And my experience continued with another cross-culturally familiar item: Kuzu bread (10). Made from starch flour. So white it looks as if plastered up with ceramic. Sponge-y but dense. Quite heavy (yes I lifted the bread after the guy left!!). I was told not to eat the whole of it as it would kill my appetite for the meal. Tore up a piece and in my mouth. There was this distilled sweet creamy-ness in my mouth. The artichoke and bonemarrow ragout topping was glistening and densely meaty. Grainy artichokes – a joy to bite – with a rich note of greasy marrow.
Also risked killing my appetite by finishing the bread..
Pork Noodle with “Arraitxiki” Extract & Toasted Rice (11). An alchemist work.. I took the noodle for poached pork under-skin. Similar gelatinous texture. Udon-sized but not as lengthy. Could be found in northeastern Thai salad! Sea bream extract loosened up the noodle and made it slurp-able. Not the stellar dish and I found the texture more memorable than the taste.
Grilled White Tuna Fillet with “Piparras” (12). Pan seared fatty tuna (I deducted) was slightly raw within. Delicate stripes of onions and peppers revived the fish with a polite kick. The waiter told me to leave the skin alone but I found it nicely crispened up and agreeably edible (unlike the fatty tuna at Arzak!). That said, this was my least favourite dish of the whole menu. There wasn’t enough freshness to balance off the oily meat.. perhaps some acidity?
Textures of Coastal Fish (13). Chunks of rock fish on top of smaller chunks of rock fish. The smaller bites boast a more crispy coating. Very minimally seasoned. Salt to bring out the natural flavour and herbs for dimensions. Also scantily garnished was Piece of Beef, Grilled Steak Emulsion, Salt Crystal (14). Tenderest slices of beef. Served quite rare and tasted aggressively beefy. The colour was theatrical, too. The “Grilled Steak Emulsion” was indeed made from cartilage fat and milk. Silky texture. Quite salty and with a hint of smoky-ness. A more refined version of steak with bonemarrow.
Iberico Pork Tail, Crispy Leaves, Toasted Sweet Millet Oil (15) Best way to describe this? STICKY!!! While the condensed Iberico flavours were rushing through my mouth, I felt as if I could not force my lips apart EVER again. The sauce in which the flattened tail submerged had this deadly delicious super glue texture (not taste). The “skin” leaves were perfectly light and providing biteful contrast.
My waiter came back to signal the end of the savoury delights.
.. HOW WAS IT? ..
I said, “Very sticky! Could do with some more.” .. *licking lips*
Lemon Cream with Daikon Radish and Unsweetened Sugar (16) washed away the stickiness at first bite. The acidity was mild but pronounced, working well with the cuddling string of crunchy daikon radish. But it was Broken Walnuts (Toasted and Salted), Cold Milk Cream, Armagnac Jelly (17) that wooed me over. Not only that I liked its abstract architectural shape but also the refreshing milky-ness and the conniving walnuts that were cracklingly alcoholic.
Right. The end!
“Nails and Flowers” (18) Was there any cultural thing about nails that I missed? “Nails” also made their appearance on Arzak‘s petit four. Never mind. This one.. crystal sugar cone as translucent as a raincoat, with chocolate nails and edible flowers. Similar(?) milk ice cream as the penultimate dessert. It felt an extenuate pleasure, not a course on its own. Loved it though.
prostrate (not prostate)
ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ..
His gastronomic innovations surpassed everything I have tried and tasted in my life.
Mmm… too bold a claim?
.. Let’s say I’d rate Mugaritz as highly as Noma. The experience, of course, was not interchangeable. Mugaritz was more thought-provoking and playful. (Noma more serene and peaceful). Minimalism, tangibility and the take not only on ingredients but on diner’s emotion – Aduriz labelled his philosophy as “techno-emotional” – I believe will win everyone over. I also found the transmission of ingredients and cooking – the Orient and the Basque – at Mugaritz was arguably the smoothest and most successful. I forgot L’ Astrance, Gagnaire, and whereever else I had been that attempted eastern combinations.
That’s it.. it was a flash.. I submitted..
.. I FORGOT EVERYTHING..
I loved my meal at Mugaritz so much. It’s like culinary nirvana. I contemplated cancelling other restaurants I booked. I knew nothing – nowhere – would rival this experience of mine for a long time.
Cabbie back to hotel. A long nap to wake onto my living dream.
<3 <3 <3
My head rating says, “10 out of 10″.
My heart rating says, “10 out of 10″.
Aldura Aldea 20. 20100
Tel. +34 943 522 455 or +34 943 518 343