Gastrotours | Others

Carme Ruscalleda: The ultimate Palate experience!

Which pleasure in life gets you higher on endorphins? Sex, Food, Exercise…..?

If your answer is sex or exercise then you should try Carme Ruscalleda’s cuisine, it’s a Blast!!!

My husband and I enjoy good food (would you have ever guessed that? ;D) and this was our third time in Restaurant Sant Pau. Each time has been an earthquake for our senses, each time Carme has improved her cuisine and fulfilled our expectations… She is absolutely the BEST!

She is the first and only woman in the world that has 5 Michelin Stars: 3 from her Catalan restaurant and 2 from her Japanese restaurant.Her dishes magically bring the finniest essence of the products to your palate, no matter what you ask for, all choices will take you to heaven!!!

Her dishes magically bring the finniest essence of the products to your palate, no matter what you ask for, all choices will take you to heaven!!!

Restaurant Sant Pau is set in an old grand villa, originally built in 1881. It’s located in Sant Pol de Mar just in front of the sea. The environment couldn’t be more inspiring. For more information and pictures please follow the link of the Restaurant.
This post will contain no pictures of the food… I didn’t have enough light and they didn’t come out as good as I wished, plus all my senses were focused in the food… you’ll have to use your imagination. But, I will try to translate the Winter degustation menu we had. The post also contains a 10 questions interview I managed to ask Carme and she was kind enough to answer :D

Winter Degustation Menu

Welcome Broth

Four January Micro-menu Appetizers (inspired in Japanese cuisine)

Foie Gras with pineapple chutney and vegetables sprouts

Nephrops and monk fish meatball

Cod fish tripe in truffle

Shrimp with artichokes variations

Green peas with Spider fish and Butifarra negra

Roe with red peppered fruits


Cannelloni inside out

January Cheeses

Transparent cube with red fruits, coconut and shiso

Cold and warm: white and black chocolate, truffle, rum and gold

The Ten Divertimento pastry

See how every cheese had a counterpoint small taste of fruits or veggies or gelatin… (the only food picture I dare to upload)This menu is not full detailed and might have some mistakes when translating. For a full and truthful menu you’ll have to visit Carme’s Restaurant ;D. I encourage all Japanese readers to go and visit the Sant Pau rest. in Tokyo… you will love it!!!!


1 .- How do you define your Cuisine?
My Cuisine is executed with freedom and respect, it’s Catalan and modern.

2 .- Which part of a dish process do you enjoy the most? When it’s still an idea? When you are executing it? Or when clients tell you how brilliant it was!
I love it from the start, from the first idea, the research process, the execution of the dish in the kitchen and seeing that customers live a special moment and a gastronomic pleasure.

3 .- The day you have guests at home, what are the dishes that come first to your mind?
Some appetizers, some salads, and for a second I would choose a rice, a roast or baked fish.

4 .- Can you tell me 5 products that you always keep in your pantry/fridge?
Olive oil, vegetables, fruits, biscuits/crackers, tea and chocolate.

5 .- What do you ask for to professionals who want to work with you at the restaurant?
Mainly, I ask them to love the profession, they should have some technical training and be motivated and thrilled to work with us.

6 .- Could you finish this sentence: traditional Catalan cuisine is… a cultural expression of the country, interesting and healthy, don’t miss it!

7 .- Could you finish this sentence: traditional Japanese cuisine is… also a cultural expression of the country, interesting and healthy, don’t miss it!

8 .- What is more complicated, the organization of the Restaurant or the execution and elaboration of the dishes?
Is more complicated than complex; the restaurant organization needs: order, organization, imagination, respect, ideas, kindness, and many hours of work. And the elaboration of the dishes: THE SAME!

9 .- Would you like to open another restaurant in New York for example?
I don’t know, I have got some proposals but none has seduced me as the Japanese one did.

10 .- Sweet or savory?
Depends on the moment! When starting a meal: savory, when finishing it, sweet.

So, dear readers, if you ever have the chance, go and enjoy a meal at Restaurant Sant Pau. You will treasure the experience all your life :D

Gràcies Carme!

If you want to go to her restaurant, you should book the table in advance. If you are staying in Barcelona, there’s a train that will take you there: R1 from El Clot Aragó and in 1 hour you will be seating at the restaurant! This way, drinking a bit more will not be a problem ;D


, , , , , ,



02/04/2009 · 12:26 h by Bellini Valli

This sounds like a very sensory experience dear friend. I enjoyed your interview as well which gives us an insiders perspective. Too bad about the photos but I do have a good imagination:D

02/04/2009 · 13:25 h by Joan Nova

What a great celebration! The restaurant entices from the outside. It’s so colorful. It almost looks Greek with those colors. Good choice of questions too. P.S. Too bad I didn’t know about it when I was in Barcelona last summer. Oh well, la proxima vez.

02/04/2009 · 14:44 h by Passionate About Baking

Can I send my palate over Nuria? Loved the experience, the interview, & the insight into how a fabulous restaurant works. I’m glad you had a good time…xoxoxo

02/04/2009 · 16:19 h by Peter M

Nuria, delighted that the evening was all you expected.

I await your future posts where you recreate some of the flavours and dishes you experienced.

02/04/2009 · 17:48 h by Ben

If I ever get the chance, believe me that I’ll try. Great review amiga!

02/04/2009 · 18:02 h by [eatingclub] vancouver || js

Glad to hear that you had a fabulous time on your birthday!

02/04/2009 · 18:12 h by Heather

I love reading your translations of menu items – you have a way of finding the exact essence of each food to describe it perfectly. When I visited Tokyo it was one of my favorite tasks, too, to try to decipher and translate everything I was tasting. :)

02/04/2009 · 18:41 h by Ivy

I’m coming over to Barcelona. It must have been a great experience to dine in such a gourmet restaurant and maybe you should get a proposal to work there, with your lovely creations. Would you like that?

02/04/2009 · 20:03 h by Maria

Sounds amazing Nuria! A truly unique experience for the senses!

02/04/2009 · 20:27 h by tom

Great blog, Nuria. Compliments from Long Island, New York.

Do you have any idea “how” she was seduced by the Japanese offer? We have to work on getting her to consider New York!!

02/04/2009 · 21:18 h by Marc @ NoRecipes

Sounds like you had a fantastic meal! While I’d love to visit the original, I may be in Tokyo again later this year so I’ll definitely have to try her other location out!

02/04/2009 · 22:14 h by Nathan

If I ever have the chance to go I will :)

02/05/2009 · 3:48 h by Dragon

I’m so glad your evening was a success. What a menu! Lucky girl.

02/05/2009 · 14:18 h by Núria

Hola Valli! It sure was a feast for the senses ;D

Sí Joan, la próxima vez :D. And if it’s not possible on this restaurant, maybe a paella by the sea would be ok.

Thanks Deeba! It was fantastic :D

Ah Peter… I wish I knew just one third of what Carme knows!!!!!

Thanks Ben, amigo!

Thanks Eating Club! :D

Hola Heather! I tried to be exact… but do you think I succeeded? thanks!

Ivy, you are welcome anytime!!! I would love to spend sometime at her kitchen…. That would be great!

Yes Maria… you said it!

Hola Tom! Welcome to Spanish Recipes :D. I don’t have the details on the “seduction process” ;D but there is some similarities between her cuisine and Japanesse.

She loves and uses 1st quality fresh products always, season ones, and has her own garden. She has the restaurant in a village by the sea and I bet she gets the fish from old fishermen friends. I think that Natural, organic, fresh, seasonal and true are the things that seduce her!

Hola Marc! She travels to her Tokyo restaurant now and then… you could ask and know when she will be there. What I know is that the dishes are more or less the same: Catalan food and that Japanesse are totally in love with her cuisine! If you go there… please try it :D

Nathan, if you ever have the chance… I’ll show you around :D

Thanks so much Dragon :D

02/05/2009 · 18:26 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

What a perfect birthday place! And it sounds like you had a wonderful time as well as interview. Huge hugs and happy birthday!!!

02/08/2009 · 22:28 h by Trig

I’ve written about Carme more than once and seen the spoofs on Polonia, but I’ve yet to pay a visit to Sant Pau. It’s hard to find time when restaurants are open and I’m not working myself, but maybe later this year.

02/09/2009 · 11:13 h by Laurie Constantino

WOW. That is an incredible menu – I would love to eat there. The cheese plate alone would be worth the visit. And then there is the foie grax with pineapple chutney. YUM!! That’s a great picture of the boats – definitely ready for framing!

02/11/2009 · 3:08 h by Psychgrad

What a enticing endorsement. I wish North American food was both interesting and healthy.

02/11/2009 · 9:09 h by Núria

Thanks so much Jen! It was fantastic :D

Hola Trig! Welcome over :D. This experience… you can not miss!!! She is PERFECTION!!!

Hola Laurie, beauty! If I was rich enough you’d be all invited to Carme’s… what a great feast would that be :D

Hola Psychgrad! Sure North American food will get there :D that’s the natural trend… don’t you think?

02/11/2009 · 17:32 h by Psychgrad

I think it’s the trend at the more upscale restaurants. But there is way too much accessible food that is essentially a heart attack on a plate.

Leave a comment

Subscribe Contact me Scroll to Top