Barcelona’s Hotel Omm’s one-michelin-star restaurant Roca Moo is a wondrous cocoon of art, design and style and is well-positioned, being city central . We are here to sample one of Spain’s most talked-about degustation experiences, and are pleased to be seated ready to explore some of Spain’s best wines and regional food ingredients. Head chef Felip Llufriu is tasked with overseeing the restaurant for Catalonia’s famed Roca brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi whose culinary vision has earned them extraordinary high accolades. The brother’s restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, some 100km northeast of Barcelona, holds three michelin stars and was in 2013 named the best restaurant in the world by the Restaurant magazine.
We begin with two very simple beautiful items: fresh-made grissini with baby prawns, rock salt, black garlic, parsley and saffron and cream; and melon cubes coated in dried ham and lime zest. These small offerings offer a fragrance punch as subtle and beautiful as their graceful visual presence. The grissini is served to resemble seaside found objects: a slice of sand-withered stone or metal with the grissini atop playing the part as perhaps an encrusted piece of drift wood. So too, the melon cubes spiked with dried ham have a coating similar to that of a sea urchin.
This seaside theme continues with a small jar of unbelievably silky and bright white cod foam, accompanied with olive oil jelly, paprika dust, paprika mayonnaise and crispy cod skin. The foam is ultra light in texture, clean, silky and soft. It appears just as sea foam and hides very soft, fresh fish pieces within. There is a punchy and very robust depth to the cod flavour however it is well balanced with a creamy, uplifting freshness. The cod crisp is a perfectly dehydrated, a sea-salt bonus work of umami food art. This dish and the following cold tomato and cucumber soup is paired with a 2009 Castellroig – Villa Sabaté i Coca Reserva Familiar Cava – a fine Spanish sparking wine with complex herbaceous and nutty aromas. The cucumber soup, to one side of the bowl is poured over fresh cockles and a small quenelle of summer-cool savoury olive ice-cream; the other a chilled tomato soup floating above small anchovy slices. The flavours here are clean and bright, with the cockles showcasing a brilliant minerality. The cucumber soup shares a lovely fragrance and silky texture with the light and fresh salon coloured tomato soup.
The creamy zucchini omelette with grilled baby squid has molecular gastronomy wow-factor, its egg incased in a exoskeleton-like jelly coating. Cutting this open reveals the slow flowing egg of the omelette. The sea fresh baby squid is lightly smoked and beautifully wild in appearance. French sommelier Audrey Doré pours a 2010 ‘Taleia’ Castell D’Encus Sauvignon Blanc, it is herbaceous with a light floral nose and and a velvety mouth feel. Fermentation in natural rock vats – ‘gaps’ that have been naturally carved into the mountain rocks, this Catalan Pyrenees wine is energetic and mighty impressive.
The encased very rich, slow-cooked caramelised meat within the oxtail and Palamós prawn ravioli is robust in depth. It is nicely married with the firm and succulent Costa Brava red prawns and accompanying lime juice and cardamon foam; adding and out of the box ‘shock-factor’ surprise – the combination is striking.
Yet again, we are wowed with another brilliant further afield, regional wine: this time a lipstick/candy apple coloured ‘2013 7 Fuentes’ Canary Island ‘Listán’ Negro/Tintilla blended red wine that bursts from the glass with a nose of musk, candy and bright ripe cherries. This wine is the kind of elegant old-world meets new wine style that makes traveling to Spain so worth while. The wine is sheer bliss and fragrant beyond belief.
Other local ingredients such as Monkfish with papa arruga (Canary Island wrinkly potatoes), spinach and cress feature. And to further tie the wider Spanish culture of food and wine tastes together we’re poured a Manzanilla pasada (passage of time) la bota de No. 50 Equipo Navazos (winery) fino sherry. This exclusive rare barrel selection fino is as good as it gets. A small production solero wine, it is a clean golden colour, with complex layers of sea salt, toasted raisins, almonds and a depth of rich caramel. The moth feel and flavours are seamless and simply beautiful; a hand selected Spanish solero at its best. An impossibly perfected wine.
This overwhelming, explosively decadent degustation continues with pigeon with red fruits and a stand-out 2010 Mas Martinet (winery) ‘Els Escurcons’ Viticultors Grenache – it is a simply smashing – a wine that everyone should dream about tasting when in Spain. Displaying punchy lifted aromas of cherries, violets, chocolate and that tell-tail brilliant candy apple sweetness; it boats a mouth feel that is lush and velvety soft. The palate uniquely layered with musk and finishes long, slightly sweet, with slightly drying tannins. It maintains a balance that works utterly well.
Completing the menu, pineapple textures (dried, dust and fresh) with Mahon cheese ice-cream is summery and cleansing. Plated with this silky and fat, tangy cheese ice-cream, its texture forms a desert decadence of the highest level. ‘Till the end, our invincible sommelier Audrey another gem, a 2007 Sharzhofberger Spätlese (late harvest) Mosel Riesling (Germany); it’s a cracker. Bursting with bright, clean pineapple flavours, and moderate sweetness, it is round, mouth-filling and elegant.
Carrer del Rosselló, 265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Tel. +34 934 45 40 00