A Spring Refreshed Chef’s Menu
The Catalonian spring brings with it a flourishing bounty of nature. It is a renewed vibrance highly treasured by Executive Chef Marti Carlos Martinez of Restaurant Gaig, the international extension of the Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona.
Chef Marti presents a spring refreshed five-course Chef’s Menu celebrating the soul of Catalan cuisine through refined dishes with innovative flair and deep respect for time-honoured flavours.
The opening trio of canapés features a lobster salpicón tart of lobster and diced vegetables in a house-made kueh pie tee shell finished with escabeche espuma.
The Salmorejo sandwich transforms a chilled tomato soup into a sorbet served between slices of tomato water meringue. Suckling pig and carabinero prawn follows the regional concept of sea and mountain with the crispy and creamy textures of roasted suckling pig offal with tempura bits that are paired with binchotan-grilled prawn.
The first starter of duck foie gras terrine and multi-spherical anchovy sees French duck liver and L’Escala anchovy served with green apple and confit onion purées.
Gaig’s signature cannelloni, prepared with a 152-year-old family recipe, follows with roasted meat wrapped in cannelloni sheets that is served with a truffled cream sauce as a comforting appetiser.
A contemporary take on Spanish paella, squid ink rice and silken floral presents Bomba rice and diced squid sautéed with sofrito, then cooked in squid ink and a seafood broth of rockfish, prawn and lobster heads till the flavours are fully absorbed by the plump grains. Flavourful Japanese firefly squid is added while draped over the rice is a delicate silken cuttlefish adorned with locally grown flowers.
To showcase Spain’s nose-to-tail gastronomy heritage and to minimise waste, Spanish suckling pig features as the stellar main course. The brain is braised, roasted, and served with carabinero. Fat rendered with bacon is transformed into a tealight candle that melts into a luscious warm dip for freshly baked bread.
Skin crisp oven-baked loin and deep-fried tail is a lovely contrast of rich, sticky collagen and soft tendon. Mango chutney with a splash of lime juice and vinegar offers fruity acidity with each bite. Trotters and bones are reduced with butter for the accompanying jus.
For a complete culinary immersion, a supplementary dish of pig’s head with crunchy ears and tender jowl is deboned for delightful enjoyment; its meat is confit with herbs and spices in sunflower oil and then finished in the oven.
The palate cleanser of Pomada cocktail, a staple at summer fiestas in Menorca, refreshes with juniper-forward Xoriguer Mahón Gin and lemon juice.
Lactic and guava dessert highlights goat’s milk. Sitting on white chocolate sand is milk mousse covered in guava glaze and topped with wispy cotton candy. Within the mousse is a dulce de leche of caramelised sugar, cloves, and milk. Finally, frozen buttermilk foam and drops of guava purée add sweet and sour nuances.
Restaurant Gaig’s spring refreshed Chef’s menu is a repertoire of Chef Marti’s innovative renditions intertwined with the Catalan heritage.