One should never underestimate the importance of the setting in establishing just the right tone for a memorable meal. And Ohlab, the award-winning interior designer studio behind the gorgeous Can Bordoy Hotel have worked their magic to create just that. The Library, one of the restaurant’s three dining areas, is an intimate yet uplifting space that combines plush teal velvet banquettes and dusky marble with botanical prints and vintage birdcages hanging from coffered ceilings. A bookshelf full of old tomes lines one wall, while through dimpled glass panes opposite are views out to the hotel’s secluded, semi-tamed gardens. On a fine day alfresco dining is an option.
First up from their (bimonthly changing) tasting menu is a trio of appetisers which arrive on a white marble dish. We are informed of the order in which they are to be eaten; to begin with the plump, tiger-orange mussel in a small puddle of vermouth sauce, follow with coca flatbread topped with a tangle of kale, chard and sun-dried tomatoes, and end with sardine fillets on lightly battered spinach stalk. The vermouth botanicals linger until the final mouthful, tying the three together very pleasantly.
Next a rugged-edged granite bowl is presented, within which artichoke and cockles share a shallow pool of clear viscous liquid. We search for flavours, but few emerge. It’s an early misstep, but one that is quickly forgotten thanks to the following arrival – Norwegian red mullet, with lobster and saffron potato suquet (Catalan seafood bisque). It arrives in a slate-grey bowl, which frames the dish perfectly, while the rich velvety sauce and bitesize chunks of fish are deliciously pitch perfect.
Crunchy strips of fried squid top a foundation of risotto-esque rice and fresh peas for the following dish; a vibrant green herb sauce contributes to the delectable interplay of flavours. Served on a plate of white earthenware with aquamarine glaze, it suddenly dawns that with each course is a new style of serving dish. A touch that really demonstrates the level of thought they have put into every detail.
And served on a simple, white-glazed plate was the meal highlight. To all appearances, it was a filet mignon-size piece of steak, in a puddle of jus with new potato and garlic. And cutting into it, it had all the texture you might expect too. It was soon revealed, however, as thinly sliced pieces of beef wrapped around a piece of sweet potato. It was a bold, even cheeky, move but it worked and uncannily replicated the experience of eating a top quality steak. For dessert, chilli-infused chocolate with vanilla ice cream and mandarin hit all the right notes – sweet, creamy, tart and picante.
The chef at the helm of Botànic, Andrés Benitez, has created a menu driven by his passion for healthy cuisine and organic ingredients. And besides the excellent tasting menu we sampled, it provides an all-day menu of super-nutritious dishes that include ‘single-course meal’ combos, sharing platters and tapas that compromise nothing on flavour.
Why eat here?
Nutritious and inventive dishes from 100% organic ingredients, served in a casual-yet-stylish five-star setting.