[Spain: Barcelona] ABaC Restaurant - Disappointing 2 Michelin Star
Our last meal in Barcelona was at the luxurious boutique hotel we were staying at - 2* ABaC Restaurant where the chef Jordi Cruz was the youngest chef in Spain to receive a Michelin star at the age of 24. The location is not exactly convenient and far from the city center but at the same time, the remote location offered a sense of escape and serenity from a bustling city life. The restaurant is big and spacious which can seat up to 56 diners and while the decor was elegant and sophisticated, the ambiance was rather stiff and really quiet.
Two tasting menus are offered with a shorter 14 courses for 140€ and a longer 16 courses for 170€. We went for the longer tasting menu which would turn out to be a mistake because the meal took over 4 hours to finish! Honestly, the dishes took too long to come out and by the end I was pretty checked out and ready to go back to my room to sleep. It also didn't help that the food wasn't that impressive or memorable - I mean the presentations were certainly creative but the flavors didn't really come together for me. I usually have a pretty good memory of what I have eaten at restaurants but I couldn't really recall what I have eaten at ABaC if I hadn't taken pictures of the food.
The service was decent but also pretty stiff and robotic. Maybe it's too much to ask but I think the best meals are when you're made to feel so welcome at the restaurant you feel like you're dining at somebody's house instead of a restaurant.
Rock mussels with a light escabeche emulsion, hints of citruses and iodine
Tuna marrow and cutlet with Pacific oyster, lemon and salted sunflower - this dish was a big disappointment for me as the flavors were really fishy and disconnected.
Dried tomatoes with grilled sardines, garlic confit and chargrilled bread
Infused prawn bouillabaisse
Our Chinese bread, fried brioche, grilled eel, beech smoke and wasabi
Roasted onion juice with smoked scamorza bubbles, walnuts and orange zest
Black rice with jig-caught squid and lemongrass aioli
Carbonara pine nuts with Parmesan egg white, rooster crest and white truffle
Roasted turbot, glazed fish skins and smoked fish bone jus with cockles, aubergine and pickled
Beef-style stewed tuna, "almadraba" bacon, Parmentier, spicy touches and citruses
Roasted, cured and dried suckling lamb meats with garlic compote, pine shoots and caramelized jus
Tonic bubbles with mango, candied lemon and juniper - things started picking back up when it came to dessert time and I was impressed with this refreshing dessert.
At the end, a plethora of sweets arrived at our table all at once which seemed a bit rush considering the pace of the previous dishes and I couldn't really eat all of it as there were too much food.
Fossilized red fruit tart with vanilla butter Chantilly cream, caramel, oranges and roses
These muffins were baked at the table.
The lipstick sorbet was cute but looked better than it tasted.
Av. del Tibidabo, 1, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
Tel: +34 933 19 66 00
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