Meal at Mugaritz

Meal at Mugaritz

at Mugaritz on 3 October 2017
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A highly anticipated visit to a world-renowned 2 Michelin starred restaurant, 2o minutes drive out of San Sebastian.  This restaurant has, for many years, been an beacon of modern cooking.  The 25 course, no choice, tasting menu only worked out at £233 per person including pre-drinks and good wine which is quite steep, but not as steep as it can be in other cities in Europe (notably Paris).  Sadly, the overriding post-meal thought for this meal is that whilst there were some good moments, the dishes simply didn’t produce the happiness I was hoping for, considering the fanfare that was made for each one.  I understood the emphasis on stretching the boundaries of savoury and sweet which is definitely done in an innovative way here, but if it doesn’t produce wonderful flavours and feelings as a result, then it is somewhat expended effort for all the pomp.  I’m glad to have experienced it to see for myself, but based on this meal, I would rather hit the likes of Akelarre or Arzak for a return.

The Executive chef (Andoni Luis Aduriz) was away on our visit but his spiritual connection with his dishes and surrounding garden that he exudes was evidently incumbent in the head chef on the night (Miguel Cano).  In the kitchen was what can only be described as an Army of chefs, all in exactly the same uniform, chefs hats included and there was no doubt that every service was given a ferocious amount of seriousness in the kitchen for the proceedings – all fine so far.  The grounds are also impressive and the dining room a little too spacious to feel truly homely, but evidently smart.

The Executive chef (Andoni Luis Aduriz) was away on our visit but his spiritual connection with his dishes and surrounding garden that he exudes was evidently incumbent in the head chef on the night (Miguel Cano).  In the kitchen was what can only be described as an Army of chefs, all in exactly the same uniform, chefs hats included and there was no doubt that every service was given a ferocious amount of seriousness in the kitchen for the proceedings – all fine so far.  The grounds are also impressive and the dining room a little too spacious to feel truly homely, but evidently smart.

There is collection bank of approximately 100 dishes that the restaurant uses to create each menu and draw upon for allergies and variations needed.  As each menu that they roll out is in the region of 25 courses (that change weekly), there are a number of aspects to cover.  To make a little easier to follow as there are so many, the best thing to do is lay out each course here, one by one and provide brief thoughts on each where things stood out:

The service throughout this meal was A-grade and the staff were more than willing to explain any number of aspects that were asked about (also a very welcome absence of the table being pestered for feedback on too many occasions).  That said, there were a was an order that missed and in spite of a dietary requirement being emailed in advance and confirmed on arrival, this was missed at one stage and the pace was too fast at the beginning (too many interruptions) which was surprising for such a fabled venue.

I completely acknowledge how much effort and preparation went in to this meal (along with accompanying technical skill) and the ambition to use the sense of touch, stretch textural and core flavour conventions.  But for me, when all was said and done, this only created medium levels of happiness and in many cases was simply too ambitious.

https://major-foodie.com/mugaritz-san-sebastian/
https://instagram.com/richardbagnold

8 / 10

Mugaritz Entrance

Mugaritz Kitchen

Mugaritz main dining room

Tuna belly with vinaigrette

Lobster roe with Tiger Milk

Japanese kompucha with fermented strawberry

Purée potato fermented with Parmigiano cheese

Caesar mushroom

Kumquat, orange and olive

Luxury potato fried in duck fat

Nitro poached cream with garden herbs pre-served

Nitro poached cream with garden herbs being made

Nitro poached cream with garden herbs as served

Pork tripe with spiced butter

Veal tendon (crisp) with mushroom and veal lard

Head chef Miguel Cano holding the fort for the Patron

With Miguel Cano

Mugaritz kitchen and its Brigade

Minestrone soup with Vegetable seeds

Sugar & pine nut milk & ice

Edible flask

Veal with milk and eggs

Bespoke mains knife

Wagyu beef wagyu tartare (underneath) from Japan

Creme brûlée sweetcorn with prawn crisp

Lettuce with espelette pepper

Tuna with wild rabbit sauce

Unleavened bread, bread crumbs with garlic muchol roe

Caesar Mushroom fried with tempura beef jus

Tartare Red mullet dressed with egg yolk

Marshmallow made with beef broth

Tigernut ice cream with rice

Latcha a cheese with focaccia bread

Layers of chocolate

Different strengths of chocolate in each layer

The bill for 3