato puré underneath the vegetables on the stone there was also a hidden pleasure to be found below the red fruits that can’t be seen on the photo: a cream with oak crumbs.

    Blueberries and milkskin – Pickled pine tree shoots and sweet bread


    The childhood memories I have of milk skins are not among my favourites but this felt

    very good when combined with the blueberry sorbet that laid underneath. This was the last dish of the menu but I had a go at one more dessert...

    Beer porridge


    Apparently a Danish classic that is a favourite bedtime dish for children (interesting to note at what early age Danes are already being acquainted with ale). Rye bread is soaked in beer, then sugar and milk are added. Here the milk cream is added through a syphon and accompanied by a sheep milk sorbet. Milk foam syphon. comfort food. This was a very comforting dish with a nice temperature contrast of the hot soaked bread and the cold milk cream.

    I had high expectations of Noma and was not disappointed. I’ve never felt so relaxed and comfortable at Michelin starred restaurant before. For such modern and innovative food the dishes came across as very natural even effortless and not constructed at all. This struck me as especially remarkable considering that this was the first day of a completely new menu being served. Every single course was a success and managed to provide at the same time new and unexpected flavour combinations as well as the feeling that the food was more familiar to me than that at French or Spanish restaurants.

  9. Here are three alternative vegetarian courses that my girlfriend got. Of course there were more but others have been mentioned before as part of the regular menu this season (like the flower paper and two other highlights: the icy truffles of meringue and peas with artichokes purees).

    sesame airbag


    This came as a replacement of the pork skin. It was as light as the beetroot meringue and had a strong sesame flavour.

    cous cous


    Despite the title this was no cous cous but Adria’s version of a classic combination. There were stripes of tomato powder, olive oil and basil sorbet and a glass of parmegian water (not on the picture). Eaten together this just tasted like the mediteraen classic. The different textures and temperatures added to the sensation.



    This was the hottest dish of the evening. Very spicy green pepper raviolis with liquorice. One of the most interesting combinations of the evening.



    A Jamaican fruit – related to lychees - with sea cucumber. Very soft.

    I’ve never been to a michelin starred restaurant before were so much care was given to a vegetarian’s needs (and they would have even served a complete vegan menu, too).

  10. El Bulli at Documenta



    The day we visited was the second one that El Bulli was part of the German art exhibition Documenta which takes places every five years in Kassel. I don’t know how much press Adrian’s inclusion as the first chef in one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions got outside of Spain and Germany. Judging from the view articles I read in the English edition of El Pais I had the impression that the Spanish press focused on the question if food can or should be considered an art form like painting or sculpturing. In Germany there was an unprecedented number of articles on single cook in the last couple of weeks. Every major newspaper and weekly magazine had major articles and interviews with Adria. However, the size of media awareness was opposite to the knowledge of most of the features. Almost all the articles were written by journalists who had never eaten any of Adria’s dishes (which, of course, is not easy taken the difficulty in getting a reservation at El Bulli in the last couple of years) and many just focused on the more spectacular side of „molecular gastronomy“.

    Adria was the first artist that was announced as being chosen for the Documenta late last year. And ever since there had been a lot of speculation what he would actually „exhibit“ there. Apparently Adria didn’t know himself. He consulted Juan Mari Arzak’s daughter Marta who works at Guggenheim Bilbao and reportedly was close to pulling out of taking part at the Documenta as he realized that he couldn’t simply transport his kitchen to Germany and that putting up photos of his signature dishes wouldn’t be much of an alternative either. What he would do was only disclosed two weeks ago at the start of the Documenta. A menu was put up on a wall and a table was reserved for two persons for the duration of the Documenta at El Bulli. This solution was both – an anti-climax and only logical but it received lots of bad press in Germany. It was said that the director of the Documenta would randomly pick two visitors of the Documenta each day (for each day that El Bulli is open that is) and fly them to Spain to have dinner there. However, the day of our visit the Documenta guests were somewhat less arbitrarly chosen. They were employees of the Documenta and were seated at the first table to the left. On the day before the visitor chosen was another artist who exhibits at the Documenta.

  11. I’m a new member and had dinner at El Bulli last week for the first time. I was surprised by the number of dishes that were different from other recent reports.

    Here’s a photo of the menu we had.


    I noticed that the menu of the first report this season from smoz included quite a number 2006 dishes like liquid croquette, parmesan frozen air, raisins of px, zucchini risotto, the sea and crab marrakech.

    I think the only dish we had that was already on the menu last year was the spherical olives. Our meal was closest to the one oanababy had but there were some significant changes.

    Here are photos and comments on dishes (or variations of dishes) that haven’t been posted before

    Gold Nugget


    Only a minor variation. It’s a gold rather than a silver nugget. The nugget consisted of a mix of rice and curry (and was painted with a special emulsion so that a camera can’t put it in focus :wink:)

    Pork Skin


    This was served instead of the rice crackers in previous reports. The crunchy balls were made out of Iberian ham. I wouldn’t have minded a bag full of them to take home...

    Pistachios Sponge Cake With Acid Milk Mousse


    Variation of the pistachio sponge cake. The meringue was very dry, salty and fragile and fit extremely well with the soft milk mousse.

    Fresh Pine-Cone And Pinions Dacqoise


    This replaced the flowers paper (although my girlfriend got this dish later as part of her vegetarian menu). This dish was again described as a meringue to us but its texture was completely different from the previous meringue dish. In between the two outer layers was the soft pine nut butter cream. If you took one bite it melted immediately in your mouth.

    Fever-Tree Tonic Meringue With Strawberries


    Yet another meringue. This served as a palate cleanser. Very light and it reminded us of our openinge cockatail (a cosmopolitan). Below the meringue you can see on the photo was a scoop of lemon sorbet with mint.



    I’m not sure if this is the right spelling for this dish as it was handwritten in our menu. I had asked before the start of our dinner not to be served any blue cheese so I got this instead of the gorgonzola dome (which my girlfriend had and which I liked despite my dislike for gorgonzola). This was miso caviar served out of a caviar can like Adria’s famous melon&passionfruit caviar. What is difficult to see on the photo is that the caviar sits on a transparant layer of tunafish jelly that the plate was filled with. The miso and the tuna worked very well together.

    Risotto of Citrics


    This was one of my favourites among the many highlights of the menu. It’s a warm dish of grapefruit, coconut and sesame that your are asked to eat together. It’s a simple mix of flavours but one I’ve never tasted before.

    Razor Clams with Laurencia


    A variation of the razor clams this came with warm seaweed.

    Shark Fin with Shimensi


    This was in fact chicken with mushroom. Probably the title was meant as a joke, maybe it was a printing mistake but I doubt anyone was actually served shark fin.

    The chicken jelly came in one piece and was warm. The mushrooms tasted great but this was the dish I liked least of all. Actually, from all the menu the „main“ fish/meat dishes were the least successful ones in my opinion. I was much more ecstatic and surprised by the starters and the desserts than by some dishes of the middle part. As my girlfriend had ordered a vegetarian menu I could taste a vegetarian alternative each time I received a fish or meat dish and to my own surprise I preferred the veggie dishes in almost every case (usually this is the opposite: how many three star restaurants are there that offer vegetarian degustation menus? And how many are there that come up with a special vegetarian dish for each course that bears no resemblance to the meat/fish dish). I think my brain finds it too difficult to translate a chicken flavoured jelly into the same delight that I would have felt if the same flavour came as a hot soup or a freshly roasted piece of meat (while my brain doesn’t have these problems when it comes to vegetables or fruits).

    I’m in some conflict here. On the one hand I consider Adria’s quest for a pure essence one of his greatest achievements. And one reason why I loved his menu so much is that he achieved maximum lightness with maximum flavour. BrianZ mentioned in his recent spring break report that he’s „still at that point in (his) eating life where (he)’d rather eat 10+ very small thing than 4 more substantial items, even if the four items are of marginally higher average quality than the selection of ten.“ The same is true for me and in this regard the 26 courses I ate at El Bulli made me feel like a king. I just wish I would have liked dishes like the chicken with mushroom more.

    Just as an example: the two meals I had previously to the dinner at El Bulli were lunch at Rafa’s in Roses and a degustation menu the day before at Can Roca (I plan to post a report of my meal there in the next couple of days) in Girona.

    Gambas at Rafa


    Kid With Goat Milk Parmentier at Can Roca

    Both these dishes were absolute fantastic and I would say that in their simplicity they both presented the essence of what prawns or kid should taste like. But I found them far more enjoyable than the meat/fish dishes at El Bulli that evening (with the exception of the Haricot bean with Joselito Panceta). It strikes me as a bit unfair to compare both dishes to the ones at El Bulli and I also think that I would have rated other Ferran dishes like sea cucumber, crap marrakesh or espardenyes (which weren’t part of the menu) higher. But I was wondering about the opinions from other eGullet members of have eaten at El Bulli regarding this.



    The fish was accompanied by pine cream and seaweed. This was the third time that seaweed was used as part of a dish. I’m not a particularly big fan of seaweed so I could have one without it.

    Eel Beef Marrow


    This was meant to be eaten from left to right. The eel and beef on a leaf first followed by the flower that the cucumber. I found this to be the most most successful of the fish/meat dishes.

    Noisette Butter with Rabbit Brains


    So rabbits instead of lamb. I think the jelly in the picture was made with Worcester sauce. It was the first time I had rabbit brains and while I thought the taste was fine I didn’t enjoy eating them all that much.

    Torta Canarejal with Red Fruits


    This was a warm rasberry sheep cheese fondue with kirsch air.

    Sweet Frost Fruits


    We had blackberrys instead of the rasberrys in docsconz’ dessert. You had to eat this very fast as otherwise the liquid of the fruit would have destroyed the meringue shell. At one point a few dishes before I thought that I couldn’t eat any more. However, I would loved to have a few more of these frost fruits.



    Peach ice cream instead of the tangerine one.


    After this dish we were asked if we wanted to go outside and sit on the terrace for a coffee and the morphings jellys. By that time it was 1am. It was a beautiful early summer night and the only sound you could hear was the crashing of the waves. Ferran Adria came outside to chat to his guests. It was a great end to a memorable evening.

    Here you can view photos of all the dishes we had:


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