Bam! Special Evening with Paco Perez

Bam! on its own is already worth going to but the occasional special guest chef dinners are great events. The following photos are from when Paco Perez guest chef-ed earlier this year. Paco is chef of Michelin two-starred Miramar in Llanca, Spain. The featured photo above was the first of our six courses (five savoury and one dessert). Over the sweet peas, a freeze dried consommé melts to form a thin gelatinous layer. The ingredients were fairly exotic - sea cucumber, eel and tendons -...

Continue Reading

Arzak is Resting on Past Laurels

Arzak's red space egg

Arzak, one of San Sebastian's leading restaurants, doesn't seem as novel as it once must have been. Indeed I couldn't shake the sense that the restaurant is resting on its past laurels and coupled with patchy service for a Michelin 3-Star restaurant, our experience was disappointing. I'm hoping that perhaps we got them on a bad day but I don't think the dishes were memorable enough to warrant trying them again. Especially when there are so many other good restaurants in San...

Continue Reading

Asador Etxebarri – Ultimate Grilling

Etxebarri's grilled prawns

This has got to be one of the most fulfilling restaurants in the world. Humankind discovered fire for this reason - to cook meat, and no one does it better than Etxebarri. The freshest produce supplied by nearby farms and fishermen are grilled just right, and without a lot of dressing so that the natural taste of the food comes through. From fish to steak, even cheese, every course was pure joy.

Located midway between Bilbao and San Sebastian, Etxebarri is worth the taxi ride...

Continue Reading

Barcelona’s Bodega 1900 – Good Tapas, Just Doesn’t Stand Out

El Bulli olives

Bodega 1900, a casual tapas eatery by the Adria brothers (of El Bulli) in Barcelona provides good quality tapas while showcasing vermouth. The challenge for this place is that there are a large number of great tapas places in Barcelona and I don't think Bodega 1900 stands out. So while I enjoyed the food, I had more more fun elsewhere and I guess I should just try harder next trip to get into the Adria brothers' other eatery, Tickets.

Part of the reason I think Bodega 1900 was...

Continue Reading

Barcelona – Two Days of Good Tapas and Gaudi

Place Reial

We only had two days in Barcelona - so what should we see while leaving time for good tapas? Luckily, Barcelona is generally an easy city to get around in and we were happy to walk. The first landmarks that came to mind were La Sagrada Familia and the Barri Gotic (gothic quarter) but we also added in a couple more Gaudi buildings and a visit to the beach.

I've not been back to Barcelona in some time and when I found out that it would be the first trip to this city for my travel...

Continue Reading