Hands down one of the best meals I've ever had. Deserves a Michelin star.
Hola amigos, you're in for a real treat with this post!
So I am back from L'Escala with a filthy tan, the freckles are out and I think I've put on about a stone. But it was worth it. I tried to snap as many pictures as possible from various restaurants and homemade meals we had in Spain however there's only so much photographing a girl can do when she's gotta get her tan on.
For our last night of the holiday as a special treat we ventured down to La Punta through all the tiny, winding cobbled streets to this restaurant my parents visited last year, Korpilombolo. This was such a fabulous evening that I had to share every minute of it. Now if I'm being honest from the outside it kind of looked like any other restaurant you might casually wander into, have a cheeky cerveza and paella then forget all about it. But it absolutely blew my expectations away!
We stopped at a bar round the corner first for a couple Cuba Libres, how cool is this table and swing chair!
Anyways, so the restaurant is small. Seats 16 people. You can peak into the kitchen, which I like and the table has three charming little oils waiting to be tried with the homemade sourdough bread.
There are only two members of staff. Yes you read that correctly. Two! And they're husband and wife (aww). The husband Pau is the chef and the wife Anette is the host. I love good service. I am a firm believer in good service making up for bad meals, but I rarely think wow that waiter was spectacular. However I have never seen or met a more attentive host than Anette. She was nipping through the tables switching between Catalan and English and there wasn't an empty glass in sight. 1 woman to 16 happy customers. Very impressive.
The idea is you have 3-4 small plates per person. There are hot and cold starters, mains, desserts and a specific tasting menu. We opted for a mix of the hot and cold starters to share then a main each (we're greedy).
Cold tomato soup with mascarpone ice cream, anchovies and basil oil.
The mascarpone ice cream was almost sweet in comparison to the saltiness of the anchovies but together the dish made for a great take on a traditional gazpacho.
Tomatoes and anchovies with avocado ice cream.
Savoury ice creams have become popular in recent years, but when I saw avocado ice cream on the menu I did have my doubts. However, all doubts were promptly squashed when I had a little taste. It all worked so well together and made a great combination. I might have a go at re-creating this at home but I'm sure it won't be the same.
I should probably mention at this point that L'Escala is anchovy-obsessed. You can go on a tour of their anchovy factory, seriously.
Reindeer carpaccio with feta and mint jelly.
They order in the reindeer from Lapland (sorry Santa). The meat was slightly smoked and beautifully cut. The feta and mint jelly make a slightly unusual combination but it works.
Salmon carpaccio with mojito sorbet.
The mojito sorbet packed a punch. It was incredibly minty and worked perfectly with the salmon and sharp contrast of the dill. I think the mojito sorbet would also work well as a palette cleanser.
Cannelloni with truffle oil.
The sauce was very rich and the taste of the truffle oil really came through. No stinginess here. I honestly would have licked the plate if my mother hadn't stopped me.
Octopus with an egg at 65°.
I believe 65 degrees is the perfect temperature for cooking eggs, if you like a good runny yolk. We did spy a sous vide in the kitchen which must have been the culprit. Overcooked eggs break my heart but this egg was just perfection. The Octopus was tender and the sauce was creamy. I cannot remember the name of the sauce (shame on me).
Tuna with slow roasted tomato and herb oil.
The next few dishes were our main courses, so slightly bigger - I'm not sure if that comes across through the pictures. Don't be fooled by the size, they had to roll me out of the restaurant by the end.
Raw tuna is one of my favourite dishes and this was excellent. The Boy is still talking about it now. Very simple bit of seasoning and that's it. The taste of the tuna itself does all the talking.
Duck, jellied pineapple and chocolate truffle sauce.
ERMAHGERD this was my favourite dish of the evening! I love duck, especially pink. I've had it with orange sauce, plum sauce but wait, chocolate sauce?!
Oh yes my friends, this was god damn delicious. I can't describe it, so you'll just have to take my word for it. It was sweet but bitter but savoury but crisp, you get the idea.
Veal cheek with I-can't-remember-sauce (I know, I'm rubbish).
Veal in L'Escala is not like veal in England. The cows are much older so it's more like beef. We don't really eat veal at home but this was divine. A good dish if you're in the mood to branch out of your comfort zone.
Rare hamburger with béarnaise sauce.
I usually like my burgers medium rare but this was pretty rare, just seared on the outside. Soft, melt in the mouth and a definite must try. A wicked take on a traditional burger.
Dessert time! If you can manage it...
Vanilla soup with liquorice.
I'm not a huge fan of liquorice but this was less aniseedy and more tangy, which was great with the vanilla bomb in the middle.
3 chocolate bonbons - sea water, peanut and mint.
They look too beautiful to eat. Each one was bursting with flavour. Maybe a good one for someone who wants a sweet but not a whole dessert?
Chocolate and orange croquettes.
The croquettes had a crisp coating with a gooey chocolatey centre and sat on a bed of citrusy goodness.
Gourmet dishes that you won't find anywhere else in Northern Spain. A perfect twist of traditional Catalonian dishes with a few Scandinavian elements thrown in. It was around €150 for four of us, which is nothing. Not for the variety and quality of dishes on offer. We did have to book however, but only by a couple days in advance. Inside the restaurant it is quite simple and plain, but elegant. No snobbery nouvelle here, just exciting, tasty food with great company. I really can't get over the fact that there are only two people serving! Anette is so lovely and she even ordered a taxi for us afterwards.
Perhaps the best meal I've ever had?
Molly, 23, London.
A tiny food pornographer, with a minor addiction to burgers and sushi. Following a dairy-free diet not by choice, but forever choosing to eat cheese and chocolate.