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Good but more one than two Michelin stars: Restaurant Bardal (2. January 2020)

| February 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

In the little town of Ronda which is famous for it’s Greek-style white houses and is located quite a bit up in the mountains, there is more to see than just the atmosphere. They also have a Michelin-starred restaurant with two Michelin stars (definitely not something you’d expect there)! The Bardal requires a down payment per person of EUR 35.00 in case of a late cancellation or a no-show which I consider absolutely fair given it’s rather remote and the menu actually accounts for EUR 100.00 (‘Menú Bardal’).

The menu then started with an “onion soup with a quail egg und tapioka with a little cracker” which was both absolutely tasty.

The next course was “tuna ball”, “smoked eel fried dough”, “Iberian pork, Béarnaise sauce puff pastry” and “beef tartar” which did not only look amazing but was also super delicious. I especially liked the way they serve the dishes. The tuna ball is served in the bone of the tuna fish and the beef tartar is served on the bone of the beef.

The “Spanish omelette with botarga” was a little bite on the side which was also enjoyable.

I liked the next course which was a “white shrimp with green tomato and harissa spicy juice” …

… enriched with drops of vanilla (four of them) and herbs (another four of them). It was perfect to actually have a bit which was vanilla flavored, then one which was herb flavored, and so forth.

While the “oyster royale” looked incredibly amazing in terms of how it was served, it wasn’t entirely to my liking. I think I’ll never become friends with oysters. The dish was absolutely good, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that the oyster was somewhat cooked or cured so it was a rather dense thing (unlike the usually so jelly like oysters), so I did not become friends with the consistency – again. However, the flavor combination was great.

Next in line was the “sardines salad” which was somehow a personal disappointment as the menu had said “anchovies salad” but it wasn’t in the end. In terms of how the salad actually was, I liked the salad quite a lot – so not such a big disappointment after all.

Before the next course was served, it was time for some “bread olive oil, and goat butter”. The bread was great but the goat butter was even better. I tried the oil which was locally produced specifically for the Bardal but the goat butter really hit the goal – incredibly delicious!

The “scrambled eggs with leeks and caviar” sounded like a breakfast dish to me but it was – while definitely close to a breakfast dish – actually great.

Now, when you read that you will get served a “baby goat in goat butter” you will be thinking that this cannot really be good. Sounds a bit harsh. Might be, but it’s absolutely worth trying! The combination was absolutely delicious and just basically melted away in your mouth!

The “cuttlefish with green sauce” looked great! And it was actually in terms of flavor and texture combination. The cuttlefish wasn’t even chewy which can be the case so often!

The “seabass with seaweeds ‘gazpachuelo'” was next in line and it was a bit of a small bite for kind of being a pre-main course but it was absolutely great in terms of flavor!

The “venison and black salsify” was one of my favorite dishes of the lunch. The venison was great in terms of how it was prepared and in terms of seasoning. However, to me, it lacked a bit of taste of its own. The combination with the salsify and the pickled onions made it a good dish though.

The little “tablo de quesos individual” (EUR 20.00) which was offered to me as a course in between was absolutely enjoyable. I loved the different flavors – however, it wasn’t much of a choice you had.

There are exactly six different cheeses on the cheese wagon and that’s the ones you get – period. Now, I’m fine with that generally speaking if the selection is good which it was in that case. However, given the Bardal is a restaurant with two Michelin stars, I had expected a bit more of their cheese selection to be frank – and I think that’s fair.

The next course was “orange, orange blossom and Algarrobo cake”. Again, I got across Algarrobo which is that ancient chocolate like flavor which was so much better than chocolate. The fact that they combined wit with a white chocolate ice cream in the middle made me even happier (as I love white chocolate; yes, I know it’s not really chocolate). The dish was great!

The “smoked yogurt, corn and chilli millefeuille” was definitely an interesting bite you would just take by hand. Now, the problem with that is the fact that the layers are relatively stable which makes it easy to pick it up to take it in your mouth, however, it makes it also accordingly difficult to take a proper bite which results in the filling squeezing out when you take a bit which isn’t entirely enjoyable. However, the dish itself was good and a lovely final of the official menu.

Last but not least, you get a little something to end the dish – which was a good official ending to the lunch.

The place is small but nice if you get placed in the part which has a view.

However, something is a bit weird with regards to the area wit the view. At the height of about the middle of the window there is a part where you can’t see through. Which makes to that part sense that the people who sit in another restaurant below will not see what’s in, i.e. can’t watch you, however, it also completely kills the view which isn’t something very enjoyable.

But they manage to create a simple yet lovely setting. The service is generally good and friendly but they – at times – seem a bit uncoordinated and you’re not always sure they manage to have everything under control.

Last but not least, they are rather quick in updating everything – the new ‘Michelin’ sign was already hanging on the 2nd of January when I had lunch there. And as you can see, the sign of the ‘Bardal’ is rather unnoticable – so you have to know that you want to have lunch here, else you won’t ‘accidentally’ see it. The first time, in the morning, I just passed it without noticing that was the place I had booked for lunch.

All in all, the Bardal is definitely a lovely experience and offers good food in a nice setting with professional service. However, to me, it wasn’t two Michelin stars. The quality is good and all, but compared to other places with two Michelin stars, it wasn’t as good. One is deserved, I believe, two I personally question as that element of surprise and excitement was missing throughout the whole experience.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Bardal

Calle José Aparicio 1

29400 Ronda (E)

Tel.: +34 951 48 98 28

E-Mail: reservas@restaurantebardal.com

Homepage: http://www.restaurantebardal.com

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 270.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Restaurants, Ronda (E)

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