6 August 2013

Pakta, Togetherness in Barcelona

Round One! Honzen Ryori.
"Su reserva esta confirmada" the email read. It had just been sent to us by Jose in Barcelona who was so chuffed at having secured a booking at this the latest of the Adria Brothers' new stable of eateries, more or less all located in the Poble Sec district of the Catalan capital, that he felt he should send us the proof!

Pakta the website explains is an indiginous Peruvian language word meaning 'Together or Union" and the restaurant is so called because it brings together two chefs, one from Japan and one from Peru to create this fusion menu. Japan and Peru, readers are informed have had a long association and Nikkei cuisine is very popular in Peru.

Mortared chalaca with mussels and yucca chips
As we seated ourselves the delightful and very pretty Sussie Vilanova our Filipina-Danish hostess introduced herself and brilliantly guided us through the whole gastronomic oddyssey. (We were even told where the beautiful white glass and porcelain crockery was sourced!) At the onset perspective diners are advised to allow two hours for the whole experience but for us I must say this was way out - it was more like three and a half with no programmed breaks for cigarettes or the loo which you are encouraged to request!! Such a contrast from London eateries where you are shushed off the table after one hour twenty. Furthermore a quick calculation indicated no more than 30 covers and a staff to customer ratio way in favour of the customer! The place is small!

Sea Bass ceviche with kumquats "leche de tigre" 
The choice is simple there are two taster menus with between about 14 to 18 courses, one is slightly longer than the other but Sussie carefully explained to us that the actual quantity of food was similar as the portions varied and that we should make our choice based on personal preference not quantity! In true democratic style the entire table is obliged to agree on one menu or the other.

It would take far too long to discribe each course but once our little troupe embarked on the voyage there was nothing but ooooos, ahhs and ghasps of delight as Sussie held us all spellbound with her knowledgable presentation of each new dish and we listened enthralled to a description of its social history, component ingredients and cooking techniques.

Posted by incredibly fed

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