We’ve been trying to book a table at El Celler De Can Roca in Girona, Spain since 2011, but we never managed to get one during the period that we were interested. You see this 3 Michelin starred restaurant has constantly been at the top 10 of the world’s best restaurants (according to San Pellegrino’s list) and this year it overtook the number 1 spot from Noma, making reservations even harder (they are currently booked for 1 year ahead). When a food blogger we follow mentioned that he would not be able to make use of his lunch reservation for the 26th of September and he was happy to give his place to anyone interested, we started planning!
Logistically this was a nightmare, as I was in Athens at the time and had to fly to London and then to Barcelona, during a period when tickets from Athens to anywhere in the world are stupidly expensive. But I wanted this so much (and I’ve promised myself that I will not miss out again like I did with El Bulli) that I took the hit.
We arrived in Barcelona in the evening and the next morning after skipping breakfast, we drove for about one hour and arrived to Girona, where Roca brothers’ restaurant is based.
The restaurant is lovely, with a courtyard in the middle and a nice garden outside. Everyone arriving seemed to be taking pictures in front of the R sign; this is definitely a destination restaurant and an once in a lifetime experience for most guests. However, unlike other destination restaurants we’ve been to, the front of house didn’t make the effort to emphasize and substantiate this… They seemed bored and mechanical, with the owners (head chef, pastry chef, sommelier) being the only ones that smiled and seemed as friendly as expected.
The food was well executed, tasty and nicely presented. But in my humble opinion it wasn’t better than any other 3 star restaurants I’ve been to. Our favourite dishes were: “The World”, the olive, the truffled bombon, the white asparagus and truffle viennetta, the sole, the lamb and the Shalimar by Guerlain in a dish.
Overall, I don’t regret this and I will jump to such opportunities anytime. But I’m glad that a) we were lucky to avoid waiting for a year to visit Can Roca, and b) that we had booked a lot more restaurants for the next few days. Ah, and of course we visited the now closed El Bulli, which is not too far away, just to punish ourselves for never having the pleasure of trying it 😉
“The World”: Burrito with mole poblano and guacamole (Mexico); Ceviche broth (Peru); Pickled vegetables with plum cream (China); Almond, rose, honey, saffron, Ras El Hanout, goat yogurt (Morocco); Panco fried bread, bacon with soja sauce, snow peas, kimchi and sesame oil (Korea)
Carpano bombon with grapefruit and black sesame
Vegetable stock with sprouts, flowers, leaves and fruits
White asparagus and truffle viennetta
Cod with miso and hazelnuts
Isabel Marant sneakers
Antik batik clutch
Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses