Ever since El Bulli was closed, all projects by the Adria brothers have created a lot of excitement. Albert Adria’s pop up restaurant at Hotel Cafe Royal, 50 Days, was quickly booked out. We initially only booked the cocktail menu but luckily managed to get a table through a last minute cancellation. Keeping asking helped!
The meal started with a cocktail at Cafe Royal’s Oscar Wilde Bar, which would look extremely OTT in bright lights but with dimmed lighting, it offered the perfect setting for the cocktails and snacks, which were the ”starters” of the tasting menu. It was followed by the main meal, which was served in the hotel’s restaurant Domino.
Some of Tickets‘s signature bar snacks were on offer to compliment the two cocktails: Elote and Ephimere. Ticket’s Olive beautifully became part of the ornamental decorations. It was a gem, releasing intense flavour from 6 pressed olives.
Ephimere was a cocktail served through a absinthe fountain without the absinthe but a lighter alternative so that we could stay sober to appreciate the food to come!
The snacks demonstrated the extraordinary skills of Albert as the World’s Top Pastry chef. They were full of surprising textures and flavours.
Popcorn (mini meringue with corn)
Nori seaweed with quiona
Crispy beetroot thimble
Strawberry, sesame and curry cookie
Raspberry ginger bite
Blackcurrant meringue with Raifort cream
Agave Cocktail with Kumquat
The eating utensil was one of the most fascinating parts of the main meal- we ate most of the courses using tweezers! Most of them were so elegantly and delicately presented, it would be a challenge to eat them with an ordinary knife and fork!
50 Days pizza with stracciatella. The most delicate ”pizza” ever. Love the cheese!
Mediterranean tuna sashimi with caviar and almond oil.
Instruction: Roll it up with the tweezer and eat it like a roll. Occasional help with the mother of pearl spoon allowed. A test to see how steady our hands could be. Fun!
Tuna tartare with dashi shoya jelly and nori canape.
The tartare might appear to be a little rich but the seaweed brought out its sweetness. Lovely. It was served in a metal cast of a tuna vertebrae.
Curated ”rubia gallega” with ”regana” bread and tea butter.
We first tried each element one by one and then combined them together to our liking. The fat from the ”rubia gallega” was so full of flavour. I am never a fan of Lapsang tea as it is too smoky to drink but having it in butter is a great compliment to the bread and the meat.
Canelon avocado and king crab with mayonnaise ceivche
Smoked salmone Sherwood Forest crostini with beetroot
It looked so colourful and delicate that it fell like a dessert!
Galway oyster with kimchi and cucumber
The kimchi sauce was poured out from a cocktail mixer at the table. A good kick for the oysters which were meaty and sweet.
They were the smallest and cutest pies ever, served in a metal treasure box, branded with 50 Days.
Black truffle was proudly on display together with one of my favourite mushrooms ”king oyster”(which has amazingly has the texture of scallop) and ”rubia gallega”. A hint of what excitements were yet to come..
Here came the clay pots…we were wondering if we were going to have Chinese hot pot. But wait, it was actually ”king oyster” spaghetti with sour cream and black truffle. The mushroom flavour was so rich and strong that the broth tasted almost meaty. And, it was our first time eating ”noodles” with twzeers instead of chopsticks from clay pot. Ha!
Tenderloin with confit potatoes
Impressively, the beef was sooo tender and juicy. It did not look like it had been cooked in the sous vide- just simply great ingredients, beautifully prepared. The sweet grilled pepper was a great compliment. Pickled Japanese Jerusalem artichokes were a great palate cleanser to follow.
It is always exciting when the cheese trolley comes out. But this one was actually serving a cheese- looking self-assembled cheese cake. We added our own ”biscuit base” Fun!
Wild berries Royal
Chocolate air waffle with galanche
The galanche was to be spreaded on the waffle like butter. The latter was light and melted in the mouth, the former was creamy and soft. Lovely!
After the main courses, we were led downstairs to the Oscar Wilde Bar for petite fours, via a special route- with singing of ”50 Days song” by Gorka Font. We also were invited to pick a nashi pear but the ice mountain. Certainly dramatic and surprising.
We were welcomed by a cage of chocolate with gold dust. It looked just like an art display. We were free to reach out and grab. It was 50 Days’interpretation of Ferrero Rocher, called Kiko Rocher!
Albert Adria is the World’s best pastry chef. His petit fours were showcase of his skills. What a beautiful selection with abundance of fascinating textures and flavours! Though I prefer his savoury versions served during cocktail myself as I do not really have sweet tooth!
Green tea and mandarin biscuit
Raspberry, rose, peppermint
Black Sesame rock
A lady showed up with a cigar box for us. A cloud of smoke came out which filled us with the fragrance of cigar. We were totally taken by surprise! We had one ”cigar” each. We could not stop posing with it! As a kid, I had chocolate cigarette before, but never a cigar one which looked so real! We could puff a little with it! Mesmerising!
All the 50 Days branded serving plates, oyster holders, tuna vertebrae and tweezers were on sale in the hotel. We love the idea of using tweezer to eat and managed to find an identical non-branded one with better value here.