Stop right there! It could have carried on, the poetics, the romanticism, the seduction, but it didn´t. I was looking forward to writing dreamily about venturing an hour out of Barcelona into a little village to a 3 star Michelin restaurant, but I´m not doing that anymore.
I should have listened to my instinct – Can Fabes was never on my list of restaurants to visit, but being in Barcelona and so close, I thought that a chance visit would prove to be fruitful.
The general mood during our meal at Can Fabes was that the staff had forgotten about us. We´d chosen to eat a la carte when there were two tasting menus presented to us – neither took any of our fancies (and I`m the biggest advocate of tasting menus!). What an odd menu as well. No starters, just main courses, and you can choose to have bread and amuse bouche for an extra €12 – never have I come across that! Nevertheless, main courses ordered, bread and amuse bouche course ordered, and I began having premonitions of misery (something didn´t seem right, I couldn´t put my finger on it).
At some point we got some canapes which were probably the tastiest part of the meal. About half an hour after that, and no food in sight, we were presented the dessert menu and asked to choose as it was a la carte and they needed ample notice to prepare our desserts – how ridiculously bizzarre. How absoulutely ridiculous – those desserts really didn´t stand up to the pre-ordering that had been undertaken, but we´ll come to that soon enough.
An hour in since we ordered, and not a morsel in sight, nor a crumb of bread. About 70 minutes in a bit of food showed up at the table: Red mullet tartare, citric reduction, Iberian pork neck fat, white bean puree. The fish tasted a little of lime leaf and the pork was tender, and that´s all I have to say about that! The pork didn´t taste unpleasant either. The best part was that under the fish there was a brunoise of fennel – well, for mum and myself at least. Dad´s fish had chunks of diced fennel. Consistency, I ask you?
Oh yes, we also got some jellied ham with olive oil in a little pastry which tasted, well it tasted. Um. It tasted clean!And the little side of green leaf that was supposed to be reminiscent of oyster and an anchovy cream was, on the other hand, quite a pronounced flavour and rather nice. And finally the bread arrived. Some selections of some flavours that I really can´t be bothered about narrating.
So our main courses arrived and my jaw dropped – is this really the work of a three star Michelin restaurant? A gross, huge chunk of meat, a bit of pineapple, three little parisiennes of apple (Shoulder of kid, pineapple, coconut – which I couldn’t taste at all)? Or my mums cooked to oblivion piglet leg (Roast piglet) and a little square of mango? Or my dads huge chunk of lamb shoulder with a bit of peeled apricot? Are these dishes really 3 star and worth the astronomical price? A first year student, correction. A first week student at chef school would come up with a dish far better than this. Not a green speck in sight, not a vegetable in sight. Not even a molecule of good prime meat. My mum had overcooked chewy, dry greasy piglet leg, I had unseasoned, boring, dry kid leg, dad had the suckling lamb shoulder. I couldn´t have more than a couple of mouthfuls before wanting to go on a rampage and cry at the same time.
My mum and I left 75% of our plate and my dad left half of his. We subsequently informed the waiter, who I found to be rather uppity that we really didn´t like the food, and that it was dreadfully boring (I’ve never been so bold, but in the given situation, found the words just flowing out of my mouth) and flavourless. A few minutes later he came back telling us that the chef recommended that I have the pigeon as it was a lot more flavoursome than the kid and I had to decline as I wasn´t in the mood for waiting endlessly to have another plate of ‘no thank you’.
Following this we did just want to leave, but thought that desserts might be a bit better. Some form of pre-dessert followed which I couldn´t really be bothered to photograph or remember and then my dessert: Bread & Tomato: brioche, tomato pulp, tomato jam, blood orange and tomato sorbet, white chocolate aioli. The aioli was severely greasy – the mouthfeel you get when you split a white chocolate mix and then blend it to rectify, but realise that it coats your mouth with heavy grease, whilst none of the other bits of the dish actually played with each other in any shape or form. Mums red fruits with strawberry tartare actually only had about a quarter piece strawberry in it, whilst dad didn´t think anything special of his chocolate and tonka bean dessert either.
And to top it off, the petit four selection introduced us to caneles. One black, burnt and bitter, the other just really overcooked. The head chef must be on holiday. Really. Or else he knows he´s going to lose all his stars and can´t really be asked to put in the effort.
Oh, and we still paid for all our main courses. I must have had a past life debt that was waiting to be paid off.
Overall experience, food and recommend you go? 0,0,0