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Barcelona: Cinc Sentits


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It has been a couple of months since the visit but I finally took the time to post this review. I would firstly like to thank all eGulleters who with their suggestions made our days in Barcelona much more culinary satisfying. All the eGullet recommended places we dined at were spot on, the other impulse tries were, perhaps not surprisingly, sometimes quite appalling.

So to Cinc Sentits (five senses). Unfortunately our budget only allowed for one fine dining experience and I had initially opted and booked at Commerc 24, mostly due to the more Ferran Adria style cuisine. A week or so before our departure I was pouring over some threads on C24, and kind of panicked. It seemed you either could have a truly marvelous evening at C24 or an absolutely horrid one, with the chances being roughly equal to either experience. Should I chance it, with the possibility that our supposedly finest dinner become a horrible experience? After sifting through the Barcelona threads some more I came up with the solution. Cinc Sentits, the statistics for Cinc Sentits seemd to be that you either got a wonderful evening or a just acceptable one, not a horrid one. Luckily they could on very short notice accommodate us on Saturday the 27:th of January.

I had booked the earliest time, 20:30, being touristing foreigners from Northern Europe I expected we would have managed to build up quite an appetite by that "relatively early" hour. And rightly so, after Picasso, Gaudi, and in particular my female traveling companions shopping frenzy :biggrin: we were ready to dine. We took the Metro to l`Eixample were Cinc Sentits is situated, first stopping at the Font Magica for the nice show.

As we arrived we were warmly greeted by Jordis (the chefs) mother. Only two other couples were there at that time, all foreigners. But later on more and more people would come, mostly locals I guessed from what they were speaking. The dress code seemed to be quite relaxed. A local couple was sitting opposite our table, they seemed both bored to death of each other and the food. The bloke was dressed in a shirt and blue jeans. The restaurant itself is quite small and minimalistically decorated with a see through kitchen (don't expect any Ramsay telling offs here though, I can't remember hearing anything from the kitchen at all). So on to the nine courses of glorious food which was served during one and a half hours time or so.

First up was the by now mandatory CS Shot amuse bouche. A layered shot of warm maple syrup, chilled cream, cava sabayon, and some rock salt at the bottom. The shot reminded me a little bit of the liquid caramel truffles from l'Artisan du Chocolat in London, very tasty and sweet but I think I would have preferred it after the meal.

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The shot was within minutes followed by Quails eggs in veloute with nuts, and something I understood (probably incorrectly though) as Sabol flower.

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The comforting Quails eggs were quickly and pleasantly swallowed after which the younger and more enthusiastic of the two waiters presented us with a selection of mini bread rolls. We had a choice of Walnut, Olive, and plain white bread rolls, during the evening we tried them all. To me they were quite delicious, in particular the Walnut one.

Then we were presented with Foie Gras on a puff pastry base with caramelized leeks, chives, and a Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar. The crisp top layer of the Foie had been caramelized with sugar. The Foie was perfect, probably my second favorite dish of the evening.

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A few minutes later we were served a single big Galician scallop with Jerusalem Artichoke puree, leeks, and sea salt. Very nice.

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The fifth dish was Sea Bass on bed of Risotto. Again this was perfectly executed, super crispy skin with then meat perfectly done.

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Now came our younger waiters favorite (as he joyously pointed out) Iberian suckling pig with a caramelized apple wedge, apple compote, and a red wine reduction sauce. Incredibly tender. I had expected a slightly darker and gamey taste but I guess the baby pigs probably hadn't had time yet to really "develop" their flavor.

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The desert courses started with a cheese and Walnut cake. These didn't leave a truly lasting impression on me. I'm sure they were both good but I remember asking myself at the time if they go so well together.

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What really blew my mind was the citrus sorbet with a warm and sour citrus sauce and vodka foam. The flavor contrasts of the two citrus parts were amazing. It really woke me up. Hidden beneath the sorbet was also a sponge cake of some sort.

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Last but not least came a chocolate crocant nougat with a walnut ice cream with a string of Nutella on the side.

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These desserts were good and tasty but perhaps not as characteristic as some of the other dishes.

To summarize the dinner I must say that both I and my dinner companion were rewarded with a truly memorable evening. All the dishes were cooked absolutely flawlessly, the only minuscule criticism I could have was the sometimes somewhat over generous sprinkling of salt on some dishes. We spent just about over three and a half hours there, leaving a little past midnight.

Lastly, I would like to thank my beautiful dinner companion Simone for being the wonderful person she is making the evening truly magnificent, and also wish her a very happy birthday (since it just so happens to be her birthday today).

Edited by shuren (log)
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Welcome to eG Forums shuren, and great first post! I'm so glad you enjoyed 5 Sentits, and I agree, the foie gras is really good. Do you remember what the cost of the tasting menu is now, and did you opt for a wine pairing?

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Now I am majorly disappointed that Cinc Sentits is closed on Mondays, as that will be our only un-accounted for dinner in Barcelona on our rapdily approaching trip. Should anyone care to chime in about other places we should definitely try, please feel free................

On other other evenings we'll be dining at Loidi, Cal Pep, and a private dinner party at El Principal.

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Now I am majorly disappointed that Cinc Sentits is closed on Mondays, as that will be our only un-accounted for dinner in Barcelona on our rapdily approaching trip.  Should anyone care to chime in about other places we should definitely try, please feel free................

On other other evenings we'll be dining at Loidi, Cal Pep, and a private dinner party at El Principal.

Mondays are difficult, but I would swap Cinc Sentits for any of those you mention - you'll eat better in CS and for about the same price.

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Welcome to eG Forums shuren, and great first post! I'm so glad you enjoyed 5 Sentits, and I agree, the foie gras is really good. Do you remember what the cost of the tasting menu is now, and did you opt for a wine pairing?
Edited by shuren (log)
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Now I am majorly disappointed that Cinc Sentits is closed on Mondays, as that will be our only un-accounted for dinner in Barcelona on our rapdily approaching trip.  Should anyone care to chime in about other places we should definitely try, please feel free................

On other other evenings we'll be dining at Loidi, Cal Pep, and a private dinner party at El Principal.

Edited by Silly Disciple (log)

We''ve opened Pazzta 920, a fresh pasta stall in the Boqueria Market. follow the thread here.

My blog, the Adventures of A Silly Disciple.

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Now I am majorly disappointed that Cinc Sentits is closed on Mondays, as that will be our only un-accounted for dinner in Barcelona on our rapdily approaching trip.  Should anyone care to chime in about other places we should definitely try, please feel free................

On other other evenings we'll be dining at Loidi, Cal Pep, and a private dinner party at El Principal.

For Mondays I can suggest Rias de Galicia, a bit pricey but quite possibly the best Galician in the city. If you like seafodd, this is heaven.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The omakase menu has been getting more expensive over the last year to the point where I can't really afford to go any more. I suppose they're charging the same as other places of a similar standard but one of the joys of CS used to be that it was more affordable than the rest. I think it reflects the fact that a large percentage, or perhaps even a majority, or the clientelle now seem to be tourists.

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OMG, it was so much fun and delicious night !!!

I has the same menu as above, except that I had white asparagus with a foam of walnuts instead of the quail eggs.

The suckling porc was wonderfull.

photos and report later.

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OMG, it was so much fun and delicious night !!!

I has the same menu as above, except that I had white asparagus with a foam of walnuts instead of the quail eggs.

The suckling porc was wonderfull.

photos and report later.

that settles it i was debating to eat at cinc or sauc,or epai but ive made my mind up look forward to seeing the pics, im going in august if i can get table day after i visit the bulldog up country.

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Now I am majorly disappointed that Cinc Sentits is closed on Mondays, as that will be our only un-accounted for dinner in Barcelona on our rapdily approaching trip.  Should anyone care to chime in about other places we should definitely try, please feel free................

On other other evenings we'll be dining at Loidi, Cal Pep, and a private dinner party at El Principal.

When I was there a few months ago, Cinc Sentits was closed Monday evening, but OPEN for Monday lunch.

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Points and suggestions all well taken, but as we were hosting several friends, and up to a party of 18, over the weekend, the bottom line was definitely a factor. We ended up having a wonderful time in Barcelona, and a fantastic family celebration.

Sometimes, hard as it is to swallow (so to speak), it's not always just about the food....... :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...

I had dinner at Cinc Sentits late July, with the smaller of the two tasting menus. While I enjoyed my meal (the 30-hour veal cheeks in particular were perfect), I thought my meal was a bit more ingredient-driven than I expected. I checked my notes from dinner there 2 years ago, and my first meal did seem more technically "flashy", with more unusual flavor and texture combinations.

I'm fine with ingredient-driven meals of course (after all I live in San Francisco!) But I was hoping for more surprises when I travel.

Also ate at Abac for the first time on this trip; again it was excellent (that roast suckling pig, whew), but less "surprising" than I expected. (On previous trips, I've eaten at Comerc 24 and Espai Sucre, among others.)

Bill

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  • 11 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry - my visit was delayed a week. Together with some other professional chefs and foodie friends I ate at Cinc Sentits last Monday. The Sensacions tasting menu was truly sensational. Yes, it's ingredient-driven by Jordi Artal's obsession for produce as local and fresh as possible, but when you cook as well as they do there's no need for gimmicks. I thoroughly recommend it. I'll write up my experience on my blog soon and provide a link here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the delay. I've written my review of Cinc Sentits at last and posted it on my blog at this address:

http://aidanbrooks.blogspot.com/2008/08/sixth-sense.html

As I said before, I was totally blown away by the food there. But you do need to appreciate ingredient-led cooking to really enjoy this and you won't find nearly as many frills and thrills as in more traditional El Bulli derivatives such as the restaurant in which I currently work. Just pure, beautiful ingredients cooked perfectly.

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  • 1 month later...

Spanish Panache - Cinc Sentits – Barcelona

How can so many svelte women be on display in Barcelona? Don’t they know that four star dining abounds. Surely they must because they are to be found at those tables, but there must be a caloric catch somewhere. So much taste, so much elegance, so little time. Among these choices none is better than Cinc Sentits – a brilliant establishment that revels in the five senses (the soundtrack included Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin - a pack of rats in a clean, cool trap). Of my meals within the boundaries of Barcelona, the finest meal was that splendid lunch at Cinc Sentits, a temple of light near the University of Barcelona. Cinc Sentits is a college of the senses.

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I began with one of the most compelling and thrilling starters in recent memory: a shot glass filled with drama and with love: cava, cream, and maple syrup with a little salt as accompaniment: all of the passionate food groups were here: champagne, cream, sugar, and salt in a jewel-like composition. I was dazzled by the light.

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A second, deeper starter was a tomato ice compote served with a slice of sausage, garlic foam, and small bread cubes: gazpacho deconstructed. The presentation was exquisitely composed and a cool counterpart to the hot streets of a waning Barcelona summer. By forcing the diner to contemplate the construction of gazpacho, it did what majestic modernist cuisine must do: to turn food into theory, while keeping it at the peak of delight.

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Then followed a squat square of foie gras: a cube of liver with an elegant and rich pasty layer beneath and a crispy burnt sugar crust above. Like so many such dishes it might have overplayed a desire to transform foie into dessert, but what saved the dish from a sugary mass was the subtle play of textures throughout, as fetching as a rectangular crème brulee.

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The seafood plate was a perfect rectangle of tuna in a smoked tomato water with a roasted onion “sofregit” (a tomato-onion-olive oil sauce) and black olive salt (Cinc Sentits is partial salt as a condiment). Perhaps tomato water represents the ultimate downsizing of French saucing, but such lightness makes one feel healthy, forgetting the calories elsewhere (The secret of Spanish beauties). If not as filled with drama as the amuse, it was a subtle, slinky dish.

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Iberian suckling pig was the last in a trio of rectangular cuisine. Fatter and denser than what had been previously presented, this sous-vide pork – perhaps slightly mushy as served - wallowed in its richness, swathed in a crispy ratafia glaze (a fruit cordial) and sprinkled with (more) salt. The texture was a bit off, but the taste was dense and complex and precisely porcine. To recapitulate the lifeworld of a Spanish sow, apples served as the accompaniment: in cooked slices and as an apple jam with wine and honey.

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Dessert was a plentiful plate of gloriously zesty Maresme strawberries (an area on the coast of Catalonia known for these ruby berries). On top sat a scoop of marscapone sorbet with some fennel and rose water. One can not term this combination “simple;” splendid is more precise. Airy, herbal, flowered, and divine.

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Cinc Sentits is a restaurant for the five senses. By no means the most expensive restaurant within town limits, of my dozen meals this was the pinnacle. Cinc Sentits is Catalan splendor on high heels.

Cinc Sentits

Aribau 58 (Eixample)

Barcelona

93-323-9490

http://www.cincsentits.com/en/index.htm

Vealcheeks

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think we might have eaten there on the same day. My best meal at 5S, and that is saying a lot. One of the dishes that I ordered off the menu was the "canalons a la catalana." If Catalan cuisine is part of your culinary genome (as docconz argues on the MOTO thread) you might be sent to epicurean heaven. Absolutely the dish to have this winter in Barcelona.

l

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I think we might have eaten there on the same day.  My best meal at 5S, and that is saying a lot. One of the dishes that I ordered off the menu was the "canalons a la catalana."  If Catalan cuisine is part of your culinary genome (as docconz argues on the MOTO thread) you might be sent to epicurean heaven.  Absolutely the dish to have this winter in Barcelona.

l

Lenski, what made the canalons so distinctly Catalan? What was the preparation? How do they compare with the canalons from Gaig, to date the best that I have experienced?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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They are very similar to Gaig (who, by the way, was eating at Tapaç24), but at 5S they are minimized....as if instead of "canalons" it were "macarrons." Gaig were regular canalons, no reinventing the wheel. Here they create another wheel, same dish conception different presentation and elements, same results. However, it is the process that the diner experiences (the known elements being confused by the different visual and textures). It is a very small dish, size-wise, but very effective flavor-wise. I will send you a pic.

It was my best 5S meal ever.

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