Hoja Santa is a one Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona. It was born as a tribute to the Mexican culture with a personal interpretation from Paco Méndez, the chef. The restaurant is owned and has also the signature of Albert Adrà, the brother of Ferran Adrià, considered the best chef of the world.
It is well known that we enjoy gastronomy and like to travel through the different senses to different parts of the world. Our friend Javier, from El Salvador, knows it too and he gave us as a present for our wedding this nice gastronomy experience. In fact, he gave us a travel to Mexico without taking any plane, just deeping into its most complex and fantastic cuisine.
The romantic dinner started with an explosion of something similar to an olive, but completely fluid inside. Vision, smell and taste are filled constantly with unknown inputs in Hoja Santa when you visit it for the first time. We had never traveled to Mexico neither, and the experience was totally wort it, like a pre-session of a future travel.
Dishes were served with a complete explanation about the ingredients and the cooking process behind. As a guest you notice how flavours and smells evolve during the night in a smooth way while you see how an army of many cooks work in front of you. At this point it is important to explain that the first thing that happens when you enter Hoja Santa is that all the chef team welcomes you, say their names and offers you a seat with views to the kitchen.
The shapes and colours of every dish makes you feel bad when you destroy it for eating. Anyway, it is so delicious that you feel better in few seconds. Meat, fish, vegetables… everything fits in your stomach in Hoja Santa.
Eating art is an experience itself and without any doubt, cooks in Hoja Santa should be called artists. It is not easy what they do and it will help you to feel the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Barcelona. If you ever come to our home city, of course you need to eat paella, tapas and jamón. However, Barcelona is so rich in gastronomy that we recommend to look for a special restaurant at least one night and do a sense travel within your travel.
And when the time for deserts came we were asked to stand up and go to a different room. This had never happened before to us. We expected to end our meal in the same table. However, this was a nice move. The room for the deserts is full of signatures and presents of famous people like: Sebastian Vettel, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Elsa Khalo, José Andrés…
We left the restaurant with full stomachs and another nice experience to explain in Mapping The Map. Definitely eating is one of the best things when traveling, and one of the best ways to travel without leaving your home city.