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Alkimia


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I had heard about this 2 tier approach too, and for that reason, made sure to say "we eat everything" and then asked for the chef to select for us or opted for the tasting menu if there was one. In fact, in Comerc 24, the waiter visibly relaxed and smiled when I uttered these 'magic' words.

However, I love to get good descriptions of whatever dish I am eating, which I find adds to the experience. As I said, the language problem is mine. I realise that when Spanish people come to Dublin, our waiters are unable to give them much help with translations.

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Corinna,

Going to both Alkimia and Cinc Sentits this weekend. I'm calling it the "Battle of the Jordi's". Hoping the Belfast tastebuds can cope, the photos above look amazing. I'll post the definitive up to date comparative review next week!

How did you get on at C24, have you been yet?

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We really enjoyed it, but I am a new gastronomy novice compared to some of the people on the Forum. I did a post on it under the Comerc 24 thread. I haven't been to Alkimia or Cinq Sentits (which sounds great), so will be really interested in your feedback. If you have any extra time, really suggest you add Can Roca to your itinerary. This was the highlight of our trip (see Can Roca thread).

Re Belfast tastebuds, I can confirm that they will be up to the job as one of the people we dined with at C24 is from there! Have a wonderful time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Corrina: I haven't posted our latest Barcelona dining experience but I think I can offer some helpful pointers. We originally loved Abac going back 4 years ago. It continues to be an excellent dining experience, albeit now more expensive.

That fact lead us to investigate other young Barcelona chefs. We became Alkimia advocates for the last three years.

As of 2003, we visited Hisop. We were elated with it's dynamic menu. Their innovative recipes restated traditional items transforming them into modern savory dishes. Hisop became our Barcelona favorite. I have yet to post our last June, 2005 visit. We were again thrilled with the chefs tasting menu.

This last May 25, 2005 trip, was a first visit to CincSentits. We ordered the Omakase tasting menu. It was excellent. Again I haven't posted the details, but I will.

We were thrilled with CincSentits culinary choices. We would advise that you visit both Hisop and CincSentits. Should Hisop close, we will be truly disappointed. We

hope and pray Hisop will continue to provide its marvelous dining experience

Judith Gebhart

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Great feedback. Thanks Judith. In fact, yesterday, I was just discussing the (slim) possibility of getting back to Barcelona in autumn and visiting Hissop. I really like the sound of it and hope it will still be around.

Edited by Corinna Dunne (log)
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Corrina: I haven't posted our latest Barcelona dining experience but I think I can offer some helpful pointers. We originally loved Abac going back  4 years ago. It  continues to be an excellent dining experience, albeit now more expensive.

That fact lead us to investigate other young Barcelona chefs. We became Alkimia advocates for the last three years.

As of 2003, we visited Hisop. We were elated with it's dynamic menu. Their innovative recipes restated traditional items transforming them into modern savory dishes. Hisop became our Barcelona favorite. I have yet to post our last June, 2005 visit. We were again thrilled with the chefs tasting menu.

This last  May 25, 2005 trip, was a first visit to CincSentits. We ordered the Omakase tasting menu. It was excellent. Again I haven't posted the details, but I will.

We were thrilled with CincSentits culinary choices. We would advise that you visit both Hisop and CincSentits. Should Hisop close, we will be truly disappointed. We

hope and pray Hisop will continue to provide its marvelous dining experience

Judith Gebhart

I completely agree with Judith. Given my limited experience in the abovementioned restaurants (I've been once to Alkimia, once to Comerç 24, once to Hisop, and several to CS), I would not hesitate to point both Hisop and CincSentits as the best value right now if you're looking for young BCN chefs (yes, I said young. you can thank me later, Jordi :wink:) offering "dynamic menus" as Judith calls them, culinary creativity and excellent service at a very fair price.

Again, in my experience both Alkimia and C24 fail in one or more of these aspects (as does Cal Pep, but that's a different story altoghether).

I am not counting Abac, Drolma, Gaig, Colibri and maybe one or two more places, as either I think they don't fall into this category or I just haven't been to them yet.

SD

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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I have been sitting on this review for a year. All of this took place in July 2004. I'm glad to see there was a thread and I'm glad to see someone took some pictures of the meals on this thread. My digital camera would not focus or adjust the appropriate lighting to do justice to the subjects so I do not have pictures that would help illustrate my descriptions better.

My colleague Hector & I headed off from our chaperone duties to go to Alkimia,

a restaurant reviewed as one of the places to go to in Barcelona by the NY

Times. This restaurant is located in a very quiet residential neighborhood, a

good 10-15 minutes away from the Latin Quarter & the Ramblas. Cab rides are

quite cheap in Barcelona so it is WORTH it!! It is located at 79 Carrer de la

Industria. You better get there quick for we both agreed it was one of the best meals we

ever had in our lives. It is a very quiet, unassuming place that you’d might peek

in the window if walking by, but could easily miss it altogether. It only has 12

tables. Reservations are suggested, not just due to the size of the restaurant, but

because it only serves dinner between 8:30PM & 10:30PM. You don't get kicked

out if you're still eating after 10:30PM, they just won't seat anyone else after 10:30. As you all know, the Spanish dine rather late & 8:30-10:30 could seem EARLY to typical Spanish diners.

The decor is rather minimalistic: white painted walls, marblelized flooring with a

matte finish, boxed, recessed lighting, brown & rust colored material seats,

with alchemy formulas & symbols painted on the wall. The walls also had cutouts

filled with bud vases in dark brown hues. The tables had white tablecloths & napkins--

simple & elegant, but not too pretentious.

We were greeted at the host station at 8:20PM for an 8:45 reservation. We were the only ones there as the staff was finishing setting up for the evening. We were seated right away; Hector was impressed with that because in the finer NY restaurants, he says they would make you wait around for no reason other than being pretentious. Hector translated the whole menu into English. There was no English menu at the time. Maggie, Sonia, Irène, & Roman were all superb servers, regardless of any language barriers. They answered every question, and if they didn’t know, they went back and asked the chef, Jordi Vilá.

STARTERS:

Artichoke & bellota ham salad dressed in a carquinolis vinaigrette 11E

Anchovies with fresh tomato, onion al dente & recuit ice cream salad 13E

Green asparagus & mini courgettes w/cod in a romesco sauce 12E

Cream of tomato soup w/ a red fruit salad & cockles (the salad has Strawberries,

raspberries & a raspberry granita) 13E

Baby squid w/ enpurcia (a style of rice) al dente 18E

Coca of tuna tartare w/ black olive spread 11E

Loin of tuna w/cherries, bacon, & a pesto ganache 17E

Capipota in black butter of coffee (a pinon fish w/ potatoe puree & chickpeas) 11E

Morels of cod tripe, tirabeque peas, & crunchy belly pork 17E

Fried eggs & potato puree, sobrasada & quince jelly 7E

MAIN COURSES:

Oxtail w/potato chive 16E

Entrecote of beef w/aubergine roasted in an open fire 18E

Barbeque lamb w/cheese fondue, thyme hoad 22E

Steak tartare in soya w/potato souffle in a spicy broth 17E

Foie w/pickled pears, spring onions, & cocoa consommé 21E

Caneton a l’orange w/pont-neuf carrots & olives 20E

Pigeon w/roasted sweetbreads, wild mushrooms & asparagus 21E

Saffron rice w/red peppers & Dublin Bay Prawns 20E

White fish w/potatoes & roast onions auce/candied tomato 21E

Cod w/black olives, dried apricot & yoghurt 17E

Scorpion fish in a Dublin Bay prawn sauce & chopped hazelnut paste 25E

Angler fish in a cream of almonds, courgette flowers in batter a la Romesco sauce 20E

Turbot w/white asparagus & an orange & onion sauce 24E

DESSERT:

Selection of Catalan cheeses 8E

Cherries in black wine, parmesan cheese & thyme soup 6E

Flan w/caramelized banana, coffee, & lemon with amaretto ice cream 5E

Chocolate cake layered w/sunflower seeds w/spice ice cream & iced peach 7E

Pineapple w/lychee soup, candied celery, & eucalyptus ice cream 7E

Semi-smoked cheese quiche w/ fennel, hazelnut & passion fruit ice 5E

Goat’s milk jelly w/rosemary, pine kernels, & a red currant sorbet 6E

Gazpacho of peach w/cucumber & yoghurt 6E

Large Strawberry w/coconut scum & tea iced 7E

This meal was tied with the best meal I ever had. It was so different and for the quality of food AND quantity, it was a BARGAIN. With 3 glasses of wine & tip, I think we spent under $150 for the two of us—maybe $125.

What did we have? We received many “gratis” courses; we couldn’t believe it!!

We started with a gratis course: in a shot glass, liquid tomato (very clear) & bread w/ a cured Spanish ham that just burst with different flavors and textures.

Our next gratis course was a type of savory flan w/ shaved parmesan & macademia nuts. This dish was very cheesey & smooth, not sweet at all.

For starters, Hector had the cream of tomato soup w/ a red fruit salad & cockles. The color of the soup was a Halloween orange contrasted with the strawberries, raspberries which were sweet set against the saltiness of the cockles. It was an unusual combination, but refreshing.

I had the Loin of tuna w/cherries, bacon, & a pesto ganache. It had to be one of the best appetizers I ever ate. The tuna was so high grade and I am not one who likes raw sushi but the cherries, bacon and pesto ganache which resembled a wasabi in color and texture was just a mind-blowing combination in your mouth. Hector and I just had the eyes roll back in our heads, swooning from the flavors. It was our second food orgasm of the evening.

Our entrees were the Entrecote of beef w/aubergine roasted in an open fire and Barbeque lamb w/cheese fondue, thyme hoad. The beef was tender, juicy with a smoky eggplant that was earthy & a hint of heat. The lamb was a contradiction in terms of flavors….. I asked how to eat it. The lamb itself was a sweet, smoky b-b-que sauce, but I was told to dip it in the cheese thyme. We never got the name of the Spanish cheese. It was strong, but not like gorgonzola or bleu cheese, but the combination with the lamb sauce was so striking. Food orgasm again!!!

But the desserts would lead to more food orgasms; Why? Because we were given more desserts gratis after our own desserts. We chose the Chocolate cake layered w/sunflower seeds w/spice ice cream & iced peach AND the Semi-smoked cheese quiche w/ fennel, hazelnut & passion fruit ice. There was a certain way to eat the cake. It was served on a fused glass rectangular dish that was narrow with each ingredient in a certain position. I was told to eat the ingredients in the correct order starting on the right and working to the left. I’m not sure I remember the order, but each ingredient on its own was outstanding and to mix them in the mouth was just sublime. The cake was layed, but not sweet at all. The sunflower seeds turned out to be a sunflower mousse that was crunchy on top with a touch of honey. The iced peach was art and sweet, slightly frozen. The flavors of the cheese quiche, fennel, hazelnut & passion fruit ice was at first comprehension: “You gotta be f__ing kidding me?! But it worked. And each bite turned the mystery into more of an enigma. BUT WE WEREN’T DONE YET!!!

Here comes the free desserts which were presented in such an unusual way. There were some chocolate lollypops with some sour shite stuff on top served in a cylindrical shot glass in a base of brown sugar. Then, there was a long thin glass with 2 cookies in them: we called them coffee pirouettes (like the Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes in shape and size) only these had semi-sweet chocolate mousse inside of them. Then, there was a raspberry jelly encrusted with coconut. Then, there was a horchado—flan like with a frothy topping with cinnamon that was sitting on a mandarin orange gelatin base. Finally, there were puba or nuba cita (translates to “little clouds”) which were sweet meringue filled with passion fruit-light as a feather.

Wines were priced from 18E to 200E for bottles. We tried glasses of Riera Del Dvero & a 2002 Jane Ventara. I might have screwed up remembering these, but they complimented the appropriate dishes.

The bill was presented as if it were from the royal seal of a royal wedding. It was printed on high grade stationary served in a metal silver box (like a mini safe deposit box).

We went back to the kitchen and thanked Jordi himself.

The food & service were superb. This is a not to be missed place.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
I couldn't find a translation for tocinillo (just learned that Bux had it at elBulli!!!), so, a plea for help on this one.

Tocinillo is, I think, a custard dessert, fairly similar to a flan. And just like flan, there's a thousand variations. Not sure if there's any particular characteristic to it, but hopefully other people in the forum (pedro? victor?) will be able to tell us more.

I believe Tocino is fat back or uncured bacon. I assume Tocinillo, the custard dessert, more often described as tocinillo de cielo, gets it's name from its heavenly richness. I can't recall how it differs from other custards such as flan.

Tocinillo is made solely out of egg yolks and sugar. It's veeeeeeeeeeery rich but oh so good!

Middlebrow Catalan gastronomy??????

http://baixagastronomia.blogspot.com/

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