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elBulli 2008 reports


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The first months of every season El Bulli tends to repeat dishes from the previous year and it is not until june that they start serving completely new menus, so probably most of the dishes that I got came from last year's menu.

Are you sure, that the beetroot meringues with yogurt weren't the lighter red balls lightly dusted in white further down your page that you are labeling "shiso caramel?"

You're probably right, there was so many dishes that I can mistake that one.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,

I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to visit El Bulli with my wife and two of our close friends for lunch two weekends ago, Sunday May 18th.

The experience surpassed our expectations and two weeks later I can still vividly recall the tastes and textures we experienced.

I have put up a photo set on Flickr.

Thanks to others on this thread (Pille and Rogelio in particular) for the help cross-referencing my photos since several of the items were quite vague (or simply didn't appear) on the menu.

-Daragh.

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Hi all,

I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to visit El Bulli with my wife and two of our close friends for lunch two weekends ago, Sunday May 18th.

The experience surpassed our expectations and two weeks later I can still vividly recall the tastes and textures we experienced.

I have put up a  photo set on Flickr.

Thanks to others on this thread (Pille and Rogelio in particular) for the help cross-referencing my photos since several of the items were quite vague (or simply didn't appear) on the menu.

-Daragh.

That's a great set of photos although it took me a little while to figure out how to get flickr to display the captions.

We're counting down to our visit in about 2 weeks time.

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Hi all,

I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to visit El Bulli with my wife and two of our close friends for lunch two weekends ago, Sunday May 18th.

The experience surpassed our expectations and two weeks later I can still vividly recall the tastes and textures we experienced.

I have put up a  photo set on Flickr.

Thanks to others on this thread (Pille and Rogelio in particular) for the help cross-referencing my photos since several of the items were quite vague (or simply didn't appear) on the menu.

-Daragh.

Nice job! I would think that lunch would be much fun there, but then anytime is much fun. Your meal really displays the continuing evolution of the techniques of elBulli. The Soup is a particularly good example as it shows their ability to encapsulate liquids in specifically shaped gels. The spherical "peas" with ham stock shows that they can make their spheres to a distinct and specific color. It would be interesting to know if the color of the peas was due to the inner liquid being green or if the gelled shell was green. In addition, I would be curious if they could (at this time) incorporate just about any color. I would bet that they could.

As marvelous as the techniques are in their own right, it wouldn't matter if the food was not delicious. That is, however, what makes this restaurant so special. The combination of amazing imagination, delicious food, outstanding setting and service as wonderful as anywhere makes this an unbeatable experience.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

The wine list comes in a 200 page book ... there's a bewilderingly huge range available.

I simply asked the wine waiter for recommendations that would go well with the food and gave him a guideline price range and we weren't led astray. The local red - Clos Mogador - was an especially great recommendation as I was unfamiliar with Catalan wines and now I'm exploring the region further to my great delight.

-Daragh.

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I'm just recovering from my trip to elBulli on Wednesday. Full write-up to follow, but it was a truly amazing experience. Some phenomenal dishes; the suckling pig tail, sea anenome with rabbit brains, spherical olives and veal tendon were amongst the best things I've ever eaten. Some truly awful dishes; one of peach stone with sherry and raspberry was hideous beyond belief and the pinenut and chocolate bon bons were vile. I'm still yet to take it all in. But incredible fun, amazing service and the most incredible location for a restaurant in the world. Terrifying drive though!

If you get the chance, go. There is nowhere quite like this place

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I'm just recovering from my trip to elBulli on Wednesday. Full write-up to follow, but it was a truly amazing experience. Some phenomenal dishes; the suckling pig tail, sea anenome with rabbit brains, spherical olives and veal tendon were amongst the best things I've ever eaten. Some truly awful dishes; one of peach stone with sherry and raspberry was hideous beyond belief and the pinenut and chocolate bon bons were vile. I'm still yet to take it all in. But incredible fun, amazing service and the most incredible location for a restaurant in the world. Terrifying drive though!

If you get the chance, go. There is nowhere quite like this place

IMHO The sea anemone with rabbit brains was hideous beyond belief and the pinenut and chocolate bon bons were fantastic, so I guess tastes differ. My complaint BTW wasn't with either the anemone nor the brains: either of these tasted fine when fished out of the sauce, but the sauce itself was overwhelmingly bitter.

Sadly we got a bit of a run of not so great dishes together (peas 2008 was ok but not great, Judy didn't like the crustaceans eel, and we weren't overly impressed by 'castanets' although that may be because we couldn't work out what the waitress had tried to tell us about the dish.

I finally got around to doing a writeup on my blog: the overall conclusion is that we're glad we went, but we're not going to be queueing up to get another booking.

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Negrito (local rock fish)

gallery_11496_5962_16795.jpg

That's interesting: we had Negrito at Rafa's. It was delicious but didn't look anything like the El Bulli version. :laugh:

We were told it is a variety of tuna but with white flesh. It's a bit hard to Google for further info though as there are too many irrelevant hits.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Oh, and San, the sesame cake you loved, ultra moist, etc, guess what the secret is?

It's "baked" in the microwave for 40 seconds,

check out part of the recipe, posted on the Madrid Fusion site:

gallery_36345_5912_44836.jpg

Alex, would you happen to have a link (or a saved file) to this full recipe for the micro-sponge? it seems the MadridFusion site is down. This technique is intriguing, and I would love to have a baseline to work with.

thanx

-CW

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all,

it's with great jealousy that i read all the reports on this blog.

I've tried for a few years now to get reservations when they open the list around October time. to no avail.

Is there a better way than others to get a booking? we'd only be two people for lunch or dinner during june.

should i start emailing now?

should i be specific on the date or does being flexible limit my chances?

or is calling the best way?

etc.

any advice/help would be much appreciated.

thanks

fergal

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Is there a better way than others to get a booking? we'd only be two people for lunch or dinner during june.

should i start emailing now?

should i be specific on the date or does being flexible limit my chances?

or is calling the best way?

etc.

Apart from getting late cancellations I think there is no point in emailing any time except when they say: mid October. Send them an email early on 15th October.

Opinions seem to vary, but I asked for a specific date for my wife's birthday (and also said I'd accept any other date). I think they probably select more specific requests first, and they do seem to like doing birthdays: that's a pure guess but based on a 100% success rate (one application, one success). :smile:

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  • 2 weeks later...
It's already Sept 25, has anyone emailed yet?

There is no point in emailing yet. I think Duncan's advice is pretty good, though sometimes the date is a bit (but not much) earlier than the 15th. If I remember correctly it is the weekend around or just before the 15th during which they start accepting requests.

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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It's already Sept 25, has anyone emailed yet?

There is no point in emailing yet. I think Duncan's advice is pretty good, though sometimes the date is a bit (but not much) earlier than the 15th. If I remember correctly it is the weekend around or just before the 15th during which they start accepting requests.

I emailed on 13th Oct and got a table. Confirmed in November. The season next year is 16 June - 20 December. Agree that there's no point in emailing early.

Adam

Edited by ajnicholls (log)
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It's already Sept 25, has anyone emailed yet?

There is no point in emailing yet. I think Duncan's advice is pretty good, though sometimes the date is a bit (but not much) earlier than the 15th. If I remember correctly it is the weekend around or just before the 15th during which they start accepting requests.

I emailed on 13th Oct and got a table. Confirmed in November. The season next year is 16 June - 20 December. Agree that there's no point in emailing early.

Adam

That calendar is a major departure from what they have done in the past. The actual dates are available here. I hadn't heard about that before and am curious as to the rationale for the late start and finish. Perhaps it is simply a desire to extend there season into one of different products?

edited to fix a link.

Edited by docsconz (log)

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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Sorry, John, but this link is not to the promised land of wisdom... Could you get us the real link??

Sorry. It is fixed now. :smile:

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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It's already Sept 25, has anyone emailed yet?

There is no point in emailing yet. I think Duncan's advice is pretty good, though sometimes the date is a bit (but not much) earlier than the 15th. If I remember correctly it is the weekend around or just before the 15th during which they start accepting requests.

I emailed on 13th Oct and got a table. Confirmed in November. The season next year is 16 June - 20 December. Agree that there's no point in emailing early.

Adam

That calendar is a major departure from what they have done in the past. The actual dates are available here. I hadn't heard about that before and am curious as to the rationale for the late start and finish. Perhaps it is simply a desire to extend there season into one of different products?

edited to fix a link.

While being able to cook with autumnal ingredients is something Ferran is looking forward to, I found out that the principle reason for the radical departure of the elBulli schedule is due to the extraordinary travel schedule that Ferran is about to embark upon, including jaunts around the world. These trips include a significant amount of time this fall and through the upcoming spring in the US involving amongst other things a stint at The Harvard Business School. Additionally, Adria will be visiting Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Australia and destinations in Europe. No doubt he will be feted wherever he goes. I hope that he manages to stay in shape and healthy! The full schedule is extraordinary.

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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High praise from AA Gill in The Sunday Times

For instance, a dish of rabbit brains and oysters was superlatively brilliant, as was a smear of hare pâté on a wafer of chocolate. A dish of tagliatelle that turned out to be frozen shavings of foie gras in the mouth was a heavenly surprise, and an olive that was a balloon of agar jelly full of olive oil made me laugh out loud. A dish of coconut water and coconut milk with dabs of caviar was such an inspired and complementary match that you wondered why caviar wasn’t always served in a coconut. There are dishes that play with bitterness and that strange cardboard and plastic taste that the Japanese love, and despite what you’re thinking, none of this is done for dinner-table amusement or as a party trick. It’s all gastronomically, aesthetically and emotionally honest.
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