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Bulli for us!

 
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Bulli for us! Reply with quote

Please post El Bulli thoughts/opinions here! (it's pronounced "el boo-yee", according to Clotilde.)

I've been fascinated by this restaurant for a long time. At first I was put off by the "laboratory experiment" cooking, but even yeast (bread) itself is alchemy magic--it must have puzzled the 1st observers! And who invented meringue?--how weird was THAT when first seen/tasted? Just putting raw meat into a fire, somebody did that first!

El Bulli--my favorites are the plates with themes--several little piles of various seeds--but what is the liquid surrounding them, and do the seeds have flavor? Also, the array of 12 different types of seaweed--as cool as Jules Verne, twenty thousand leagues under! Great inspiration for party-type dishes.
What does one WEAR to El Bulli?
Do you feel full after 6 hours of small tastes?
The 1st real meal AFTER dinner at El Bulli, the next day-- is it a huge boring letdown, or substantial and satisfying?
Do men and women enjoy the experience equally?
Is that a sexist question?
The faux caviar tin, tiny balls of melon, is adorable.
Too much Parmesan is too much Parmesan.


Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ginger!

Here are my thoughts:

> What does one WEAR to El Bulli?
Before we went, I had been told that the atmosphere was very laid-back, and that some people came in shorts and a t-shirt (!). The atmosphere is indeed more laid-back than that of the other upscale restaurants I've been too (not that many, mind you), but it is still sophisticated, and the dress-code could be described as "low-key elegance" -- certainly not eveningwear: this used to be a beach-side shack, and the walls remember. If you want to know, my male friends wore dark pants and a shirt but no tie, my female friend wore linen pants and a pretty shirt, I wore a simple summer dress and small heels.)

> Do you feel full after 6 hours of small tastes?
The feeling is quite different from a more classic large meal: you don't feel full exactly (the portions are not very large), but what you feel after a while is a sort of sensory saturation, from the tasting of so many flavors.

> The 1st real meal AFTER dinner at El Bulli, the next day-- is it a huge boring letdown, or substantial and satisfying?
When we woke up the next day, we sort of felt as if the previous night had been a dream, so it was very easy to get back to "normal food". What we did notice is a strong urge to comment on what would or wouldn't make a good candidate for esferificacion... Smile

> Do men and women enjoy the experience equally?
> Is that a sexist question?
It seems to me that it's a matter of personal character and taste, rather than a matter of sex -- but I only have a small sample to base my judgment on.

> The faux caviar tin, tiny balls of melon, is adorable.
I have heard that this is a classic that they make sure they serve to all newcomers. Returnees (yes, there are lucky returnees!) usually don't have it again the next time they go.

> Too much Parmesan is too much Parmesan.
Agreed. It was nice to have recurring themes -- the echoing flavors gave a sense of whole to the meal -- but we all agreed that the Parmesan was overused. (We joked that the kitchen had had a fabulous deal on it.)


Last edited by clotilde on Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thank you, Clotilde, and it's nice that the walls there will remember.

Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curiously enough, the only question I could think of is " What does one wear ", and it was somehow clear to me that dress should be informal: just imagine being fully dressed , looking solemn and serious while eating parmesan foam and unboned chicken legs, melon caviar and basil clouds ( or vice -versa) ...You can't really dress elegant for such a non- serious meal!

No more war, no more foam
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this used to be a beach-side shack, and the walls remember

Clotilde, what beautiful prose. Of all I've read of this magical, mythical place, that has to be the most descriptive sentence. Thanks for sharing your experience, and thanks gingerpale for asking the right questions.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That line hit me too, Judy! I have a feeling maybe the walls in Montmartre are different from American (and Australian?) walls...
I don't think an American in Barcelona would have said that.
When I read that phrase I sort of thought to myself "only somebody from an OLD place would have put it that way."

p.s. Judy I'm reading "Cloudstreet" and loving it!


Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I adore the idea of a languid 6 hour meal of small sensations but would worry that my wine intake might overpower the later stages of the meal. Very Happy El Bulli looks like an experience I would like just once, and never repeat for fear of disappointment.
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Maria



Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject: But how...?? Reply with quote

The thing is, I've tried for years to get a table at El Bulli, but it seems not possible, inless you're famous or very rich. IT'S NOT FAIR!![/b]
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pistache



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Cannes, France

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend who has recently eaten at the Fat Duck (Heston Blumenthal) at Bray, Berkshire, U.K. is now determined to make the comparison with El Bulli. He told me that on October 14 they will be taking bookings at El Bulli, and all the bookings for the next 6 months will go on that day... so be quick ! Laughing
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bux



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 6
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: Bulli for us! Reply with quote

gingerpale wrote:


The 1st real meal AFTER dinner at El Bulli, the next day-- is it a huge boring letdown, or substantial and satisfying?


I found this particular question appealing enough for me to respond to in an old thread. I suppose a lot depends on what one calls a real meal and what sort of meal it is. I've dined at elBulli twice. The first time was lunch--they stopped serving lunch the next year, although I think they serve it once a week these days. In any event, dinner was a few snacks that night and our next meal was lunch the next day in Barcelona. We chose a noted but simple seafood place on the beach where we had unadorned shrimp and shellfish for starters and a local Catalan rice and lobster dish for a main course. It was the perfect contrast to AdriĆ 's food, or should I say his food was the perfect counterfoil for simple local food. Each meal was the better for having the other. Rafa's is the sort of place in Roses, if one is staying there for two days, that can provide exquisitely simple seafood, but it's small, too well known and a table is as hard to get as at elBullli.
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