Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Japan Diet – 6 months on

C says:

Some of you may have read about my Japan Diet trial from early this year. In case you’re wondering how we’re getting on and whether it works, we thought we’d give a quick update.

We’ve more or less kept with it for the past 6 months, and we recently did a repeat lipid test just to see if it’s yielded any results.

I’m happy to report that while I’m not sure about us losing heaps of weight, it’s certainly done wonders for our cholesterol levels. Both A’s and my HDL (good cholesterol) levels have gone up, and our LDL (bad cholesterol) levels have done down. Yes, we also started taking a fish oil and plant sterol supplement around the same time that we started the Japan Diet, so that may have contributed as well, but overall, I’m sure the Japan Diet played no small part in our improved results.

Looks like the Japan Diet is here to stay.

A says:

Vinegar rice! Yum.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our trip to Spain: Best of the Rest

C says:

Our previous posts were on the highlights of our Spain trip, which we simply couldn’t condense into an abbreviated summary of “the best of Spain”. In addition to those, there were a few other noteworthly mentions, which though they may not warrant separate posts on their own, certainly do deserve a shoutout.

La Boqueria, Barcelona

Also known as the Mercat de Sant Josep, this market is just off La Rambla, making it an extremely convenient breakfast destination. It gets pretty manic later in the day, so best to arrive before 11 am.

I like that this seems to be a proper market, that even locals regularly patronise, instead of the tourist trap that is the Mercat de San Miguel in Madrid. The array of produce, particularly the fruits and fruit juices, is astounding. And the jamon… oh gawd, the jamon. Stall after stall of cured porcine goodness, with all manner of piggy byproducts including full legs of ham of varying qualities, sausages and salamis. They even sell vaccum packs to take home, and I can vouch for the excellent quality of those – even better than at most tapas bars.


Pronounced “Pinocho”, this is a veritable institution in the Boqueria. Run by the extremely affable Juanito, this was our go-to breakfast place every single morning. There doesn’t seem to a proper menu – it depends on what’s available that day, and Juanito’s always happy to help out. He doesn’t speak much English, and our Spanish doesn’t go far beyond “Dos cafe con leche” (2 coffees with milk) and “la cuenta por favor” (check, please), but somehow you’ll manage, and have a lot of fun in the process.

Their garbanzo beans are a speciality here, but I much preferred their almost underrated croquettes. They were only available on our first visit, and were some of the lightest, yet tastiest croquettes we’ve had.

They have something called chuchos (or something that sounded like that), which were a bit like croissants dusted with sugar, and filled with pastry cream. OMG. It’s no wonder that these were selling like hot cakes, with locals stopping by just to takeaway a couple of these. They may look nondescript but they were to die for. Light flaky pastry, giving way to a subtle custard filling. These were perfect with their cortados, or cappuccinos.

I love how Juanito was so encouraging when we took the trouble to order (or at least try to order) in Spanish. Getting the bill is even cuter, cos he relies on you to remember what you ordered, and he just tallies up the numbers on a memo pad.

Definitely a must-visit in Barcelona.

Casa Enrique, Granada

This rather random tapas joint was recommended by the Frommer’s guidebook. It’s literally a hole in the wall, and there are no tables, just dark wooden counters along the perimeter. We were a bit apprehensive, since again there wasn’t any English menu, but managed to order a plate of jamon and some pickled anchovies.

Both turned out to be awesome, and we really loved the whole vibe and feel of the place. The owner is a cool dude who, when not needed behind the counter, was doing crossword puzzles in his spare time.

Los Marqueses, Cordoba

Another Frommer’s recommendation, this was actually a lot more chi-chi than we expected. It was a bit intimidating being the only ones in the vast dining room, and the food did take quite a while, but it far exceeded our expectations. A couple of dishes in particular were real standouts.

Fried eggplant tempura-style with molasses seems to be quite a typical dish here in Spain, but most places just seem to serve cubes or wedges of eggplant drizzled with the sweet. The version here is adorable – the eggplant is sliced really thin, deep fried with a really light batter, and made to look like lollipops on wooden sticks. You pour the molasses on separately.

It may look really cute, but it also tasted great, partly because the eggplant slices were so thin, light and crispy. A found the molasses somewhat disconcertingly Asian, claiming that it tasted like the sweet sauce for soon kueh

The risotto with baby squid and wild mushrooms was everything a good risotto should be – oozy, the rice still had some bite to it, really flavourful so the rice was still the star but was complemented very well by the squid and mushroom. Amazing.

As you can see, we certainly did eat a whole lot on this trip. Needless to say, we may be somewhat inactive on atetoomuch for a while, as we detox and try to shake off all that excess poundage.

A says:

C has pretty much covered everything. Chuchos from Pinotxo. Casa Enrique, with the really friendly bartender/cook/server/all-in-one dude (and supposedly one of the most famous tapas bars in Granada). Los Marqueses, a surprising find for a quiet (i.e. non-tourist packed) fine dining lunch on our day trip to Cordoba.

I’d probably also add Ferpal, a Spanish deli/breakfast joint in Madrid. We found this gem along the Calle de Arenal way too late. After many meals at the crowded, touristy Mercardo de San Miguel, this place was full of locals of all walks – from business men to construction workers. A sure sign that the food is good. Or at least good value. This will definitely be our new breakfast spot if we’re staying in the area again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our trip to Spain: Lolita Taperia

C says:

For those of you who’ve seen Spain: On The Road Again, you’ll remember the episode where the whole group, including special guest Michael Stipe, had an awesome tapas meal in Barcelona. That restaurant was Inopia, and was run by Albert Adria, brother of El Bulli’s Ferran.

Earlier this year, Albert announced that Inopia was closing, as he and Ferran were opening 41º , a cocktail bar and Tickets, a tapas bar (getting a reservation at both is almost as elusive as El Bulli). Luckily, after some frantic internet research, I realised that Inopia still lives on, in the form of Lolita. It’s now run by Albert’s partner at the old Inopia, and apart from a few tweaks in the decor, the menu is still the same. Phew.

Again, our first trip here was so awesome that we came back a couple of days later to sample more of the extensive menu. So while we do eat a whole lot, these were consumed over two meals.

There’s an entire section of the menu devoted to olives and anchovies. Pity that on both days, they were out of the boquerones – a pickled anchovy, so we couldn’t try a tapas that combined salted and pickled anchovies. We did have a pincho with an olive, salted anchovy and Basque peppers, as well as a tostada with smoked anchovy and tomato nectar. Both were excellent.

Patatas bravas is a traditional Spanish dish that features potatoes and a spicy sauce. Most establishments have their own take on it, and hands down I liked Lolita’s the most. The potatoes here are sliced pretty thin, so there’s more crispy bits compared to the thick wedges that are served elsewhere. Super addictive.

The fried prawns here are awesome. Lightly floured but not as much as tempura, there are just fried till crisp so you can eat everything, including the head. Especially the head. Prawn head juice is clearly my new obsession. The flavour of these was amazing.

They have a mini burger with cheddar cheese, tartar sauce and pickles, which was fantastic as well. The patty was perfectly cooked, juicy and flavourful, and the flavours of the toppings just really came together. They also had a ham and truffle sandwich that was out of this world.

One of the things I’ll remember most about Lolita is the cheese. Yes, A may have gotten violent food poisoning as a result, but I attribute it to him eating the rind of one of the cheeses, which was probably not meant to be eaten. We tried 3 cheeses – a Saint Marcellin, the Torta de Canarejal, and a grilled cheese with truffle honey.

The first 2 were oozy cheeses, in particular the Canarejal, where the centre never really sets so when you lop off the top, the inside is nice and runny. It was really oozy and creamy, but not particularly potent. The Saint Marcellin, on the other hand, had the consistency of a soft Brie or Camembert, and was really quite strongly flavoured. Not for the faint hearted, but heaven for us. And the cheese with truffle honey? All I can say is, it was as amazing as you could imagine.

Their dessert specialties seem to be their fruits. On the first visit we ordered the pineapple with lime zest and molasses, and the second night we tried the strawberries with a caramel vinaigrette and orange zest. Between the two, I preferred the pineapple – the flavour combination, bizarre as it may sound, actually worked very well together.

W, who’s been to Inopia while Albert was still in residence, says that with the exception of a plethora of lipstick marks as their new trademark decor, everything still looks the same, down to the signature menu items. And based on the quality of the food while we were there, it looks like it hasn’t suffered much from Albert leaving.

A says:

The place is very popular with tourists and they don’t take reservations so turning up around opening time is a must to get a seat. On our second visit, we got there before they opened and there were already people waiting outside.

For a place that famous, it still has a very friendly, neighbourhood joint vibe with the staff and regulars joking and shouting around you.

Food-wise, it’s bite after bite after bite of deliciousness. Almost everything we had was great. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get enough of the cheese and ate the rind, which left me with one of the worst cases of food poisoning I’ve had in years.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Our trip to Spain: The Becerra Brothers

C says:

Barcelona may have the Adria brothers (Ferran and Albert, who recently closed/left their respective restaurants El Bulli and Inopia, and opened a cocktail and tapas bar that’s booked solid till December), but in Seville, the Becerra brothers rule! Enrique runs his eponymous restaurant, and brother Jesus runs Becerrita.

Enrique Becerra

There’s both a proper restaurant and a separate bar/tapas section, and if you sit in the restaurant, you can’t order tapas. We did however clarify that if we were in the bar section, we could still order from the restaurant menu, so we had tapas, as well as an order of their signature grilled swordfish.

The swordfish was good, but still a tad overcooked for my liking. The sherry sauce was awesome though. This reinforced my view that given a choice, I’d go for tapas any time. At least the portions are small enough so that even if you end up ordering something that you end up not liking, you’re not forced to finish a huge plate of it.

This baby eel toast was definitely an “OMG” moment. The baby eels tasted like a more subtled, refined version of regular eel, and was topped with an aioli that was subtle enough not to overwhelm the eels. Amazing. We came back a second time and ordered one each.

The roast lamb with honey is another of their specialities, and I’m glad that it was available as a tapas portion as well as a main course. It was just enough for us to have a taste of it. It was more of a stew than what I expected, but I liked how the honey really came through.

We ordered a couple of smoked salmon-related tapas – there was a smoked salmon and cream cheese one, and another one with asparagus wrapped with salmon. The latter had a bit too much cream cheese for the amount of smoked salmon, but I quite liked the asparagus one.

The sangria here was lovely, and they also give you a dish of various olives and a bread basket, which we had to stop ourselves from polishing off. If you come at lunchtime, you can also order a tapas portion of paella, which is perfect if you come in a small group and your other dining companions don’t like paella.


I think overall, the tapas at Enrique Becerra were just slightly better than at Becerrita, but there were a few items at the latter that were particularly noteworthy.

First and foremost, brains. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this on the menu. I used to have brains when I was really young; my grandmother would cook them in a peppery soup, and once in a while, coat little morsels of them and deep fry them. However, as health scares abounded and we all started getting more health conscious, it got harder and harder to find brains in the market. I haven’t had them for at least 15 years, and more or less relegated them to my little box of happy memories.

I don’t even know if the brains at Becerrita were pig, sheep or veal brains. I took one look at them on the menu and ordered them immediately. They were simply prepared – sautéed in olive oil with garlic. I was apprehensive when they arrived. Had they been elevated in my memory so much that it could never be matched by reality?

I’m happy to say that they were as good as I remember. The taste is pretty unique and hard to describe; the closest I can think of is a cross between foie gras and bone marrow, but slightly firmer in texture.

It’s probably an acquired taste though. A tried it and admitted that it wasn’t too bad, but it was no where near how enamoured I was with it.

A’s favourite dish at Becerrita was the deep fried pork cutlet. This was a palm-sized schnitzel of tender pork filled with Iberico ham and cheese. Pork filled with pork. How can that go wrong?! Certainly the best “cordon bleu” cutlet we’ve ever had.

If you’re ever in Seville, a trip to either one, if not both, of the Becerra brothers’ establishments is a must.

A says:

Both places are highly recommended and worth visiting in Seville. We also had the good fortune to have ultra-helpful and friendly waiters at both restaurants. The baby eels are a must-try and one of the best bites of our entire trip.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Our trip to Spain: Carles Abellan’s Projectes 24

C says:

Carles Abellan is first and best known as Ferran Adria’s protege. He worked alongside Ferran at El Bulli for many years, before branching out on his own. He has established Projectes 24, which comprises his first restaurant Comerc 24, and his more casual tapas eatery, Tapac 24.

Comerc 24

Since Ferran Adria and El Bulli are completely out of reach, we figured that our closest brush with Ferran’s molecular gastronomy genius would be a meal at Comerc 24.

Comerc 24 had the unfortunate challenge of having to live up to our DiverXO meal, and suffice to say that it didn’t. While I must say that the dishes were definitely interesting, this was an example of techniques taking precedence over fundamental flavours. Still, there were some dishes that made an impression, be it for how they tasted, or their sheer creativity.

One of the dishes that I admire for their creativity is the Dashi with Cockles, which had little spheres containing cockles, and topped with sliced okra. Each bite of the sphere was an explosion of brininess, filing your mouth with flavours of the sea.

This was one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was a simple dish of squid and green peas, but really showcased the ingredients at their best. The peas were apparently picked that very morning, and delivered to the restaurant just 2 hours before service. This really was an eye-opener – I normally hate green peas, and think that they contribute absolutely nothing to a dish besides adding colour. These peas, however, tasted nothing like the frozen peas that you get in fried rice. They were clean and fresh-tasting, with a lovely texture that bore no resemblance to the mushy interior of frozen peas.

The lightly chargrilled squid on top was somewhat secondary, but still good.

The Pizza 24 was an adorable little thing. Just about 5 inches in diameter, it was topped with mozzarella, tomato, arugula and tiny organic strawberries that were bursting with flavour.

I can’t quite figure out if this prawn was completely raw, or very lightly blanched for just a few moments. Probably the latter, hence giving it its colour. The highlight of this dish was the prawn head. It was filled with the richest, most intensely flavourful head juice. I just wish that it hadn’t been resting on a bed of salt, because the saltiness got in the way of my savouring every morsel of the prawn head.

This was a risotto-like dish, which they called field rabbit rice, where the flavours of the rabbit stock were infused into the rice. Being a rice/risotto whore, I again liked how this tasted, but A had the unfortunate experience of finding a bone in the rice, probably from the rabbit stock.

We raised this with the waiter, and weren’t particularly impressed by the offhand manner in which he brushed it off with a shrug and an almost insincere apology.

In fact, that’s how I found the service as a whole. It was a tad obsequious, and felt somewhat insincere as a result. They also made a big show about how the degustation menu was meant to engage the customer and be tailored to their likes and dislikes, yet besides asking us if we had any allergies, they didn’t really didn’t discuss the menu with us at all. As a result, we didn’t get a few of their specialities, like their take on a Kinder Egg or the roast pork, despite being assured that our degustation would comprise about 90% of the entire menu.

I don't regret coming here, since it was certainly a novel experience, but it does just hammer home where our preferences lie when it comes to “fine dining”.

Tapas 24

Tapas 24 is the casual sibling of Comerc 24, serving up unique and well-executed tapas in a relaxed, easygoing environment. It’s located just off the Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main shopping street, and with its extensive opening hours from 8 am to midnight, this makes it an ideal place to seek some respite in between shopping.

We had some seriously awesome tapas here. In what seems to be a theme for our trip, we came back for a second meal to revisit favourites and so that we could try more dishes.

Two of their sandwiches are their specialities, and rightly so.

The McFoie is a tiny little burger, or rather more a sandwich than a burger. There’s a thin but extremely flavourful beef patty, sandwiched between thin Panini-like bread. The burger is tasty enough on its own, but it gets it name from the quenelle of foie gras mousse that accompanies it. Eaten separately, the mousse tastes quite clearly of foie, but when you spread some on the burger, somehow the flavours combine and you taste less foie, and more of just a rich unctuousness. The coolness of the mousse also adds a nice temperature and textural contrast to the burger. (Geez, how wanker do I sound…)

In Spain, or perhaps particular to Catalonia, they refer to a triangular ham and cheese sandwich as a Bikini. The Bikini here is lightly grilled, and has Iberico jamon, cheese and black truffle. An elevated grilled cheese sandwich but oh, so good.

This was lightly scrambled eggs with potato and blood sausage, and was pretty amazing. Excellent blood sausage, which was soft and slightly creamy, and had such a rich, deep, complex flavour. This was A’s first experience with blood sausage, and now he finally understands what the hype is about. Blood rawks! Heh.

This dessert is apparently a take on a traditional Spanish one, which features bread, olive oil, salt and chocolate. Here, it is fancily plated with quenelles of a deep, dark chocolate ganache, drizzled with good fruity olivey oil, liberal sprinkles of sea salt and thin crostinis. Good combination of flavours, but personally the chocolate was way too intense for me. A enjoyed it thoroughly though.

A says:

Excellent in different ways.

Comec 24 is very chi-chi and the tasting course is really a treat. Not as good as DiverXO and rather pricey, but worth trying if you can if you’re in Barcelona.

I highly recommend Tapas 24 if you’re out on the Passeig de Gracia, or as C calls it, the PDG (wah rau eh!). The food is great with the bikini and the McFoie being standouts. Unfortunately, you usually have to wait for a table, and the service isn’t great in a rush.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our trip to Spain: La Gabinoteca

C says:

Another recommendation from Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Madrid, La Gabinoteca is a funky tapas bar with really interesting and innovative tapas. We liked it so much that we came here twice. The dishes featured below are the best of both trips.

My favourite dish here was the egg, potato and truffle. With a description like that, what’s there not to like? It comes in a little jam jar, and they advise you to take a whiff when you first open the jar. The heady smell of truffle hits you and paves the way for you to savour the dish proper. I didn’t stir it too thoroughly, so that I could still taste each element, which all tasted great on their own but even better combined.

A’s favourite dish was the foie gras, crème brulee style. Foie is pureed into a mousse then bruleed. Sweet and slightly tart flavours, which traditionally are paired so well with foie, are added to the mousse in the form of green apple and pineapple, and the result is magic.

The chicken wings are marinated with soy, lime and garlic, and nicely caramelised, and served very considerately with disposable gloves.

Their Gambas Plan Fino is a prawn puree that’s spread in a very fine layer, topped with caviar, fried garlic and an amazing sauce, and just briefly broiled. Another interesting and absolutely delicious dish.

Dessert on the first visit was their signature Juan Palarmo. They provide you with a toolkit that includes brownies, ice cream, fruit and a canister of whipped cream, and you get to play artist and create your own masterpiece. We tried to create Egypt, complete with brownie pyramids and a raspberry sauce River Nile.

The second dessert we tried was a cheese cream, described on the menu as something that they learned at Restaurant Arzak. This was really good and a lot lighter than I expected.

The waiters here were really friendly, and one of them even ran after us when they realized that A had left his metro ticket on the chair. After DiverXO, this was possibly our second favourite restaurant of the trip.

A says:

Highly recommended. So good we went twice. Highlights include the crème bruleed foie gras, the jar of egg, potato & truffles, the cheese cream dessert, and the Gambas Plan Fino (prawn puree).

And the service and setting are also awesome. Towards the high end of casual, with an emphasis on good food and good fun. Good grief, that sounds like some bullshit copywriting.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our trip to Spain – DiverXO

C says:

Sorry for the radio silence. We were away for 2 weeks in glorious Spain, and have only just managed to find the time to write about some of our amazing gastronomic experiences there.

The best meal of the trip by far, and quite possibly the best meal we’ve ever had, was at DiverXO, David Munoz’s one-Michelin star restaurant in Madrid that combines Asian flavours with Spanish ingredients and techniques. David and his wife Angela, who runs front of house at DiverXO, are huge fans of Asia and Singapore in particular, and have brought their unique flavours to the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore twice.

I have to admit that being fanboys of Anthony Bourdain, we came to know about DiverXO after watching the No Reservations Madrid episode. Reservations are apparently essential, so I called 30 days before our requested date and managed to snag a reservation.

There is no a la carte menu, just 3 degustation menus – 7, 9 and 11 courses for 75, 100 and 120 euros respectively. Since we were on vacation and figured we wouldn’t be back in Madrid any time in the foreseeable future, we decided to go the whole hog and ordered the 11 course menu. Note: DiverXO doesn’t allow any photos of their food, as they feel that the element of surprise contributes quite substantially to the overall dining experience. As each course appeared and we were blown away again and again, I do see their point, so I’ll just try to describe the courses as best I can.

1)Edamame with a Peruvian chilli aioli

This wasn’t really a course, but a little teaser, similar to the complimentary peanuts that you get at Chinese restaurants. This was served in a cute little ceramic flower pot that looked like it was crumpled on one side. The aioli had a subtle but very distinct heat.

2) Tiger mussel with béchamel sauce, tobiko and topped with breadcrumbs

This was the official amuse bouche. It arrived in a little teardrop-shaped glass, with each ingredient layered almost like a parfait. There were some hints of soy sauce, but the béchamel sauce and breadcrumbs made it taste surprisingly like a typical gratinated baked mussel.

3) Fillet of hake with fried duck tongues

This is where the meal started getting really interesting. The hake was cooked perfectly, and flavoured with Sichuan pepper, which is more flowery than just heat. The duck tongues were a revelation – light and crispy, with a little bit of bite and not greasy at all.

4) Smoked tuna belly with bottargo and fried wontons

The tuna belly was again amazingly cooked – smoky and creamy at the same time. The fish was served with a black garlic puree, and topped with sheets of dried bottargo and fried wontons. Each tiny wonton was filled with a quail’s egg yolk, and my first bite into one of them, with a rush of oozing egg yolk, was just sublime.

5) Potstickers (guotie) with langoustines in a chicken broth

The guotie were filled with chicken and shitake mushroom, and to recreate the texture of the seared end of a guotie, these were steamed with a crisp circle of pastry attached to each one. They were served with poached langoustine, in a rich chicken broth.

6) Steamed bao stuffed with minced trumpet mushrooms

More unique dimsum inspired dishes, this uses a light Spanish flour to create a really fluffy bao. It’s coated with a light milk skin, and served with a thin crisp slice of ham jerky. Eaten together, the saltiness of the ham, sweetness of the bun and the savoury mushroom filling complement each other perfectly.

7) Peking “duck” part 1

DiverXO’s take on Peking duck is a slice of Iberico pork crackling in place of the usual duck skin. The thin crisp crackling is topped with cucumber puree and a hoisin sauce made from cherries. It’s amazing how each bite really tasted like a Peking duck pancake.

8) Peking “duck” part 2

This was served in an old-school Styrofoam burger container, and featured Iberico pork collar formed into a burger patty, and served Vietnamese style with a rice paper wrap.

9) Red prawns “fried backwards”

This is another of their signature dishes. Raw prawns are pounded paper thin and cut into two discs, which are then “fried” by having hot oil poured over them. Under the discs is a puree made from the flavourful head juice from the prawns.

10) DiverXO’s chilli crab

Angela herself came out to explain this dish to us, saying how they love Singapore and how inspired they are by our street food here. Their take on chilli crab uses Spanish pimentone in the sauce, and the egg element is provided by a poached quail’s egg. The crab, which is just the meat from sweet Northern Spanish crabs, is plated separately, along with a fried soft-shell crab. Finally, their take on the mantou element for mopping up the sauce is a light, buttery brioche. Amazing; best chilli crab ever, and it’s in Madrid.

11) Glazed monkfish with purple potato sheets and white asparagus

The monkfish was wok-seared, and apparently while glazing tends to overcook and dry out fish, Chef managed to find a way to glaze the fish while still keeping it moist. No s***. The fish was so impeccably cooked it was ridiculous. The purple potato came in the form of cellophane-like sheets that melted in your mouth leaving a distinct potato chip flavor.

12) Stewed beef with “non-fat fat”

This was the last savoury dish. It featured beef short ribs that were slow-cooked for 24 hours, then topped with a rice paper disc that’s meant to mimic the mouthfeel of fat without actually being fat, hence the name.

13) Raspberry chewing gum

The first of 3 desserts, this was a little rectangle of gelatinized raspberry paired with yogurt.

14) Violet ice cream with marshmallow

It took us a while but we finally figured out what this dessert reminded us of – ice cream potong!

15) White chocolate balls with celery foam and lime sorbet

The celery foam was a bit disconcerting at first, but the flavours of the chocolate and the sorbet more than made up for it.

Service was outstanding. Despite a slight language barrier, the waiters described each dish very well, and their easy banter made the meal that much more pleasant. The timing of the kitchen was also perfect. Each dish followed the next with just the right intervals, giving us enough time to marvel at the dish we just ate and to cleanse our palate, without any perceptible long wait in between courses. Despite the number of courses, somehow the courses were timed so well that we both only felt full at the same moment – right after we had our second bite of the beef stew, which incidentally marked the end of the savoury courses.

I think the reason we loved DiverXO so much was that it wasn’t just innovation for the sake of it. At the heart of it all, besides all the creativity and interesting techniques, it was just damn good, really tasty food.

A says:

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. And the monkfish was definitely the best cooked fish I’ve ever had. A must-try if you’re in Madrid (and can get a reservation). We’ll be trying to get seats for his next cooking engagement in Singapore.