Salvador Sostres: A scandalous bar


Barcelona

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Albert Raurich with Dos Palillos, Dos Pebrots, Sake Bar and Tamae has become the highest quality gastronomic group in the world. Cerrado El Barri – Albert Adrià’s group of restaurants -, Raurich is the most relevant and profound executive chef. The latest novelty is Tamae, in alliance with Eugeni de Diego, creator of A Pluma. He was also a chef at El Bulli. Tamae is a delivery that also has a bar to eat there, which can also be ordered by Glovo. I have told Albert that this bar is going to be the most important in Spain and he has replied horrified that it is not at all, and that it is just a normal place to eat normal and I don’t know what else that also ended up in normal.

When Raurich says “normal” it’s a bit like when I say it and I see that people stare at me. Albert Raurich is not normal, among other things because he is a genius, and then what is normal for him is not too normal. The same thing happens with Eugeni de Diego. Chicken a l’ast is one of the most popular and consumed dishes in Catalonia and a chef from El Bulli had to come to make them as God intended. Years, decades, centuries, eating rickety, vulgar, infumable chickens à l’ast, and all the Catalans swallowing with their usual uncritical sense of things, and their infinite poverty of spirit, until another who thinks that it is also normal has been the only and lonely exception and has swept.

The Tamae bar is very pretty and sexy at the entrance. Comfortable but not to last forever, functional, predisposes to the euphoria of ordering everything and with a lot of sake. I went to eat on Saturday at 1. Eating late is for drug traffickers, but also the first shift is always more relaxed and everyone is more for you. You have to have lunch at 1 and dinner at 8. Everything else is cocaine.

An angry, spicy, incendiary kimchi that lifts you out of your chair and pushes you to invade Europe puts things in their place to begin with. A kimchi with bad milk, tasty, smooth, with nerve, exciting. And then without time to think, a pre-pelvic tartar arrived, which I devoured with childish hunger, rude, leaving nothing for my guest. A tartare with rice and even the rice looked like beef. But I, who have come to the world to find the perfect nugget -just searching for the emerald sea, boys- I was absolutely amazed with the chicken pankoage and the hake pankoage. That is to say, the chicken and hake in batter of a lifetime, elevated by Albert and Eugeni to artistic discipline. Never before has this crispy, mild, cultured batter. Never before has it been battered with all the joy that my grandmother used to do and without any of its heaviness or burdens. Normal, says Raurich. Ha Reservations at Tamae have been sold out until the first week of December. They will have to expand, they will have to do two. I am right and Albert is wrong. This bar is a scandal, this bar is the best thing that has happened to him in Barcelona since he opened Hoja Santa. Raurich already tried Dos Pebrots to be a normal restaurant and it is one of the best restaurants in the world. Neither Raurich is normal nor does he know how to do normal things. Eugeni de Diego is not normal either and both are going to turn their street food into another haute cuisine landmark. Unintentionally, that is true. But inevitably getting it. Geniuses cannot stop being geniuses. And this, which I imagine must be very uncomfortable for them, is for us “already a fable of sources.”

A Pluma and Tamae contrast with the tremendous crap that David Muñoz, the guy from DiverXO, has put into circulation lately. And this I do not say to bother but to understand the reflection on geniuses. I wrote him a long time ago that haute cuisine was too much for him not to make a fool of himself and to dedicate himself to selling chickens. I even gave him the name of the company: “Pollos Muñoz.” He insulted me, attacked me no more than with lies that should embarrass him, although not as much as his cooking, but the years passed and he listened to me. Now he has opened «Pollos Muñoz». I have to admit that I was wrong and that I was too tough. But not with Muñoz, but with the chickens. Dabiz – as he likes to call himself – does with chickens what Hitler did with Poland. That museum of dryness. It makes you want to put the lubricant that I keep at home for other purposes. What is normal? Probably the normal thing, if we look at statistics, is that ghosts like David Muñoz do not even know what to do with a chicken but they win the prizes disguised as real clowns and with a pretentious kitchen to deceive those whores of those who used to lick their fingers in seafood restaurants and today they lick their vanity on Instagram. The same could be said of the sultry restaurant that has opened in the Constanza hotel and that wants to be urban and informal when it is nothing more than a beret-and-a-half hunt awaiting a destination not very different from that other macarrada that had to close in London.

Genius is the great dividing line of Humanity and the vast majority fall on the other side. I’m not saying this so much to insult the fallen as to underscore the importance of a bar like Tamae. We have the undeserved grand prize of having lived in the era of Ferran Adrià. And by Albert Adrià, Albert Raurich, Oriol Castro, Eugeni de Diego, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch. And every time they do something, what they believe is more important and people, although there are a lot of idiots, end up realizing it and there is no room in their restaurants, whether they are in Paris, Cadaqués, Montjoi or in a “normal” bar from Casanova street. Tomorrow I fly to Paris with the brand new ADMO, Albert Adrià and Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant. Reasonably, on Thursday, ABC readers will be able to read what the experience is like and what it consists of. Readers of the other newspapers will have to wait another week, but hey, I suppose they will be used to the delay by now.

The truth is uncomfortable but above all lonely. We live among a lot of chicken and with the geniuses numbered.

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