Cadaqués, set on the Costa Brava of Spain is home to eclectic beach bars and tapas spots and most importantly Compartir, a restaurant founded in the spring of 2012 by Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch - a trio of former chefs from the world renowned El Bulli. The restaurant brings each table together as you gather in awe at stunning plates of food, with one common theme - compartir (to share).
Beetroot and fruit salad with Ajoblanco sorbet
Miniendives de la “Maison Sales” with miso, walnut and black olive
Warm potato salad, mushrooms and pork jowls with pine nut vinaigrette
Razor clams “a la gallega” with Ibérico ham
Ham croquettes with melon and mint
All came one after another so every plate got the attention and time it deserved. Every dish was beautifully assembled and balanced. Each morsel was shared and devoured.
Salmon and green asparagus “shabu shabu”
Turbot Thai style
Iberian pork tenderloin with Moroccan cous cous
Catalan style chicken
Each of us, presented with a set of metal tweezer-like chopsticks, sat in awe as our platter of salmon arrived. A pot of rich and salty aromatic miso-style soup followed, in which we were instructed to dip and cook our slithers of salmon. The soup warmed the salmon and infused it with an oriental smack of flavour.
The fresh turbot was simply covered in a salad of fresh herbs and a crumble of nuts to combine with the fish's natural, powerful flavour.
The simply named 'Catalan chicken' veiled a seemingly complex and impressive dish of moist chicken in an almost moorish spiced sauce topped with iron-rich green leaves and sweet sultanas.
After such ornate starters and main courses the desserts seemed rather plain and simple in appearance.
Their flavour was far from plain and simple.
The Catalan cream foam with strawberries was a feather-light foamy mousse with all the flavour of the traditional Catalan dessert - burnt, caramelised sugar, a hint of citrus, cream and vanilla. The foam melted and disappeared on the tongue as its flavour spread and hid a bed of refreshing strawberry.
The mysterious “Omelette surprise” with coconut, pineapple and mango appeared merely to be a delicately whipped line of coconut. But, this was a mask for the intricate dessert, which lay beneath: mango sorbet and crunchy biscuit with hints of pineapple under a blanket of airy coconut mousse. Its folds encompassed the tropical layers of flavour like any ordinary omelette might.
Lastly, the liquid chocolate balls with blackcurrant sorbet. The solid, crisp spheres immediately burst as they hit the heat of your mouth, giving way to a decadent liquid centre. The cassis sorbet finished the meal with a deeply sharp and refreshing note.