Grand Hotel Portals Nous overlooking the sea, is the first 5-star luxury hotel by IBEROSTAR in the Mediterranean. The hotel combines the stylish architecture of Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders, with locally sourced ingredients to create quite a classic cuisine.
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The decor is simply wow… an oversized white sculpture of trees creates a centrepiece behind the outdoor champagne bar. The interior is a series of vault-like arches with unending hydraulics tiled floors. Every detail was designed to create a glamourous impression – and it works!
Astir offers one of the best selections of premium champagnes by the glass that we have encountered, so a glass of Dom Perignon was a welcome treat on arrival. We tried the 7-course tasting menu for 60€ (excluding drinks) which was an excellent value.
We started with homemade brown and olive bread which combined well with the amuse bouche of cod foam with caviar. The mushroom consommé (coffee & cream as it was referred to) served in a glass had quite a subtle flavour… not too sure it worked. To our surprise, in such a trendy place, was the white-glove service. The delicious, Cordoba-style salmorejo served on a bed of crab with lobster caviar, confit of octopus, star anise & strawberries, was presented like the Med on a plate. Unfortunately, some plate scraping had to be done to get the last drops, but certainly worth the effort!
The scallops and wild asparagus salad were a bit too salty for my liking, but the crystal potato parmesan was the perfect addition to give the dish star quality. We continued with the roasted squab (pigeon) served with a puree of corn and baby popcorn. Then we had the fresh turbot with Beluga lentils stew and black chanterelles (trumpets) followed by the acorn-fed Iberian pork with violet potato puree and french onions. The dishes at Astir are rich in flavour. The cuisine of young, Spanish born chef Iván Crespo is strong, it’s thoughtful, but it’s not predictable, and it is certainly well practised.
We conclude that you can’t fault the cuisine – Mediterranean classics, meticulously prepared and presented. The á la carte menu might seem pricey, but the seven-course tasting menu is a steal. At the Grand Hotel Portals Nous glamour is an adjective that fits well, so forget the well-travelled hot spots close-by and try Astir for a special treat.
Why eat here?
The stylish decor of the restaurant and its privileged location overlooking the sea serving high-quality Mediterranean cuisine.