Los Angeles

Providence, Los Angeles (**)

Butter + Salt

For bread Service, I was very glad I only had one piece of bread


Amuse Bouche: Carrot juice shot, Gruyere cheese pastry, Pistachio Marshmellow, Salmon.

Okay

chowda’
smoky bacon, manila clams, creamy clam broth

This was actually one of the most intensely flavoured clam chowders I’ve ever had. The smokyness from the bacon really shone through, and the chowder was incredibly rich, but it was balanced out by the sweetness of the clams. Good


Maine lobster risotto
carnaroli rice, sea urchin, shimeji mushrooms, nori and lemon

This would have been such a good dish apart from the fact that it was overseasoned. The flavour profiles worked so well together but after a few scoops all you could taste was the saltiness of the dish. Okay


Dessert Tasting 1: Spherified Mojito

I have had a lot of “Spherified” food (sodium alginate + Calcium Chloride), from olives, to potatoes, to balsamic vinegar, to grape juice, to apple juice, and I have to say that this spherified mojito is probably the best example, or use of that technique I’ve had so far. Good


Dessert Tasting 2: Mandarin Orange Ice

This was a medley of orange ice, cabbage, and spice. The Orange ice was delicious, the cabbage had a tinge of vinegar, which I felt brought too much acidity to the dish, and the spice threw everything off; It got to the point where I was eating everything seperately, obviously leaving the spice alone. Bad


Dessert Tasting 3: Kalamansi Gelee
white chocolate coconut soy milk soup, litchi-shiso sorbet

One of my favourite desserts of the night. The kalamansi gelee was very intensely flavoured and really brought the dish to life, when eaten to the subtle flavours of the sorbet and the soup. The almonds brought a nice texture to the dish. Very refreshing, clean flavours. Very Good


Dessert Tasting 4: Deconstructed Pumpkin “Pie”
curry ice cream, pecan streusel

Why was there a curry element in a dish called “Deconstructed Pumpkin ‘Pie'”? Nonetheless, I was happy to try curry ice cream for the first time, and it was actually fairly pleasant- it was sweet when it hit your tongue, but the aftertaste left a lingering taste of the familiar spices. The pecan streusel, when eaten with the pumpkin ganache, was actually a pretty good rendition of a pumpkin pie. Good


Dessert Tasting 5: Banana

Banana nut bread, caramelized banana, Cream cheese Ice cream

Oh boy, the cream cheese ice cream is probably one of the nicest ice creams I’ve ever had. When you first taste the ice cream, all you get is the slight sweetness of it, then all of a sudden the chees-y flavours burst through when you’re not expecting it, and it wasn’t overpowering, it was actually fairly subtle. Balance that with a delicious banana nut bread, and caramelized bananas cooked to perfection. Good


Dessert Tasting 6: milk chocolate-whisky panna cotta, bailey‟s ice cream, coconut raviolo

The bailey’s ice cream was very good, but the panna cotta was fairly mediocre. And as a side note, at this point of the meal, everyone at the table was quite close to dying because the desserts were starting to get very heavy and the conversations taking place at the table were beginning to sound very strange, possibly due to the amount of sugar present in what we were eating. Okay

Trying to remain calm as my body takes in even more sugar.


Dessert Tasting 7: Beer Ice cream and Chocolate Ganache

Beer ice cream was intense, very very good. The chocolate ganache, I dont remember eating, but I did eat it, because my plate was empty when the server took it. I might have passed out or something. Okay


Dessert Tasting 8: Lollipop

Milk Chocolate,  Berry Tea

I was very glad that the last course of the tasting menu was something I could finish in one mouthful, and required no chewing whatsoever. Pop the thing in your mouth, and slowly let the milk chocolate outer coating melt away, sweet, creamy; and all of a sudden you’re hit by a wave of refreshing, cold berry tea, encapsulated in the milk chocolate sphere. Very good

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Chicago

L2O, Chicago

Update: As of 19 November 2010, L2O, along with Alinea in Chicago, have been awarded 3 Michelin Stars

 

I recently visited Chicago(Note: I do not blog in chronological order) which (I assumed would) give me an opportunity to try Alinea, unfortunately, it was closed on all the days that I was there. So began the look for an alternative, and I finally decided on L2O. Reservations were simple enough, made on opentable, no problems whatsoever, probably because this was on Christmas eve at 6pm. Nonetheless

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Upon entering L2O, which can be extremely hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for, we were greeted by 2 members of staff wearing Japanese Komonos, which really confused me because it wasent a Japanese restaurant and everyone else was in a suit. Possible geisha services for ballers?

The menu: You are  given a choice of either a 12-course tasting menu($165) or a 4-course prix fixe menu ($110) where you choose 3 dishes from the following categories: Raw, Warm, and Main. Both my mum and I chose the prix fixe

Amuse 1: Gruyère cheese puffs

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Cheese puffs were surprisingly light, crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Nice

Amuse 2: Tuna

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This was actually a combination of tuna, orange gelée, tomato, olive oil foam. I think it was supposed to be a ceviche-like appitizer. It wasen’t particularly good, but it was pretty refreshing. And god damn, only the french can make jelly sound so pompous.

Bread Service

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Bread was outrageously good. Favourites by far were the Bacon Mustard Seed Bread, which had a nice chunky cube of bacon in the center of a dome shaped piece of bread, and the Anchovy-Basil Broiche. Bread was served with a housemade butter in a gratuitously-futuristic container.

Raw Set A: Shimaji, Red Miso, Radish, Soy Salt

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This was my raw course. Fish was very fresh, had a nice bite to it. Red Miso had a subtle flavor to it, too subtle for my liking. I wish they had given more of it. It was okay

Raw Set B: Peekytoe Crab, Avocado, Kaffir Lime, Lemon Oil

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This was my Mums dish. The peekytoe crab meat is all in the center of the dish, the avocado was cut into a dome to cover it completely, and the Kaffir lime was made into a gelée surrounding the avocado dome. Crab was nice and sweet, and crab+avocado always makes a good combo, lime gelée was not too biting. Good

Warm Set A: Foie Gras, Port, Cocoa Nibs, Pear, Celery

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This was mine. I can’t remember all the components of the dish. But the odd looking spaceships on the left are sliced pears with topped with a jelly. The odd looking statues on the right are celery cubes fried in a wantan skin. Foie gras was topped using a crisp dark chocolate wafer, which I had problem with. When eaten separately they both tasted very good, but the crunchy-ness of the chocolate wafer overpowered the softness of the foie when eaten together. Otherwise, everything had good flavor, foie was cooked nicely, it was very good.

Warm Set B: Salted cod, Fingerling Potato, Smoked Gelatin, Caviar

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The salted cod was minced finely and placed at the bottom of the serving cup, it was covered with puréed fingerling potatoes, topped with smoked gelatin and caviar. My mum had trouble with this because she found the fish too salty. When I tried it, I didn’t disagree with her. But otherwise the texture of this is amazing. The potatoes were so finely puréed that they were barely viscous on a spoon, and the gelatin strips added a nice bite to the smooth texture. Good dish apart from the slightly overpowering saltyness.

Main Set A: Arctic Char, Champagne, Zucchini, Chanterelle

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The Arctic Char, which to me is quite similar to salmon but has much softer meat, was raw on one side, and cooked on the other. The play of the raw/cooked meat was very interesting, chanterelles were well seasoned. It was okay.

Main Set B: Pork Belly, Truffle, Potato

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I told my mum when she was deciding her main that I heard this dish was good, so she went with it. When my mum saw this she immediately said: Siew Yuk!(Roasted pork) Wow, this was over the top. Kurobuta pork belly roasted perfectly, served with a black truffle sauce, and potatoes done 3 ways. My mum had 2 slices and decided that she couldnt take anymore, I couldn’t let it go to waste. The pork was amazing, meat was tender, fat had that melt in your mouth goodness, skin had a nice cunch but immediately dissolved in with the rest of the fat porky goodness, truffle sauce complimented the pork well. Potatos didnt need to be there, they were way too heavy for the dish and the cylindrical-shaped potato wedges were somewhat undercooked. Great dish apart from that minor drawback. Very Good

Amuse 3: Frozen Marshmellow

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I wasnt paying attention to the server as he was explaining the dish, but I did get the words “frozen marshmellow”, which made me somewhat intrigued, but worried that it would be too sweet because i was fairly stuffed at this point. It was actually tart, and according to the L2O blog, Im going to assume its  ginger-lemon combination, quite refreshing. And whats it like to eat frozen marshmellow? It has a texture I cant quite describe, not as sticky or gummy as you would imagine, kind of like a heavier version of ice cream.

Dessert Set A: Chocolate and Raspberry done 16 ways

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After we were done with the mains, the server came to our table and started rattling off a long list of dessert choices, but the moment he mentioned this, I knew I was sold. In the center is a Raspberry sorbet, chocolate and rasbperry sauce around it. To the side, an actual raspberry(omg), a raspberry meringue, and “chocolate air”, topped with  cotton candy and raspberry powder. Theres not much to say about this, it was pretty heavy, often abit too sweet, but yummy nonetheless. Good

Dessert set B: Soufflé with praline

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I only had a small bite of this but from what I could tell it was pretty good. Praline wasen’t too sweet.

Amuse 4: Passionfruit Marshmellow

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That treehouse-looking base is made from sugar, notsupposed to be consumed unless you enjoy being diabetic. I don’t like the gummy consistency of marshmallows, so I like my marshmallows roasted. Passionfruit flavor was definitely shone through.

Amuse 5: (What once was) Chocolate Ganache

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For some reason I completely forgot to take a photo of this. Well, it was good. You could taste the quality of the chocolate, had a nice bittersweet-ness that lingered on the tongue. Overall, it was a good meal, food was very satisfying, some dishes were confusing and didn’t quite fit in the the overall meal, but others were great. Service was very good, our server was very friendly and never had a problem answering any of our questions. My mum offered to show him around Singapore since he said that he has always wanted to visit. However, if I ever go back to Chicago(which I probably wont), I’m heading over to Alinea.

After the meal the server offered to take us on a tour of the kitchen, we jumped at the chance.

Prep Room

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Kitchen: Sweet foods on the left, Savory on the right

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Spice Rack Cabinet, Each container meticulously labeled. Interesting note: My server, seen in this photo, actually ended up at 2am Dessert bar in Singapore! Talk about a small world.

Singapore

OTTO, Singapore

Grilled Mushroom with Polenta

Amuse Bouche, I liked the choice of polenta as the canvas for the dish, but the mushroom lacked enough flavour to bring the amuse to life. Bad

Grilled “Tomino” cheese with sauteed porcini mushroom and “Pio Tosini” Parma Ham

A generous topping of Parma ham, a layer of mushrooms, a slab of cheese grilled to absolute perfection. An explosion of strong flavours that balance and compliment each other well. Salty, creamy, unctuous, earthy, delicious. Superb

“Spaghetti” with sea urchin and grey mullet bottarga.

Plate was completely dry, all the sauce was on the pasta when it arrived, clearly a restaurant that knows how to do a pasta. It was a good dish that could have done with a little more oil, and dare I say it, a smaller serving. But the flavours were on point. Good

USDA prime beef rib eye with sauteed potatoes and Barolo wine reduction.

Beef was nicely cooked but under seasoned, wine reduction was tasty but there wasn’t enough on the plate for three slabs of beef. Okay

Warm chocolate cake with Haitian Vanilla ice cream

It takes a lot for me to dislike a molten chocolate cake. I wound’t normally order it, but I generally like them. This, however, was bad. The cake lacked contrast in texture between the cake and the liquid center. It was hard to tell what you were eating after a while, mixing it in with the quickly melting vanilla ice cream only made it worse. Bad

The menu we had was part of the Restaurant week, Singapore. I walked into OTTO not knowing what to expect, I had heard good things about Garibaldi, and I was disappointed that it was one of the restaurants on the restaurant week list, I jumped on the chance to have dinner at OTTO as a ‘compromise’. And I’m glad I did. The starter Parma ham and grilled is probably the best dish I’ve had in Singapore so far. I will definitely be returning to try more dishes at OTTO, but is it wrong that I already know what starter I’m going to ask for?

Singapore

Absinthe, Singapore

I attended an 8-week cooking course at Palate Sensations, and the instructor for my course was Francois Mermilliod, head chef of Absinthe restaurant in Singapore. At the end of my course, he organised a special tasting dinner for all his students.

Tatare of Hokkaido Scallops
Wakame, citrus and seaweed tuile

Its hard to go wrong with a scallop tartare imo, but it wasnt spectacular. Okay

Grilled Baby octopus, mesclun & avocado
Balsamic Vinegar

Octopus was unpleasantly chewy, Salad was okay, the entire chive should not have been on the salad. Bad

Grilled Mulloway filet, Green Lentils
Ragout and Iberico Ham

Mulloway was overcooked, lentils were good but overpowered everything, including the iberico jamon, even if that sounds very implausible. Bad

Crispy Kurobuta Pork Belly with
pickled daikon and star aniseed jus

Theres something about pork belly and star anis, they just go well together. It was as delicious as it sounds, best dish of the night. Pork belly perfectly, cooked, crisp skin while the fatty belly melted in your mouth, sinfully delicious. Good

Loin of Wild Deer with Mushroom stuffing, baby vgetables and bitter chocolate sauce

This seemed to be the most interesting dish on paper to me, I love it when chocolate is used in a savoury dish, but it turned out to be disappointing. Deer was nicely cooked, but there was barely any trace of chocolate in the sauce. Okay

Warm pear clafoutis
White chocolate sorbet

Again, white chocolate sorbet sounded like it would blow my brains away,it was very interesting, The consistency of the sorbet was different from most sorbets and ice creams that I’ve had, the white chocolate taste was subtle, and when eaten together with the warm pear, was actually delicious. Good

Kitchen Tour at Absinthe

There were actually many service issues with the meal; there was a course where the entire table had their food, except for one of the diners, and we had to wait quite a while before their dish came. There seemed to be quite a lot of miscommunication between the kitchen and the front of house, but apart from the issues with service, the food was actually pretty good in general. Most of the food was very satisfying, and well seasoned. Chef Francois is very passionate about his food,  and Im glad that he is finally getting the recognition I feel he deserves.

Singapore

Gunther’s, Singapore

Steamed green asparagus, sauce Hollandaise

Only tried a little, dish had good flavours and was nicely seasoned, but I felt the asparagus was cooked a little too long and didnt have enough bite. Okay

Consommé, ravioli of foie gras

Consomme was tasteless, foie ravioli was very bad, the texture and flavour of the foie was lost in the ravioli, and the combination the two just didn’t together. Bad

Egg sunny side up, roasted Portabello mushrooms

Mushroom was nicely roasted, had good flavour and bite, egg was a tad overdone for my liking- the white was slightly too rubbery. Okay

Gunther’s creation: Lamb Stew

Easily the best dish of the meal. Lamb stew was excellent, lamb falling-off-the-metaphorical-bone-tender but the lamb-y taste was not lost in the rich sauce. Pureed potatos added a nice balance to the rich stew, and this was a dish where a stark contrast of textures wasn’t necessary, the stew and the fine potato purée just worked well together. Very good

Warm angel hair pasta, tiger prawns

Prawns were fresh and had good flavour, no issues with the pasta either, but I wish the sauce had been slightly thicker because I had a hard time trying to coat the pasta in sauce, which is something that irks me. Good

Braised Bone Marrow, Toast, Sauce Bordelaise

Toast could have been sliced a little bit thicker. Bordelaise sauce was nice, but there could have been a little more on the plate. Marrow was nicely cooked; there was salt, pepper and chives on the side of the plate, but Im usually lazy during lunch, and I dont particularly like seasoning my own food. Okay

Mango Sorbet

Very intensely flavoured, to the point where it was a little on the heavy side for a sorbet; I loved this for its simplicity, its not very imaginative to turn a mango into a mango sorbet, but when you have fresh, high quality ingredients, they don’t need to be messed around with too much; if you use good mangoes, you’re going to get a good sorbet. Let the ingredients speak for themselves. Good

Coffee

Petit Fours

What a depressing looking plate of food

2 were okay, 1 was good, 1 was bad

I had heard a lot of good things about Gunther’s prior to this meal, and I had high expectations coming into the meal. I wasn’t disappointed, the quality of food served at Gunther’s, is very high; strong flavours are present in almost every dish, but they work well together and never clash. It’s nice to see a restaurant that thinks actually takes the effort to think about the dishes they serve, how each flavour component will amalgamate with one another, the textures present in each dish, how the dish looks to the diner. Service got a little bit sluggish, and we had to wait a little too long between each dish being served, but I will definitely return to Gunther’s for their dinner tasting menu soon.

Spain

Arzak, Spain (***)

3 Michelin Stars

8th in the World

Enter Arzak, and meet Elena Arzak, who was very friendly and had a fairly good command of English.

Rice Vinegar with mussel

Our first amuse bouche. Mussel was very meaty and fresh, nicely cooked as well. Rice vinegar on the other hand, threw the whole thing off. Very very acidic and it had an unpleasant aftertaste. Bad

Crispy Fish Paste

This was surprisingly good. Consistency was much more delicate than Chinese fish cake, and flavours were more intense as well. Very crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Good

Lotus root with fish mousse.
Choritzo in tempura with tamarind.
Ball of mushroom with dust of corn.

Amuse bouche platter from outer space. A re-occuring play on textures. Soft interior and crisp exterior. The Lotus root was good, the rest were okay.

Figs with Foie.

Foie gras stuffed into a fig, sprinkled with sugar and then caramelized. The best dish of the night, by far. Flavours worked to well together. The sweetness of a fig and sugar complimented the creamy, unctuous foie gras that melted on your tongue, while the fig provided a little more bite. Delicious, and the server mentioned that the individual pulp sacs or orange and pomelo on the plate were obtained by freezing the fruit in liquid nitrogen and smashing it. Plucking each sac manually would require too much effort and time. Superb

Potatos, Lobster, and copaiba.

Potato was in the form of a crisp, lobster was nicely cooked but fairly underseasoned. Overall the dish didnt work, it was really a goopy mess of a dish. Very Bad

Egg with earthquake of soil

Poached egg with fried breadcrumbs and truffle shavings. This sounds like something I should like, it really does. But the fried breadcrumbs has soaked up so much oil, the dish became incredibly heavy to eat. The truffle, however, was very aromatic(Yes I do think truffle is aromatic and I would wear truffle cologne if they made it, and on that note, I would also like to smell like ham), and the egg was perfectly cooked. Okay

Monkfish with dehydrated bronzed onion.

Monkfish was nicely cooked and well seasoned. But the goopy sauces strewn all over the plate killed the fish completely. They were completely tasteless and didn’t seem to serve any purpose to the dish apart from aesthetic reasons. And Bronzed onion? Okay, I admit this caused quite a buzz at the table and some of us were actually wondering if this was edible, with the amount of bronze coloring applied on it. But all it tasted like, was an onion, thrown into an oven and roasted till dry. It tasted good, but was it necessary? Bad

Bonito in bonfire of scales and chives.

This was actually seared tuna, I can’t remember what the sauces were. But the sauce on the plate had good flavour and seasoning. Okay

Pigeon with Potatos, spherified potatoes, and spherified Balsamic vinegar.

So much of this meal was spent trying to figure out wtf we were eating. And this was a dish that exemplified that sentiment. Lets start with the tangible food. The pigeon was nicely seasoned and had a nice char on its exterior, it wasnt the most tender of meats, but pigeon is a game-y meat and expectations have to be realistic. Potato(The real potato) was actually very good. Very well seasoned, and had some nice heat to it.  Spherified potato was straight out weird. It tasted like the equivalent of cooking potatoes in a pot of water to obtain potato soup, then throwing in salt, sodium alginate, then spherifying, which is actually probably how they did it; it doesn’t sound that appetizing, because it wasnt. And finally, the spherified balsamic vinegar. Which actually makes sense, and has been done before in “molecular gastro” salads. But was the metallic colouring really necessary? It seemed to take away from the quality of the balsamic used, and they did use a good quality aged balsamic. Okay

Lamb with seaweed cake

Lamb was once again nicely cooked. There was a slab of butter on the lamb that already melted by the time the photo was taken, that added a richness to the already unctuous lamb. The seaweed cake was very good, slightly chewy but it had such a strong seaweed flavour without overpowering the tate of the lamb. Good

Cant Remember anything about this

Soup and chocolate between vineyards
Basil ice cream, watermelon soup, and pure liquid “goopy chocolate”. I was struggling quite badly through this dish. I love the individual flavour components. Watermelon is my favourite fruit, I love fresh basil in sauces and pastas, and chocolate, well, who doesn’t love chocolate. But this dish didn’t work when all these were combined together. The watermelon was probably the best part of the dish, the basil did not work with the chocolate, and the chocolate had the consistency of spherified melted chocolate, but they were way too big and it was a struggle when thick, heavy chocolate exploded with a single bite. Very bad

“roasted peach with sugar flowers”

The peach was very fresh, succulent, and had a nice bite to it. The rest of the dish tasted like simple syrup. Okay

Yogurt sponge cake

Even the desserts look like they come from space. The yoghurt sponge cake had good flavour but was completely undone by its consistency. Very starchy and dense, it was closer to bread than it was to a sponge cake. Bad

Moon Rocks

The dubious sounding dish was actually Orange flavoured creme, frozen on the outside(liquid nitro?), while still having a liquid center. The change in textures was very interesting, and it had a pleasant orange aftertaste. Good

Leave and meet Juan Marie Arzak, who is as eccentric as the meal we just had.

This was for me, a confusing and frustrating meal. Not at all what I would expect from a three Michelin starred restaurant, and one of the best restaurants in Spain. The food was at times so experimental and pre-mature, that we felt that we were guinea pigs for the restaurant. Much of the meat was well cooked, but it was often taken a step back by a component of a flavour profile that didnt need to be on the plate. It was the most disappointing meal of our Spain trip.

Spain

Mugaritz, Spain (**)

2 Michelin Stars

4th in the World

Getting to Mugaritz isnt easy, the roads are winding, and a GPS would have a hard time pinpointing its exact location. But as you near the restaurant, there are signs that let you know you are getting close, and they are an indication of good, good things to come.

First thing that strikes you about Mugaritz is how beautiful it is. The lush countryside surrounding it, the garden that Mugaritz uses to grow some of its own herbs, fruits, and vegatables, and the outdoor sitting area where diners can relax before their meal. It sets the mood for a relaxed atmosphere, a high end meal in a non pretentious setting.

Snacks: Rocks with Garlic Mayo

A dish synonymous with Mugaritz, “Rocks” are actually potatos baked in an edible clay shell.  To complete the illusion, there are actual rocks at the bottom of the dish. They dont look to much like their inedible counterparts to be honest, but the amount of detail on the rocks is amazing. Taste wise, it was disappointing, the clay shell cracked(crumbled?) the moment you bit into it, and left your mouth with a very unpleasant powdery residue. It was almost impossible to eat without the garlic mayo. Bad

Just in case you didn’t believe that this was actually a potato.

The interior of Mugaritz is just as beautiful as it’s garden right outside. It was very inviting and the rustic furniture really fit into the setting of the restaurant.

Enter the kitchen to meet Andoni Luiz Aduriz, head chef of Mugaritz. He doesnt speak English but he is very friendly. Kitchen is surprisingly small.

Amuse Bouche:Cucumber with cucumber water.

I didnt really like the “clean-ness” of the dish, it was like drinking cucumber soaked water. Bad

Amuse Bouche: Grilled squid with almond paste. A little too chewy, and I wasnt sure about the combination of flavors. Okay.

Bacalao(Salted codfish) cheek meat, covered wit gelatinous bacalao jaw, served with an acacia honey emulsion.

The fish meat was not too salty, which is the experience i usually get when eating bacalao, it was silky smooth on that pillow of Bacalao jaw meat. The saltiness was cut perfectly with the honey emulsion. It was such a delicate piece of meat, but with strong flavors that amalgamate with one another perfectly. One of the best things Ive ever eaten

Roasted tomato salad and its own cool water.

The tomato was soaked in calcium water which made it so sweet it tasted like raisins, a taste experience that throws your tastebuds on wild journey, and on the right is a tomato sorbet which was so intense i couldnt finish it, I’m not a fan of tomatos, but the dish was good.

Ravioli with crab and fresh walnuts, in a clear, citrus scented consomme.

Ravioli was somewhat bland. The consomme, and therefore the dish, was overpowered by the citrus taste. Bad

Carpaccio accompanied by a sweet and sour dressing, topped with idiazabal cheese and vegetable spinters

Everything about it tells you its a regular beef carpaccio. Except that its not, its made from watermelon, dehydrated then grilled. It was amazing that even the consistency of the watermelon was similar to that of beef (Meaty and could be torn apart, apparently this texture can be obtained by sous-videing watermelon ). The cheese brought the dish to life, delicious, quirky, fun, and beautiful. Very good

Buttery Idiazabal cheese gnocci in salted iberian pork boullion.

Literally a melt in your mouth experience, the cheese flavor was subtle and never overpowering. Each gnocci had a different herb on it, almost as it each had a personality of its own. I thought that the Iberian pork boullion would overpower the cheese, but it was actually a very clean and its flavours managed to stay in the background while the cheese took the stage. Very good

Wild Turbot, under a salted seasoning of borage stalks and reduction of the bones.

Fish was nicely cooked and well seasoned, dish was beautiful to look at, but there were scales on the fish for everyone at the table. I couldnt really get past that. Bad

A Piece of milk fed veal, roasted and perfumed with vine cutting embers, and fragments of thyme, cinders, salt and crisp radishes.

Another of Mugaritz’s infamous creations. The meat is incredibly white because it is milk fed, and it is covered with black vegetable coloring before cooking. The “vine cutting embers” are actually breadsticks.  For all the excitement I had for the dish, visually it was stunning, but it just didnt taste good. The vegetable coloring didnt taste of anything, and the veal was poorly seasoned, albeit nicely cooked. Okay

Tradition, Ocean and land: Braised Iberian Pork tails and pan fried langoustines. Reduced braising juices infused with iberian jamon.

Crispy, chewy, salty, sweet. Possibly my favourite dish of the whole trip in Spain. Black out good, intense flavors in every bite. The saltiness from the iberian pork, the gelatinous texture made the flavours coat and “stick” in your mouth so that they lingered through the entire dish. Each bite of the langoustine was a burst of delicious and sweet sweet succulence that cut the saltiness and umami explosion in your mouth.  Superb

Red Fruits with an uncooked orange leaf soup.

I was very glad this came out right after the previous dish. It was light and refreshing. The herb in the dish threw me off a little, with its strong flavours in a somewhat mellow dish. Okay

Several spoonfuls of clashing contrasts: Celery Ice Cream with Candied Celery Root and Edible Flowers.

I didn’t expect to like this, Im not a big fan of celery, but the taste was fairly mild, and it didnt have the pungent aftertaste that I associate with uncooked celery. Celery root was suprisingly delicious. Whats not to love about candied anything. Very refreshing. Good

WARM ARTISAN TABLET with whipped honey and oats

Vanilla foam with a warm “tablet” made with honey and oats, used to mimick a bar of soap and soap bubbles. The tablet was surprisingly delicious, although it was somewhat tough to bite into. Very fun dish, but hey, any restaurant that serves 3 desserts without any chocolate in sight has to have something quirky up their sleeve. Good

I have to say, though, that because of negative reviews of some of the dishes that were on the seasonal menu, I had asked that two dishes to be swapped in (The cheese gnocci and the iberian pork tails), both were superb dishes. Service was excellent, although it got a little bit sluggish towards the end. Overall, this was one of the great meals of my life. Definitely deserving of a third Michelin star in my opinion