Kyubey is a restaurant you may be better off never going to.
Since our meal, over a year ago, we have yet to be truly satisfied and happy at any other eatery. Kyubey was that good.
Everything about this flagship location is perfect. You feel at home at the sushi bar. It somehow remains intimate, even though 8 chefs line the bar and 10 private rooms co-exist over 5 floors above you. It is a t once high-end and relaxed; perfectly crafted and slightly debauched. Kyube proves that when you reach the highest perfection, you don’t have to put up any front.
Kyubey is considered the epitome of sushi restaurants in Japan. Rightfully so. It is a bit hard to describe how a piece of raw fish can be that much better then another piece of raw fish. Other then to say … The sushi and sashimi at Kyube is THAT much better then any other we’ve ever had.
Our experience began with a rousing welcome chant ” irasshaimase” and was just a ride of perfection. Piece after piece, laugh after laugh, sake after sake, it was a rock-concert of flavor.
It was only several weeks after when, again, we were walking away from another highly anticipated gourmet meal that we realized what was giving us this vague feeling of un-satisfaction. It was our meal at Kyube that raised the high-bar.
13:00 – 15:30 Lunch – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30 Diner – Tuesday to Saturday
In the remote town of Olot in la Garrotxa, a volcanic area in the north of Catalonia; chef Fina Puigdevall – with the help of RCR Architects – put forth Les Cols; a stunning two star Michelin restaurant; voted most beautiful in the world by a handful of publications.
Puigdevall’s culinary proposals are rooted in the surrounding landscape. The majority of the ingredients are grown and raised at the restaurant, maintaining an ultra local and organic practices. It is beyond “farm to table” as the table is at this beautiful 13th century farm.
Our three hour long meal started with a glass of cava and mini hot cheese buckwheat crust sandwiches in the garden, them we where guided to our table
Dishes were paraded through the golden room to vanish soon after!
Buckwheat spaghetti in a smoked broth turned out to be a gelatinous signature dish.
Early spring brought us calçots in a charcoal tempura with beetroot romesco (Catalan nut and red pepper based sauce). This is a Catalan delicacy – and truthfully we coud have repeated this for a few more plates!
The lovely Pumpkin 5 different ways, was educational and delicious! It turns out the five was are: grated, cold xantana, crouton, soup, & a sliced with black olive oil !
Overall service was good, attentive, and knowledgeable … not to mention patient! We asked all the questions and they indulged our curiosity, even letting us explore the entire place, including the kitchen.
Keep in mind this is a really large meal, so don’t eat a big lunch! Afterwords, we couldn’t move much and sort of rolled back to our hotel! (Also beware the herbal liquor if you are not used to it .. it is where curiosity crosses to indigestion!)
truffles in chanterelle mushroom royal sauce
grilled lettuce with lemon- apple vinegar
artichoke with tangerine mayonnaise and artichoke chips
grilled Brussels sprouts with olive oil and potato puree
sweet onion crumble from Croscat, with cheese from Farró and fried herbs
13:30 – 15:30 Lunch – Tuesday to Sunday
20:30 – 22:30 Diner – Tuesday to Saturday
In the Costa Brava municipality of Llançà, a about an hour away from Barcelona and very close to the french frontier, on the promenade across from the marina, is Paco Perez’s two Michelin star restaurant -Miramar.
Instant happiness, when the brought out the amuse bouche: A collection of fragile, crunchy delights. Followed by breads so flaky and decadent, it was difficult not to over indulge.
Elegance emanates from the dining room overlooking the sea. In contrast to the stark whites and the long ocean; the plating is strongly influenced by the Catalan surrealistic artist artists from Joan Miró to Luis Buñuel and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.
At the time of out visit, the restaurant was celebrating its 75th anniversary with an extension to the menu. The were bringing back a selection of old favorites like the Millenial egg, black trumpet parmentier (mashed baked potatoe) angulas (glass eels). Our favorite was from rebirth from the turn of the millennium, the oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam. The other stand out was tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus. One must note to stand out at Miramar, is quite an achievement!
The dining experience is everything one would expect from a 2 star seaside institution; the service was kind, attentive and patient – the only thing we would have asked was for a bag of bread to go (it was sooooo good!)
anchovies Nardin with tomatoes, piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country ) and onion petals
tuna carpaccio with sea urchin, quail egg yolk and citrus
oyster tartar with caviar and apple foam
Pulpitos (baby octopus) a la Gallega with Calçots and tender fava beans
Crème Brûlée with spherificated fruits and flowers
sugar covered ice creams
a deconstructed version of apple “tarte Tatin” with ice cream
The above photo illustrates the combination of traditional and modern culinary thought by celebrated chef Enrique Olvera. Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America Snr. Olvera set himself back in the culinary mecca of DF. Rather then imitating the New York food scene, Enrique opened Pujol with a daring approach – combing modern culinary techniques with the traditional ancient jewels of Mexican cuisine.
You can taste his success, but if you are looking for rankings, in 2012 Pujol ranked number 36th best restaurant in the world. In 2014 we see a big jump up to number 20. Kudos to well deserved accolades.
Pujol offers two tasting menus: ocean and earth. We ordered both, only adjusting Earth to be vegetarian. Thankfully – and contrary to many cities – this request was not an issue; quite contrary, the chef was pleased to adapt and create special courses for us.
As an overture to our evening we were presented with perfectly round pumpkin emitting a aromatic smoke. Inside, to our delight, were smoked elotes skewers (baby corns) with a dipping coffee mayonnaise and ant dust.
An then the parade of mezcals and memorable delights began, starting with an extensive list of mezcals and the best sangritas we had in all of Mexico!
Service was to the top, no pretension and just lovely service. Again, like Biko and Dulce Patria, the sommeliers and waiters, were educated patient and knowledgeable; giving detailed descriptions and answers to our endless list of questions.
From left to right:
Salsa Roja: roasted garlic, onion, manzano and habanero chiles
Salsa Yucateca: pumpkin seeds, chamomile, lime and cilantro
Salsa Verde: habanero chiles, cilantro with its roots y and tomatillo
Chicharron de Queso is a cheese tuile topped with three different avocado puree; one with chapulines (grasshoppers); the second one with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) and the third avocado pure topped with tomatillo, cilntro and a bit of green chile.
Inflaita de huevo is an inflated fried tortilla filled with potato mousse, a little bit of black bean puree, red chile sauce with chapulines (grasshoppers) and wild cilantro topped with a perfectly cooked egg. Yes it is a sous vide cooked egg – perfect texture all around.
Heirloom tomato salad with breaded Oaxaca cheese balls resting over avocado puree, fried tomato skin, bean leafs, sesame and chili vinaigrette. On this dish the fried tomato skin was a revelation on color, texture and flavor
One grilled octopus tentacle tempura’d on one end and topped with pico de gallo (fresh chopped red onion, tomato, chile and lime) on the other. Adorned with olive sauce and basil reduction.
This dish has a striking presentation and is cooked point to perfection. This is one of the menu items were you can clearly appreciate the quality and freshness of the ingredients and see where the top ranking is deserved.
Fish (robalo) ceviche taco; the tortilla was made with chayote and hoja santa topped with black bean puree, serrano chile, totomoxtle (the dried husk of an ear of corn) powder and dry chiles with lime juice.
Pan seared Guachinango (red snapper) with ginger orange mojo (garlic sauce) and tatemado (tatemar is a special charring technique in Mexican culinary that utilizes a cast iron pan) male plantain and onion puree
Thinly blown sugar sphere filled with piloncillo (unrefined sugar that is commonly used in Mexican cooking), ice cream and guava puree. It is topped with tiny lime meringues, peanut powder, amaranth crumble and mandarin gelatin.
We don’t know what was more impressive, the texture or the flavours – not to mention the super skilled pastry kitchen, blowing sugar so thin and perfect requires years of practice and patience.
At the very end of our meal we had the Chipilín Sorbet. Chipilin in an herb similar to the verdolaga and it grows in southern Mexico places like Chiapas and Oaxaca. It was flambe’d in mescal in a colorful last performance.
(above photo The very skilled team that makes it happen)