Sugared & Spiced

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[Barcelona] Espai Sucre

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Espai Sucre

Add: Carrer de la Princesa, 53, 08003 Barcelona
Tel: +34 932 68 16 30
Hours:  [Tue-Thu] 9~11:30pm [Fri-Sat] 8:30pm~late (closed on Sun)
Price: €35~55/set
Visited on: Jan 2013

When Espai Sucre (“Sugar Space”) opened in 2000, it claimed to be the first and only restaurant in the world to be entirely devoted to desserts. This is perhaps true, and the restaurant has even been credited by the New York Times for inspiring the subsequent dessert bar/restaurant movement in New York City. 12 years have gone by since it first opened…what does Espai Sucre look like today?

The small, minimally decorated dining room was half empty when we visited on a weekday evening. The door was (and is apparently perpetually) locked, so customers must ring the doorbell to enter – not quite sure why the setup is like this as it doesn’t seem very welcoming.

Open kitchen.

Espai Sucre offers various tasting menus ranging from €35 to €55, no a la carte. The Tasting Menu 1 (€50+10% vat) I tried includes 5 courses and petits fours, with mostly sweet but also a few savory dishes. First came a trio of amuse bouches, starting with these crisps topped with pear gelee, paprika sausage, and onions.

Chocolate cookies with olive, fennel, and Parmesan.

Warm broccoli soup with white cheese and lemon zest.

When ordering the tasting menu, one can opt for a glass of wine (€4) or a full pairing with five glasses of wine (€16).

Squid rice with saffron custard and passion fruit foam. The dish was sightly too salty for me, but otherwise the different flavors played very well against each other. The passion fruit foam especially added a refreshing touch to an otherwise very rich dish.

Served with a buttery puff pastry roll hot out of the oven. Flaky delicious!

Apple vinegar sherbet, calvados and anise seeds. Liked the rosemary flavor in the curd, but wasn’t particularly fond of the celery gelee.

Coconut tapioca, burnt yolk ice cream and “orujo de Galicia”. The contrast between zesty citrus ice and creamy coconut tapioca was very pleasant, and the crumbles provided a nice crunch in texture.

Fresh tonka beans shavings, smells quite like almonds.

Chocolate with vinegar, strawberry, mint and pepper. The strawberry vinegar sorbet was sweet, sour, with a hint of spiciness, all smoothed out by the chocolate biscuit. Very balanced.

Lastly, the petits fours. 7 dainty bites (lime and rosemary piruleta, sesame and liquorice crunchy, butter and salt shortbread, chocolate 70% and smoked tea bonbon, coffee and anise pate de fruit, peanut and curry cookie, cocoa and green cardamon marshmallow), plus a shot glass of green apple and laurel chupito. Can’t say I loved all the flavors, but I certainly appreciated the attempts to tease the palate even at the end of the meal.

Dishes at Espai Sucre features some very creative flavor and texture combinations, and do very well in maintaining the overall balance. I doubt I’d come back again soon even if I lived in the city – the menu doesn’t seem to have changed much in a past year or two – but it was quite fun for a one-time trial. For those who are interested in trying, reservations are available online.

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Written by sugarednspiced

February 23rd, 2013 at 5:04 am