I had the wonderful privilege of dining at Passion, a restaurant owned by Martin Berasategui – Spains top chef with 7 Michelin Stars including his main restaurant which has maintained 3 stars since 1995. The meal was brilliant. Certainly the best in memory and definitely among my top 2 or 3 meals ever.
We had the tasting menu – 9 exquisite courses, all executed (almost) flawlessly, matched with 5 courses of wine (somewhat generously overpoured).
The amuse was a mango tomato gazpacho with a gooey crispy croquet of something, a parmesan crisp, beet butter for the really good bread and a watermelon palate cleanser.
The next course was a delicate slice of salmon suspended in a cucumber aspic with radish, Japanese pickled onion and fish roe.
Perfectly cooked pigeon peas were stewed and served on top of a puree of yautia – a Dominican tuber like sweet potato. This was topped by a piece of panko crusted lobster and a ginger-corriander sauce. The yautia cream was outstanding.
And on to the fish course. (Slightly overcooked) red snapper on brandade – a cod and potato puree with greens and a red wine-mustard sauce. This course was served with a Chablis that really noticeably brought all the elements together.
Slow cooked veal with a potato ‘risotto’, Iberian ham and mozzarella. The ‘mozzarella’ were these delicate little puffs that were filled with cream. Another first. The veal literally fell apart when I touched it.
The next dessert was tarrija, like french toast, with almonds and cafe con Leche ice cream.
And finally, for petit fours they served melon soup, brownies, financiers, blackberry gelees and some other little sweet that escapes me.
The wait staff were engaging. The chef visited us twice – once just to chat and again to get a picture with us. Later he sent us a bottle of the wine we had liked so much to take home :). Go figure – many people rushed through their meal. We were there almost 3 hours. The head waiter even suggested that I could come and work in the kitchen for a week and the stay free for the next week :).
Soon it’s back to reality and to check in on the kitchen reno. I’ve resisted asking for updates so it will be a surprise when I arrive.