Oriol Ivern, with 20 years as owner, is capable of unique preparations and an inventiveness that is always tasty and suggestive.
Oriol Ivern describe the dish on the menu Hisop as ‘cabracho to the press with potatoes’ and for me it is more striking than a neon sign in a Las Vegas casino. It is a preparation that complicates the service for Oriol (“it is carried out in three times”), but it is a blessing that you have.
The silver press to extract juice from bird carcasses has been stranded in (very few) aristocratic restaurants since the 19th century.
To Oriol, like other chefs with more career behind him than a Fiat 500 Abarth (Hisop has turned 20 years old! and he walked into a kitchen with 13!), he is tempted by part of the classical methodology, although he wanted to plant the press in his own way.
Passatge Marimon, 9. Barcelona
Average price (without wine): € 75
Menus: 38 (noon) and € 75
First, he applies it to a fish, something rare (in Paris, Jacques Le Divellec machacaba bogavantes) and, second, it was not in his budget buy silver, so her parents suggested a press for chicharrones! that it had belonged to an aunt from Huesca.
To me, that rusticity between tablecloths –and partitions– convinces me. Once decontextualized, why not bring the instrument of high management closer to the daily reality of the ‘llardó’?
We start with the service of the scorpion fish, which weighs 450 grams. In the kitchen they cut those thorns that armor it, fry it in a pan with “a finger of oil”, show it in the living room to the eager diner and return to the other side of the hinged door, where it is filleted and the cheeks separated and the cococha.
Without dizziness, the marathoner scorpion returns to the dining room in the company of the red prey, how red is the rose that presides over each Hisop table.
In my case, it is Mireia Andreu who puts her head and spines in the carver, hits the tourniquet, takes out the substance and mixes it with a ‘velouté’ with mussel broth, garlic, Iberian ham fat and chilli.
That a restaurant with a Michelin star presents a spicy dish is comforting because it tends to tame.
Grilled suckling lamb shoulder appears with eel ‘allioli’
In the background, the mashed potato; top the fillets and the interiors and, covering, the sauce. Outcome? That is a great deal and that augmentative is cowardly.
The silky and sparkly ‘velouté’ Dress the ‘scorpion’ by day in red on the calendar.
Oriol is capable of dishes that do not die with the change of menu, that exceed immediacy, are copied and have the soul of ‘classics’, and I put the word in quotation marks: the flame mullet, for example.
In three of the seven services on my menu there is room work. The value of the team, says Oriol.
Let’s go on to cite them: Carmeta Torrents, Mireia Andreu, Sophie Glossin, Diego Mateo, Beatrice Casella and, in the sink, Alam Shaharia. The latter has inspired the pre-dessert, the pomegranate with vinegar, cumin, chilli! and mint foam.
Since we’ve gotten closer to dessert, let’s talk: hazelnut praline from La Trencadora, ‘ganache’ from ‘shiitake’ (with a curious blue cheese flavor; a thousand years ago, he already used a mushroom for a sweet) and Moroccan lemon sorbet.
Another dish deserves the esteem I have given to ‘cap-roig’: the grilled suckling lamb shoulder with eel ‘allioli’ (of its smoked and infused thorns: how crazy).
They make me fall in love with an ‘aioli’: I mojo the Forn de Sant Josep bread, the little that remains after slicing the arbequina Kylatt, which Oriol advises.
I drink well and I drink weird: Virra, with 9º, neither beer nor wine; Fine Marismeño and Artuke 2020.
What a chronic disorder: cuts of amberjack with beef fat and slices of ‘ceps’ with truffle (are they two dishes?), oyster with dewlap and ‘menjar blanc’ and ray with ‘camagrocs’, egg, fried sprigs and a touch of homemade ‘garam masala’ (a work with spices that does not shine).
Reflection after the two decades? Oriol responds with a circle: “Move enough to stay the same.”