The great thing about traveling for the best restaurants is that you get to visit off-the-beaten-track places and taste the best food at the same time. In 2017, when I traveled to Spain to dine at El Celler de Can Roca, the best restaurant in the world in 2013 and 2015, I got to visit both Barcelona and Girona. The two cities totally amazed me in different ways as each one of them had a unique style. I had to thank El Cellar de Can Roca because, without it, I might not have known about Girona. Girona is a Catalonian city famous for its medieval architecture and romantic setting, especially by the Onyar River. Some scenes of Game of Thrones were even set in this city.
After exploring Girona, my friend and I arrived at El Cellar de Can Roca, a little bit earlier than our dining time, so we just chilled in the beautiful garden. The building was purposefully built for the restaurant in 2007. For me, the place had a zen feeling somehow, perhaps because it was located in a quiet neighbourhood.
We could only choose one of the two tasting menus available, as there was not an à-la-carte menu. It took about 4-5 hours to finish the Feast Menu, as there were 14 dishes (not including complimentary dishes from the chefs) tied together by a fascinating narrative. We heard stories about the Roca brothers, their childhood and their inspirations from nature, especially the sea and the forest. We started off with the "Flower of onion with comte cheese" and finished the meal with a "Cuban cigar box". Some of the highlights for me were the olive ice cream balls on real olive leaves and the various seafood dishes.
Although every single dish was executed beautifully, the most impressive one that really stood out for me was the dessert dish "Orange colourology". First of all, the presentation was gorgeous and elegant as the whole thing looked like a delicate pearl. As I broke the pearl gently with the back of my spoon, the orange blossom ice cream was revealed with other sophisticated elements including eatable flowers. The dish immediately brought to my mind the Italian summer, although it was still wintertime. The combination of taste in this masterpiece dessert was simply divine.
For an insight into a day at El Celler de Can Roca, check out this video by identitagolose on YouTube:
As a passionate gourmet myself, I always look for the best restaurants wherever I go. I am very lucky to have tried two other restaurants of the prestigious list "World's 50 Best Restaurants". The first one was Osteria Francescana in Modena, and the second one was Le Calandre near Padova. Both were in Italy, where I spent almost two years and could not get enough of the sophisticated food scene. For now, I will continue exploring the top fine-dining restaurants, but this time it will be Asia, and my first stop is going to be Gaggan in Bangkok (Thailand).
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