The final dinner in Barcelona and I've booked us into Comerc24, a one-starred place named after its address. Very original. It's fairly well known by association: the chef worked at El Bulli for a many years. So people pretty much come here expecting to see shades of that style of food. I guess I was no exception.
Were given menus but strongly (basically guilted) into avoiding the a la carte options and going for a tasting menu. For fear of being bludgeoned with blunt instruments we opt for a tasting menu. THE GRANDEST FESTIVALEST MENU OF ALL. Or something. It sounds elaborate.
It is. Over the course of nearly 4 hours we consume around 300 courses. Or maybe it was 24 courses and that's the real reason behind the name?
The aim of the game is both flavour combos and techniques. For example, the spherified parmesan, truffle and basil in a broth. Sometimes it works well—really well--but other times it doesn't. I suppose you get that sometimes when you try 300 new flavour combinations.
Like the tuna tartare with caviar and egg yolk. That was great. But then there was the sardine and orange with a crunchy thing (a crunchy thing that appeared in a few dishes). The balance was way off; nowhere near enough orange to counter the saltiness of the sardine.
I suppose that was pretty much how the evening went. There were dishes that worked, others that didn't, but a lot of them didn't work (or weren't as good as they could be) because they weren't executed perfectly. If you're trying interesting flavour combinations then it is paramount that you get the balance right. You can dazzle us with technique but at the end of the day it has to taste good.
So did I like Comerc 24? Yeah, it was good. It wasn't great, but it was interesting. I like interesting. And for 300 courses or whatever it was, you could probably go elsewhere and pay a lot more for the privilege.
Michelin star tally: 31