Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Stars of Restaurant Sant Pau

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Unusually balmy weather of Barcelona made the train trip to Sant Pol De Mar a memorable experience. View from the train is the blue water of the Mediterranean sea. On our way, we met an older couple who were on a quest to eat at every Michelin starred restaurant on the planet which made the train trip back and forth go by in a jiffy.

A glass of champaign to start of this celebration of food.

Carme Ruscalleda could have set up her three starred restaurant anywhere but she set it up in the town where she grew up. It is a Mediterranean town where the tourists arrive in hordes during the summer to enjoy the beach. During off season, it is quiet like the blue sea. We had the tasting menu, sitting at a table overlooking her gardens with a view of the deep blue sea. We enjoyed the coffee and dessert in the garden. Carme was a gracious hostess who came by and chatted with her guests. She had been on a recent trip to San Francisco  and she mentioned that she found Meadowood to be the most poetic of places she had visited on this trip.

Three items – mushroom with shiso tempura, rice with curry and oregano cookie, and Escalibada (vegetables traditionally roasted in embers of a wood fire) and anchovy sushi

European lobster and fresh pistachio chawanmushi

Pirineo foal mini-hamburger aka horse meat burger.

King prawns and cauliflower with fine herbs in an unusual glass bowl that allowed the food to look suspended in air.

Romesco dashi with french lettuce, shiso and kombu

Squid, vegetables and mushrooms in tomato sauce

Gamba tails or sailor’s toast. More than 100 years ago, the children and grandchildren of the Sant Pol fishermen waited on the beach for arrival of trawlers because they brought a gift made on board! To make sailor’s toast, toast the bread, soak it in a fish stew (suquet) and toast again. This toast is a tribute from Carme to the ingenuity and good culinary taste of Sant Pol sailors.

Dentex, a common mediterranean fish, on chayote rails served with olive and vermouth gels.

Iberian pork, served medium rare. With vegetable tempura. This pork is red meat unlike the low fat versions typically had in US. Also has the distinct taste of Iberian ham.

Three combinations of eggplant. The first is cooked in porto, it had the same sweet and smoky flavors going on that we had seen at Biblioteca. Furthest on the plate in an eggplant tart, the second one is an eggplant jam wrapped around vegetables.

Ripe seasonal melons as palate cleanser

Carme calls this, “Sweet potatoes, childhood memories”. Basically this is phillo dough wrapped sweet potato icecream. This was most awesome in taste and presentation. It is served on a clear glass bowl sitting on top of a yellowing page from an old book. Not my childhood but I am glad it is hers.

Chocolate, mushrooms, rosemary and candied hazelnuts. Served on a photo frame. The photo is of grass. The presentation makes you think of a find in the woods during a picnic trip.

Assortment of mini candies and cookies served with coffee – lemon and sage marshmallow in a take away tin, soft chocolate bombon, white chocolate rock, black chocolate rock, jelly, puff pastry cake and pumpkin angel hair, liquorice and sherbet crunchy stick, butter and chocolate cookie, a raspberry crumble.

Garden overlooking the sea with hibiscus and geranium.

Kitchen underneath the restaurant.

Here is  Carme’s recipe for the raspberry crumbles for approx. 60 mini-pieces. Staring with ingredients for the crumble mass:

  • 60 gm powdered brown sugar
  • 40 gm wheat flour
  • 25 gm powdered almonds
  • 40 gm butter
  • 0.8 gm salt
  1. Delicately mix brown sugar and butter
  2. Add flour and the powdered almonds and mix roughly for a gritty textured mass.
  3. With a rolling pin, spread on a sheet of parchment paper until about 0.5 cm thick. Cut into squares of 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm.
  4. Bake at 300F for 12 minutes. Cool and freeze.

Now the ingredients for the chocolate and raspberry coating:

  • 75 gm white chocolate
  • 45 gm powdered freeze-dried raspberries
  1. Melt white chocolate in bain-marie until it reaches 115F
  2. Coat the frozen pieces and put on a tray with raspberry powder. Coat all surfaces.
  3. Return to freezer in a suitable pan.
  4. Serve directly from freezer. They are ready to eat in a few seconds.

Written by locomotoring

December 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm

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  1. […] are smitten by Benu. Multiple Michelin stars decorate Benu’s crown. When we went to Restaurant Sant Pau a few years ago, Carme Ruscadella said good things about Benu. So we decided to make this the […]

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