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Barcelona, Spain

El Bulli alumni create modernist magic in Barcelona

What's it all about? Set up by three former El Bulli chefs, this beautiful Mediterranean restaurant in Barcelona's Eixample neighbourhood owes a debt to Ferran Adrià's modernist ideals, but also has its own quirky personality. 

Fun food: The multi-course tasting menus ricochet from one theatrical avant-garde dish to another, dizzying the senses and leaving diners with smiles on their faces. Think transparent tubes of 'macaroni', made from gelatine, which are tossed in truffle foam and smothered in Parmesan at the table. Even more unusual is a deconstructed whisky tart, which involves washing your hands in whisky and sniffing them as you eat. 

What's the vibe? The restaurant doesn't take itself too seriously (Disfrutar means 'enjoy,' after all), so there's a mellow, laid-back atmosphere, helped by the rustic interior design. Clay ceramics flank the open kitchen, while the pretty whitewashed dining room flows out onto the terrace, referencing the small fishing villages of Catalonia.

Other ventures: The trio also run Compartir, meaning ‘share’ – a more informal but still cutting-edge restaurant in the seaside town of Cadaqués, not far from where they worked at El Bulli.

Images: Francesc Guillamet (dishes and portrait); Adrià Goula (kitchen)

On the pass

  • Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch

Style of food

  • Avant-garde with strong Mediterranean roots

Standout dish

  • Macaroni carbonara