It has been a long while since I wrote a full restaurant review and what better way to kick it off again than with a write up of the experience at Cocina Hermanos Torres in the beautiful city of Barcelona.
A beautiful, large and welcoming open space in an old tyre factory greets you as you enter. The same can’t be said of the hostess however – a very cold “Yes?” as you walk in is not what is expected as you at an establishment such as this . I wasn’t going to let this curb my enthusiasm nor my curiosity. The tables are nicely spaced apart granting you privacy in this large room. Once seated, I was appropriately welcomed and presented with the menu. A delightfully designed menu highlighting the 17 course journey I was about to undertake.
The menu and cuisine, itself, is hard to categorize. The Torres brothers are obviously drawing inspiration from their long and successful careers. Locally sourced ingredients mixed with traditional and modern techniques seems to be the tone. Visually stunning amuse bouches and in-house bread were brought to the table promptly and confirmed the tone for the meal.
To start off was a Blackberry Salad with Sorrel. A refreshing blackberry sorbet offset with the crunch of fresh greens. A sorbet is an unorthodox start to a meal but one that works splendidly and plated beautifully.This was followed by the stunning and vibrant Sea Urchin, seaweed bread and consommé. The meld of textures and flavors was impressive from the creaminess of the sea urchin, to the crispness of the seaweed bread to the smoothness of the prawn consommé – a truly remarkable bite!
The theatre style kitchen, reminiscent of a TV studio, was bustling with activity with the chefs working hard to prepare the dishes for the service. I love watching chefs work, their dedication and concentration does not go unnoticed.
The Onion of Fuentes, another stand out dish was put in front of me. The most stunning example of an onion soup that I have ever seen. The looks were only half the story. I was expecting a salty, strong onion broth but was surprised to taste a soft, delicate, creamy and sweet onion delight. The parmesan crouton brought in the crunch and saltiness and the layer of truffles rounded out the flavors. A remarkable dish!
However, the dish of the day for me has to have been the simplest one – Peas with Iberic Ham. A mound of fresh garden baby peas, served with a Iberic ham sauce. Each pea exploding with sweetness with each bite perfectly complemented with the strong ham sauce. No further embellishment needed, the natural ingredients just sang a loud chorus on their own! If the good lord had taken me then, I’d have died a happy man.
After the excellent dishes of Bouchot Mussels with gazpachuleo and Sea Bass were done, I was treated to the Comb of hare. A dish with a story. A perfectly done gamey rabbit meat ravioli served on meat sauce with silver flake. The story of the hunt. The meat sauce brown as the earth, the silver flake of the bullet and the plate garnished with red jam, the blood of the hunt. Delightful, playful and tasty.
Desserts were equally playful and minimalist with Cocoa Age standing out. I’m not the biggest fan of desserts having lost my sweet tooth a long time ago but the mix of ground cocoa beans and wafer thin delicate chocolate with just the right amount of chocolate ice cream was simply pure luxurious decadence and brilliant.
Cocina Hermanos Torres is an open, inviting space that produces amazing food. The Torres brothers definitely deserve their two Michelin stars. Service was flawless (apart from the hostess who needs an attitude check) and it will not be long before this restaurant becomes one of the temples to gastronomy in Barcelona.
The numbers …
Food 5 / 5
Ambience 1 / 1
Service 1 / 2
Value 1 / 1
Triple ‘F’ Factor 0 / 1
Overall 8 / 10