… or does it? Some of you may know that I recently started my 51st year, but I’ve not noticed much difference. Having said that, any round birthday is a good reason to celebrate. I was very lucky to have good friends with me to mark the occasion in a rather spectacular manner: a trip to El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain. Girona is only a two hour drive from Saint-Chinian, and the restaurant has been voted Best Restaurant in the World, and has been given three stars by the Guide Michelin.
I’m not really in the habit of going to three star restaurants – the trip to Girona came about by chance rather than design. I was sitting with my friends one evening, and we were talking about how difficult it was to get reservations for El Celler de Can Roca – bookings have to be made 11 months in advance, and the tables are usually booked very very quickly! Flippantly I said, “Why don’t I e-mail the restaurant to see if they have a cancellation over the next few days?”. I received a fast reply to my e-mail, and the next morning we had a reservation for the following week – never in my wildest dreams had I thought that it would happen!!
The restaurant is in a very unprepossessing neighbourhood of Girona. Its interior is very modern and pure, and the dining room is arranged around a triangular lightwell, which is planted with trees. The tables were spacious and beautifully set with white tablecloths, starched linen napkins, Riedel glasses and silverware. I felt far too self-conscious to take pictures of anything but the food, although the atmosphere was in no way ‘starchy’. The staff were all very friendly and incredibly professional, and the service was smooth and unobtrusive – the restaurant was running like clockwork!!
After we had sat down, we were served a glass of cava, with compliments of the house, while we perused the menu and the wine lists. The choice of menu was easy – there were only two, and since this was probably a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience, we opted for the tasting menu. Half our table ordered the wine pairing – a different wine with each course – fourteen glasses!! Luckily the glasses were not very full!
I leave you now, with the photographs of the meal – it was a fantastic dining experience, and a brilliant start to my 51st year!
Thailand: Thai chicken, coriander, coconut, curry and lime
Japan: miso cream with nyinyonyaki
China: pickled vegetables with plum cream
Peru: “Causa limena”
Korea: panco fried bread, bacon with soya sauce, kimchi and sesame oil
Here is where the main courses start:
We are now starting with desserts!!
Just when we thought there was no more to come….