Espai Sucre is the work of partners Jordi Butrón and Xano Saguer. They opened in 2000 with the proclaim of being the "only Dessert restaurant in the World". 11 years on, I am still not aware of any other sole dessert restaurants of this caliber. They also provide a consulting service, as well as a range of pastry school classes. We didn't make a booking, but arrive around 9pm. They are very happy to accommodate us, and lead us through the small dining room in the front, past the kitchen, to a small area at the back seating only 6-10 people.
We get a nice little seat with a view of the kitchen. Giant mirrors line the ceiling, so you can see the whole process of each little intricate sweet bite being made. There is a range of menus to choose from, and we go with one of the Chocolate Menu's and one of the Little Dessert Menu's.
The Chocolate menu included 3 desserts & petit fors for 37.5€. There's the option to take matching sweet wines with each course, 4€ for 1 pairing, and 10€ for 3 pairings. Of course we take 3... The first chocolate course is Chocolate with vinegar, strawberries, mint and pepper. There was a mint foam, and hints of pepper in the chocolate wafer, and the strawberry ice was amazing.
The next on the Chocolate menu was truffle mushroom, butter, hazelnut and cocoa. This swayed on both sides of savory and sweet, with a rich earthiness from the combination of butter, hazelnuts and truffle. I could eat this for breakfast ....
The last of the chocolate courses, before petit fors of course, was the Chocolate energy bar, pumpernickel ice-cream, Tanzanie 75% and basil. The bar is made with the Tanzanie 75% covuture chocolate harvested exclusively in Tanzania. It is a blend of Criollo and Forastero beans, which produces a chocolate with spicy & fruit characteristics that is both intense and subtle at the same time. The pumpernickel ice-cream mellows the whole dish, and there is no doubt that we got a boost of energy from this one (although that may just be all of the sugar!).
The second menu we have chosen is the Littler Dessert Menu. This also has 3 courses, with petit fors, and is just 30€. We take another 3 wine pairings with this menu for the additional 10€ as well. The little menu starts off with "Ginger Ale", cucumber, pineapple and tarragon sherbet. The ginger ale is an intense foam sitting in the base of the bowl, there are cucumber and mint rolls and then the sherbet which is elevated with the addition of tarragon.
"Idiazábal" cake with cherry, beet and black beer. Idiazábal is a Basque cheese from the mountains in Spain, made from ewe's milk. The cheese was earthy, and the texture soft like pillows. The cherry and beet in the form of an ice, was sweet and tart and the black beer gave a pleasant, almost dark chocolate like bitterness to the dish.
Hm, I wonder who was doing bacon ice-cream first? We try a bread pudding, bacon ice-cream and pineapple. It's a wonderful finish to a well rounded sweet sensation. The crisp piece of bread really adding to the whole experience of the pudding. The bacon ice-cream was awesome! I could eat that stuff on toast. This dish though, really favored eating each component as a whole, with each part enhancing the other.
The little petit fors selection is delivered to the table on a very cool welded metal stand (Dad, take note;) we may want some of these made some day!) with a couple of little frozen shots. There were cake pops, chocolate florentine, chocolate truffles, short bread, fruit jubes and some cinnamon and almond cookies.
An espresso is the perfect end to our dessert feast. (Dad, also take note of the little welded sugar-compartment box in the background, this too is awesome).
Now, how many occasions after a wonderful meal have you just been dying to go somewhere with an impressive dessert menu and some nice digestifs and coffee? It happens to us a lot ... I think more people around the world should embrace the whole Dessert Restaurant thing. We for one would support that movement!
C/ PRINCESA, 53
08003 Barcelona, Spain
T: 932 681 630
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