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Friday, April 13, 2012

é by José Andrés

I'm a fanatic planner, especially when it comes to holidays. Ms L & I had been friends for many years since first meeting at Uni. Our mutual interest in shopping, fashion and eating kept us in close contact, sampling new restaurants in Melbourne. We decided on a spur to plan a trip to the United States of America. Luckily, Ms L left all the planning to me and I happily and almost bordering obsessively planned our trip. I googled a lot and researched a lot more than I actually did work in the office (oops) and came upon a restaurant in Las Vegas called é by José Andrés. José Andrés is an internationally renowned Spanish chef and his restaurant, é by José Andrés, was a unique restaurant hidden within a restaurant. Located in the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the strip, é resides in his largely popular Jaleo. Only open from Wednesday to Sunday, with 2 seatings per night and accommodating only 8 people, I'd say I was quite desperate to secure a spot, especially seeing as it was the day before New Years Eve.

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Entrance to the Cosmopolitan Hotel

No phone number to call, instead you had to be one of the first 8 people to email through after midnight, 1 month in advance (I think this has now changed to two weeks, so best to check), to get lucky. And I sure got lucky. Due to the holiday season, José Andrés was crafting up a spectacular dining experience featuring exceptional seasonal ingredients such as white truffles. The price of our holiday menu was $350 per person, not including tax or service charge. Quite a hefty amount however it ended up being the best meal we had ever experienced, and we would both happily come back again.

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"What you eat in Vegas stays in your mind forever" - True words


Oh by the way, did I mention it was a  26 courses long?

To start off our 'show', as the chefs referred to it, we were presented with a frozen Gin & Tonic made with the aid of liquid nitrogen. The lemon zest was a timeless combination with the G&T.

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Frozen Gin & Tonic

An assortment of starters whetted our appetite.

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Assortment of starters

"Clavel" is Spanish for the Carnation flower and it was a burst of raspberry flavour that quickly melted on my tongue.

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Spanish "Clavel"

The caramelised Pork Rinds were very light, delicate and moreish.

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Caramelised Pork Rinds

 Coils of crispy Beetroot were sprinkled with gold powder and we were instructed to eat it off our finger.

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Beet Jewelry - wear it as a ring & eat it off your finger

This is their interpretation of the Spanish dessert "Brazo De Gitano", which literally translates to "Gypsy's arm" but it is more commonly known as a Swiss Roll. Inside this delicate casing of Apple meringue, was a blue cheese cream and atop, was a caramel sauce. All the flavours were great together.

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Apple "Brazo De Gitano"

The Almond cup was created with the use of liquid nitrogen and almond puree. Its longevity was at stake so we quickly took pics and ate it before it melted in our hands. Inside the almond cup, was almond foam topped with Sturgeon caviar.

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Nitro Almond Cup

A simple chicken oyster cooked in Escabeche paired with the crispy, salty chicken skin. This dish really showcased the delicious chicken.

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Crispy Chicken Skin in Escabeche

Next was a simple dish of Jamon Iberico with Sturgeon caviar and despite how ordinary it looks, it was amazing.

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José Taco (Jamon Iberico with Sturgeon Caviar)

Paying homage to Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, the essence of an olive was encased in a thin shell of gel and burst in your mouth to leave an intense flavour. It was literally like eating an olive without an annoying seed in the middle.

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Oliva Sferica Ferran Adria (Essence of an Olive - molecular gastronomy style)

Inspired by the popular fried calamari sandwiches in Madrid, Sea urchin was used instead. Very delicious and I did not find it as overwhelming fishy. Even Ms L, who has only just started experimenting with seafood and is extremely cautious of fishy type dishes like this, loved it.

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Bocata De "Calameres" (Sea Urchin)

A bubble of Sangria made with a Spanish sparkling wine, Cava, also had watermelon and mint inside. A lovely bubble of Sangria!

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Cava Sangria (Bubble of Sangria)

They teased us by displaying the Black Périgord Truffle just out of our reach.

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Black Périgord Truffle

Full of lovely, earthy flavours, the Black Périgord Truffle completed this dish. The artichoke heart was soft and the whole dish was a great medley of salty, earthy and sweetness.

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Artichoke "Purée" with Vanilla and loads of Black Périgord Truffle

The Lobster tail was succulent and tender, with a sauce ladled over which enhanced the lobster flavour. The citrus cream and jasmine air lightened up the dish nicely. The chefs worked deftly and efficiently to place all the components on carefully.

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Lobster with Citrus & Jasmine

I'm not a fan of chickpeas but if they were presented and tasted like this, I would eat it on a daily basis. Puréed spherical balls of chickpeas, bursting in your mouth, and the creamy and silky Ibérico Ham stew were the perfect flavour combinations.

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Chickpea Stew with Ibérico Ham

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Lusting over the White Alba Truffle within my reach

A mushroom broth showered with shavings of White Alba truffle and mushroom foam. We appreciated the meaty texture of the wild mushrooms in this very luxurious dish.

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Rosemary Wild Mushrooms in Papillote with White Truffle

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Chefs at work

The Turbot was falling apart with a crisp skin and the combination of bone marrow and caviar was decadent. The pickled capers on the side alleviated the richness.

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Turbot with Bone Marrow and Caviar

The Chefs further excited us by presenting our next course.

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The Foie Gras baked in Salt

The delicate Foie Gras was just cooked and unbelievable in taste and texture. It was literally melt in mouth goodness and while the chocolate seemed out of place, it actually added a subtle rich sweetness, while the jellied kumquat cubes lightened this rich dish. The reactions from the rest of the diners were unanimous. It was the best dish of the night for me and definitely outclasses any other dish I've eaten in my life.

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White Lobe of Foie Gras baked in Salt with Chocolate & Kumquat

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Close up of a spoonful of the Foie Gras.. Divine.

The cut from the Ibérico Pork is from just behind the shoulders and was a lovely dish especially with the crispy squid legs.

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Secreto of Ibérico Pork with Squid

The end of the savoury courses and onto cheese and desserts. This cheese course was made up of a sheeps' milk cheese which I enjoyed. The piped orange pith puree mellowed out the flavours of the cheese.

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Orange Pith Puree (Cheese Course)

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Making of a special Brandy coffee

The flan was the creamiest and most delicious dessert I had ever had. The crushed ice and blood orange syrup was spectacular with it. I scrapped this plate clean.

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Flan with Ice & Blood Orange

A simple and delicious dessert which essentially was whipped cream with liquid nitrogen frozen chocolate powder, olive oil and a pinch of salt. We were instructed to pull the cream and chocolate through the olive oil at the bottom so we were able to taste all the components together.

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Pan Con Chocolate

A petite cone filled with cream and burst of lemon underneath.

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"Arroz Con Leche"

A Chocolate truffle made to mimic the truffles we had just consumed. Rich chocolate flavours.

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Chocolate Truffle Espuma

Sadly, our show was coming to an end and the following dishes marked a step closer to leaving.

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Assortment of Desserts

Literally what it says, a cake that has been cooked by microwaving for 25 seconds. Studded with soft white & milk chocolate, it was very light and fluffy.

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25 Second Bizcocho (25 Second Microwave Cake)

White & Dark chocolates which were filled with pockets of air. Similar texture to Aero chocolates.

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"Air" Chocolates

Fizzy paper which was similar to sherbet. Sweet and light to finish the show.

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Fizzy Paper

This experience was once in a lifetime and it truly is beyond words. It is just one of those experiences that you have to try it to believe how good it is. Ms L & I still reminisce over our meal there and time does not diminish or fade our memories. If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas and looking for the ultimate foodie experience to remember, you must come here.

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9/10
Value: 8.5/10 - the experience was 100% worth it for me but it would depend on person to person if they could justify that price ($500pp) as value for money.
Will I return? Yes, definitely! Being from little old Melbourne, if I were ever to come back to Las Vegas I would ensure I have a reservation.

é by José Andrés
The Cosmopolitan Hotel
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas NV 89109 

e by Jose Andres on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts:

  1. Replies
    1. It really was! I love your site :) Subscribing x

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  2. Holy Moly, 26 courses! It all looks amazing. You are a woman after my own heart in terms of researching and googling. I have *just* started researching resturants for our three nights in Vegas in August. I think this has just gone to the top of the list!

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    Replies
    1. Oh.my.gosh - you have to go to é! Argh I'm so excited for you yet so insanely jealous of you all at the same time!! Have fun over there x

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