Exceptional Catalan gastronomy
I wanted to finish off my Barcelona trip on a high so which better place other than a gastronomy evening at Lasarte, which supposes to be the very best Barcelona has to offer? Lasarte is a 2 Michelin stars restaurant inside Hotel Condes in the city centre of Barcelona. Run by the world renown chef Martin Berasategui, his flagship restaurant "Martin Berasategui" near San Sebastian has been on my "to go list" for a while so it was good to check out his Barcelona outlet to understand what his food has to offer and it turned out to be one of the best dinner I ever had in my life.
We went for the 10 courses tasting menu but with large amount of appetizers and extra desserts I ended up with about 15 courses in total. Even the appetizers of were very high quality, high in technical skills, please on the eyes and well refined in taste. Out the lot the last appetizer of Iberico Pork sandwiched with foie gras was the real star, the flavour was well balance and constructed.
The trout tartar was fresh and medium in body, the neutral flavour from the curd cucumber added a soft texture on top. The smoked oyster was truly world class with its freshness and smoothness. The soft cream had great layers of flavour and each crispy tubers had a good numbers of dry prawn within, crisp for the grown up!
|Trout tartar and tangerine and curd cucumber|
|Lightly smoked oyster on the grill with soft cream of Figueres, |
small squid ragout
The vegetable salad was a work of art, the jelly at the base managed to hold everything together with each of the herbs and sprouts curried significant flavours to kept the dish fresh and full of taste bud sensation. The beef steak was another treat to the palate, the salad was refreshing, the foie gras added a great creamy texture and the mustard ice cream went exceptionally well with the thin slices of beef.
|Vegetable leaves salad, herbs, sprouts and petals |
with lettuce cream and lobster
|Tempered beef steak on foie gras curd, iodized salad |
and mustard ice cream
And it just keeps getting better and better, the red prawn was sweet and fresh, combining with the creamy sea urchins and the nutty caviar showcased a high contrast of simplicity and complexity at the same time. The home yolk and cauliflower was another quality dish, it was a texture puzzle: soft, crunchy, smooth, a mix of everything but it worked brilliantly.
|Red prawn, royale of sea urchins, caviar of goat's burned milk and almond|
|Home yolk with toasted butter, black truffle toast, cauliflower, |
crunchy black garlic with piment d'Espelette
The turbot was executed beautifully, cooked at the perfect level, the support ingredients was just as good, each bite just left you wanting more, all the ingredients created a perfect harmony. Oh and the pigeon.... It was pigeon at the highest order, it was rich, elegant and packed with flavours, no bitterness and just melt in your mouth. The apple cream added a small hint of fruitiness and softness, truly spectacular.
|Low-temperature cooked turbot settled on onions and paprika marmalade, |
braised endive with barnacles tarama and black olives
|Roast pigeon, ragout of pork, tomato and lemon with |
apple cream and interiors toast
The melon Caipirinha was a fun and refreshing dessert, great use of cocktail technique. The French toast dessert on the other hand was heavenly, not overly sweet with that lovely nutty aroma came through from the coffee creme. it was classic at its best and went perfect with my PX sherry.
|Melon Caipirinha with jelly, lemon-grass ice cream and yoghurt|
|French toast with frozen coffee creme and plum compote|
What a fabulous experience, the service and the wine sommelier were at very high standard and I failed to find any fault with the tasting menu which is extremely rare. The food was just so refine and intelligently put together. All the flavours worked out wonderfully and it was close to perfection. I can say that my dinner at Lasarte was one of the best menu I ever had and if I make a direct comparison it was just as good as Ledbury if not better. I am now wondering if Martin Berasategui's flagship restaurant can take me to the next level.... Barcelona turned out to be a food heaven and it seems the overall cooking level is a nose above London and usually at better value too. I shall return!
My Lasarte experience in full:
Trout tartar and tangerine and curd cucumber
Lightly smoked oyster on the grill with soft cream of Figueres, small squid ragout and crispy tubers
Vegetable leaves salad, herbs, sprouts and petals with lettuce cream and lobster
Tempered beef steak on foie gras curd, iodized salad and mustard ice cream
Red prawn, royale of sea urchins, caviar of goat's burned milk and almond
Home yolk with toasted butter, black truffle toast, cauliflower, crunchy black garlic with piment d'Espelette
Low-temperature cooked turbot settled on onions and paprika marmalade, braised endive with barnacles tarama and black olives
Roast pigeon, ragout of pork, tomato and lemon with apple cream and interiors toast
Melon Caipirinha with jelly, lemon-grass ice cream and yoghurt
French toast with frozen coffee creme and plum compote
What I paid:
£145 per head with 3 glasses of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
£80 dinner menu
£122 tasting menu
Carrer de Mallorca, 259, Barcelona, Spain