After El Bulli closed in 2011, foodies all over the world wondered what brothers Ferran and Albert Adria would do next. For those who don't know who they are, they created or popularized " deconstructive cuisine" by transforming conventional foods into foam or vapor forms.
This past year in April they opened something rather different, Pakta, a Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei restaurant in Barcelona with the restaurant’s co-chefs, Kyoko Ii and Jorge Muñoz..
From a New York Times article " "The small plates are inspired by the Nikkei cuisine of the Japanese who migrated to Peru about a century ago: fresh fish combined with corn, ají peppers, yuca, potatoes and, in Pakta’s case, a host of creative flourishes — algae from around the world, flavorful flower petals, succinct wild herbs and bursting soy “caviar” bubbles.”
Following tradition, guests are encouraged to eat with their hands. There are two tasting menus: 20 courses and 5 desserts for 90 euros a person, or 15 courses and 4 desserts for 68 euros. It’s a small space (32 seats) so reservations are hard to come by.
Note: Pakta was recently featured by Food + Wine as one of the “100 Restaurants Worth a Pilgrimage”- a list chosen by the magazine’s “favorite globe-trotting chefs.”
I absolutely love this Food and Wine piece because I couldn't have described it any better myself.
The dining room was beautiful. Warm wooden ribs crisscrossed strands of colored yarn—it was like being inside the belly of a whale that had swallowed a loom. Classic pisco sours arrived first. Next, llangueta (tiny fried fish) with kimchi. Then, smoked mackerel in a tidal pool of seaweed juice; attenuated carrots on the fronds of a fern; gyoza stuffed with suckling pig. The tuna nigiri torqued like the fins of a fancy car. The dish that Albert said was “the most markedly Nikkei” was a pot of pale green tofu—soy milk “flan,” flavored with avocado and topped with salmon roe, yuzu and a coil of sea urchin. The texture was indescribably soft. Forget marrying sweet and savory—it seemed as though Albert had conjured a fifth element, one beyond earth, air, fire and water. For once, I was happy that I had never gotten to eat at El Bulli; Pakta might have made it have seem like a less memorable experience.