Superb value fine dining
Opened by Oriol Ivern Bondia back in 2011 who used to work at Neichel, Hisop is a 1 Michelin starred restaurant serving contemporary Catalan cuisine in the city of Barcelona. One of the main reasons I decided to book for Hisop was after reading some positive reviews from the local press and price-wise it is the most affordable Michelin restaurant in Barcelona. The decor of Hisop is very contemporary in design, inside a narrow space and the tables are quite close to each other as it is a tiny restaurant. We opted for the tasting menu, but with the format and portion sizes, it was more like a 5 course meal with 2 types of canapes and cheeses on top.
|Bacon lemon pie|
|Porcini royal with mackerel and tonka beans|
|Eggplant, smoked cheese and summer truffle|
Starter of eggplant was a great demonstration of a flavours composition, that combination of earthiness from the truffle and smokiness of the cheese with a hint of sweetness from the eggplant all linked up together wonderfully without overpowering one another. "Rossejat" noodle had a creative element by giving the classic Catalan dish a twist with the use of ginger and squid, the texture was thick and flavoursome with spot on seasoning.
|Serving the "Rossejat" noodle|
|"Rossejat" noodles with sqid and galanga|
|Hake with lemon verbena, mustard and flowers|
|Pigeon with roasted onions and rocket|
Hake with lemon verbena was another outstanding dish, the mustard element really brought the fish to life with semi spicy coolness with the citrus of the lemon delivering a great balance to the smooth texture of the hake. The best dish on the night was the main of pigeon and without a doubt, the meat was so moist and tender, cooked to perfection which left you wanting more and so was the meaty onion jus, the dish might looks simple but that is simplicity at its finest. The dish itself is unquestionably a 2 Michelin star dish as it was truly stunning. My only issue with the meal was the dessert, as I didn't feel the apricot had the right texture or the tasting profile to match the spiciness of the ginger and lemon-grass.
|Watermelon, chilly and tarragon|
|Apricots with hazelnuts, lemongrass, ginger|
Overall I was really impressed with my dinner at Hisop, some of the dishes are indeed top notch and the value is just simply fantastic. Oriol showcases some no nonsense approach in his creative cooking using top seasonal ingredients, while plenty of dishes might look simple and straight forward in presentation, taste wise they are spectacular. The front of house team were young but very professional and knowledgeable, at £44 for such a high quality meal which is almost impossible in the UK and with £21 extra, you get to have 7 glasses of matching wine ( 1 cava, 4 white and 2 red) which represents amazing value for money.
Oriol Ivern Bondia
What I paid:
£72 per head with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
Tasting menu: £44
Passatge Marimon 9, 08021 Barcelona, Spain