Friday, January 20, 2012

Alkimia *One Michelin Star*

We are not really a fan of molecular gastronomy
call us old and conservative but we do have our reservations on it
El Bulli the brainchild of Ferran Adria has been perpetually permanently closed
for ever and ever and ever
yes it's closed if u r still thinking of goin there someday
we were late for.....say....4 months
it is now undergoing renovation and will only reopen as an academy
reason being, El Bulli wasn't making money for the past years so they decided to close it

well with that kind of military drill and wastage on ingredients
one can imagine the amount of white asparagus used just to make one single pearl that burst in ur mouth in just under miliseconds....

Dining in Barcelona is pretty affordable, well in Paris it will cost 3.5 times more for the same type of food and courses
so after much research and readings, we decided to make reservation at Alkimia = Alchemy in english

helmed by Chef Jordi Vila
a young talented chef who won many accolades of awards
one of the very few to modernised spanish and catalan cuisine here
he is said to be the next Ferran Adria
a deconstructed piece of Iberico ham and tomato inside the glass

Jordi Vila remove the essence off *god knows how many tomatoes* and placed them back into the glass shot with olive oil and seasoning
the crisp piece of ham was funky
so as part of the traditional courses of a Catalan Tapas, u have the ham and this is it!!!

basically u can say Chef Jordi Vila is playing with techniques and creativity
using the basic ingredients
and re-intepret the traditional cuisine into a modern molecular Catalan cuisine

*Barcelonians don't consider themselves as Spaniards...they are more European and called themselves Catalonians*
**just like how Parisiens defined themselves instead of French**
another small bite of appetizer which I forgotten what it was
after the first shot of food, our expectations grew higher at Alkimia
one can't expect what to be laid on the table after such a funky 1st appetizer
even after reading from its menu....coz the menu looked so normal

there's 2 degustation menus u can choose at Alkimia
there isn't ala carte *dun say I didn't warn u*
there's the Alkimia Menu with 11 courses
and the Traditional Menu with 7 courses
coming to such a creative place with a molecular chef, u better try the Alkimia menu
even the bread was so yummy
with persimmon, nuts and some other dried fruits innit
I couldn't stop myself from piling on them
Tomatoes Trinxat with Codfish
it looked so pretty :))))))))))))))

usually this dish is also served at any Tapas outlet
so I have to re-iterate that dining here is like doing a high-end-tapas
but with a different format and intepretation

the fish were sous-vide I think coz it was soft and melt in ur mouth type
with crispy crumbs on top, sweet sourish tomatoes that gave this fish a different dimension
lastly those green colored garnish that came with it...

I was like "Wat Was THAT?????"
apparently it's some undersea algae/seaweed/chlorophyll life form
it has got a very crunchy texture and hollow body with a tang of sweetness innit
Spaghettini with seafruits

the "pasta" was made from zucchini
with loads of weird creature fr the sea
weird does not necessary mean bad but "unexplored" coz it was so new to me
including some alien looking mollusc fr the sea

the taste profile was outstanding bcoz it was like eating directly from the SEA!!!!
sweet and savoury with good texture
my only complain....I WANT MORE!!!!
next was a mushroom dish depending on the fresh ingredients of the day at the market
so there was a mixture from small to huge and variety of thickness all cooked into one
that includes that lil piece of crispy chip was made fr mushrooms
and its frothy juice
very earthy taste, even a non mushroom eater would be surprised
pickled oyster with glazed pork cheek and sauteed spinach

first of all who the hell pickled an oyster??????
but Chef Jordi Vila did and he managed to maintain its taste profile and texture
it has got a sourish taste with a slice of pickled lemon

to be eaten with the glazed pork cheek
it was a very generous portion of cheek....the whole piece of cheek each person!!!!!
when u positioned ur knife to cut efforts needed...
it was almost like eating Sea Cucumber
However I found it to be too rich...well it's a damn piece of yummy succulent soft pork cheek!!!

maybe that's why the Chef used pickled oyster to balance the richness of the cheek
astounding texture of the cheek
Pieces of cuttlefish on its ink sauce
and GINGER!!!!
wow wat a surprise

well in any Tapas courses, cuttlefish cooked with its own ink is quite common
but using GINGER??? it's so Asian and he pulled it with flair
I thoroughly enjoyed this one
by separating the ink and the while cute cuttlefish actually made this dish more palate-able
instead of downing a plate/bowl of black squirmish errrr sea creature
Dublin Bay prawn with onions
just slightly grilled to maintain its natural taste
at this point, we were quite full already

especially eating late...
Spaniards/Catalonians don't eat dinner till 9.00pm
and their very first seating starts at 8.30pm
so this meal proceeded till midnight....hahahahahaha
Fish of the day with onions and black olives!!!
my favourite
just by looking at the color of the fish u knew this dish is worth every single drop of ur drool
by the way it's a red mullet found only in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea
wow so pretty!!!!!
how do I begin?
Special Chickpeas with its skin

chickpeas are usually served before your main course in any Tapas establishment
so when this arrived, we knew main course is lurking nearby
later, broth were served together with the soft chickpeas
a light, heartening and yummy dish
Beef wtih mustard seed and deep fried onion rings!!!!
all the other seafood-based dishes were too oustanding that it outshone the beef
I don't mind another plate of fish hahahahhahaa
Tomatoes and cucumber gazpacho with sheep milk ice cream
this was rather weird...when we first saw it at the menu, we requested it to be changed
but the Maitre' D that we must try it because it's "different"

yep indeed it was different
too different that we couldn't accept it
yeah tomatoes and cucumber goes well
but then not as dessert
hmmm prollie the Catalonias eat this way?
the next and the last course redeemed itself
chocolate fondant with "burned" rum ice cream
despite hugging our tummies....everyone finished their piece of chocolate fondant
more desserts~~~~~
I forgotten wat it was....:P
sorry heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :D
deep fried dough coated with sugar
another street-food served all over Barcelona just like churros
ohhhh I love Churros will post about it soon
so nice but I was just too full!!!!
but not this one!!!! ice lollies aka ice creams with nuts coated with white chocolate!!!!
nice :)))
yes the card is even nicer....I don't have it -_-
by invitations only :'((((
u can buy a house with it

Overall food experience was pretty good
they could improve on the service though
I mean for a Michelin starred establishment, there's no excuse not to be able to speak proper english
or at least communicate with your diners or serve the ladies first -_-
wine list...hmmmm nothing interesting but then again we are not so adventurous esp when it comes to Spanish wine...they have good cavas though!!!!

Alkimia Restaurant *One Michelin Star*
C/Industria 79,
Tel: +00 34 9 3207 6115


May Ng said...

Wow.. 'burned' rum and raisin ice cream? I'm so curious how it tastes like

I'm a big fan of anything rum related hehe.. Rum makes just about everything so much better LOL

CHER-RY said...

Gong Xi Fa Cai May!!!!

it tasted funky!!! u know how men loves their cigar and rum/cognac? well apparently the taste really balanced up....

burnt = cigar
Rum = rum/cognac

yup my fav ice cream = Haagen Daaz Rum & Raisins!!!

Chasing Food Dreams said...

aw.. I didnt know El Bulli closed.. :(

I guess with the academy, there will be new offsprings to look forward too...

the Alkimia course looked amazing!!

CHER-RY said...

Food Dreams: yes....:"((((( it's closed....:"((((((
lesson whatever u want...don't wait...