Friday, December 31, 2010

Arzak, San Sebastian

This was one of the special meals we had during our trip to San Sebastian. I enjoyed very much the pintxos, tapas, steak but this meal i was also looking forward to. Had heard so many thing about Arzak, one of the pioneers in Spanish cooking. Many have followed his footsteps after...

My Aunt helped us make a reservation, which we had to do at least one month in advance,. It's not as hard here to get a table compared to El Bulli or Fat Duck or Noma, but you will at least need a few weeks or even a month.

We got there on time, at 9 Pm and were greeted by the Maitre. They were very nice and accommodating. As we sat down, they offed us some bread and I had a glass of Sherry. As soon as we were settled, they gave us the menu. I had no doubt that I was going to get the proper degustation, although my wife was not so sure, since she would not be able to finish everything. As I said, they were very accommodating and offered my wife a half degustation, almost the same plates I had but much less servings. She happily agreed.

For starters, Puding de Kabrarroka con Fideos Fritos

Arroz Crujiente con Hongos

Maiz, Morcilla e Higos and caldo de Alubia Blanca

Jamon con Tomate

I'm not sure what this dish was called but I think it was the Cromlech de Cebolla con Te y Cafe (This had pan seared Foie Gras inside and was delicious)

The first Seafood dish, Patata, Bogavante y Copaiba (Bogavante is a type of Lobster)

Huevo con temblor de Tierra (Egg with 'Earth'quake translated literally). Fantastic dish.

This was Rape marea Baja (Monkfish on low tide) as the play of words, the fish is served and as in low tide, you can see shells, starfish, etc made with the Jelly and using fish broth.

Ossobuco de Cordero. The lamb was excellently done and the bone was made of potato, filled with Bone marrow. Everything was edible. To die for.

Then, desserts came, and they were many. This one was called 'Jugando a las canicas de Chocolate' - Playing with chocolate marbles.

Sopa y Chocolate 'entre viƱedos' - Soup and Chocolate between vineyards.

Hidromiel y Fractual Fluido

Dulce Lunatico - Sweet Lunatic - this was meant to me lunar rocks..

This was our Petits Fours that came with our coffee. Everything was edible, including the Jelly bottle covers which were cola flavored.

Since Ria did not drink, I had a 500 ml. bottle of Marques de Caceres Reserva. I should have ordered a full bottle, as I ended up nursing my last few glasses since I was enjoying so much.

After coffee and paying the bill, we had our picture with Elena Arzak and Juan Mari Arzak, the father and Daughter team behind the restaurant. I want to point out how friendly and down to earth this team is. This made our meal so much more memorable, since it was a very relaxed dining atmosphere.

It was a great dining experience. I do hope some day I can return again.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Various 2010

Well, I did not have any time to post a lot of good meals and wine i had in 2010, so I decided to join them all in one post, just a snapshot of many places, people and wine I've had the chance to be with/drink/eat. They are in nor particular order, so I will just post away....

Venison Seekh Kebab in Amaya Restaurant in London.

Steak at Antonio's for my wife's birthday.

Steak Tartare at Antonio's also for my wife's birthday.

Spicy Tuna Sashimi at Toki.

Salmon Sashimi at Toki.

Wagyu at Toki.

Still one of my favorites, Eggs Benedict at the Goose Station.

24 hour cooked Steak at the Goose Station

A treat from the Doc at Cicou.

Wines we had at the Cicou Port Dinner (Thanks Noel, Jojo and Bernie)

A 1966 Quinta do Noval which we had with some Stilton Cheese

Keiichi, Jojo, Greg, Aaron and Rene 'happy' at Jojo's 'cage'

Part of Jojo's impressive wine collection at the 'cage'

After tasting like 12 bottles at the 'Over the hill' wine tasting..

Wines we had at Rene and Aimee's house one dinner...the 78 Murrieta was superb and drinking very well for a 32 year old wine. The Clos Mogador was also my type of wine...loved this with the short ribs.

A pasta dish we had that same this pasta dish, lemon, Orange and Caviar with cheese.

Chicken Biryani rice, prepared by Miggy's mother in law for me when I was in London. This was the bomb!!

I forgot was this was called but this was also prepared for the Indian food dinner we had in Miggy's house in London.

Tapas bar I went to with Paco one of my trips to Madrid

Simple down to earth tapas....
Classic in Spain..this with some!!

One of the many Chuletones we had at la Tienda..this was our Dinner with Chinkee and Matt

Wines we had during that dinner.

A business lunch we had with Aaron..loved the Terreus with the Chuleton and Pimientos

Steak which Chef Javi hand carried from San Sebastian and cooked in my of the best I've had. i had this with a Faustino Reserva.

Cutting the Chuleton...

A Steak and Madeira pairing at Masseto..thanks Jojo!!

Chipirones (baby Squid) at Harley Davidson Bar in Barcelona

Navajas from the same place.

I believe this wine Keiichi brought his first trip back to Manila from Tokyo..this was a lunch in JSG.

Anchoas del Cantabrico in a tapas bar called Estado Puro in Madrid

Arroz Caldoso in the same place...this was superb.

A different take on the classic Fabada, at El Rus restaurant in Barcelona

Steak Tartare at El Rus. This was very good.

Kitchen at CRU Steak Restaurant at the Marriott.

Steak at CRU..dry aged..this was superb.

Pork Binagoonan at Cafe Juanita...I love Bagoong!!

Lumpia at Bistro Laudico..probably my favorite dish there.

Well that's all for now...I do have more but I just can't find the pictures, so maybe they are not worth posting here.

Cheers to all and Happy New Year!!