Doeji galbi (Korean pork rib) with Cantonese sauce. | Mia Naprta

I have already written about the Kimpton Aysla Hotel, its breath-taking setting and fantastic facilities. The first time I was there, I reviewed their fusion of Korean and Spanish cuisine in the form of tapas. This time, however, I was invited to SABA's tasting menu, entirely inspired by Korean cuisine. A friend and I were sat at the “chef's table”, where the super lovely chef Alejandro Bermudez Leguina talked us through every dish he served, explaining not only the exotic ingredients, but the preparation methods as well. He worked in Korea for years, before being lured back to his native Spain by this gig at Kimpton Aysla.

We started with three types of kimchi i.e. fermented food: Baechu kimchi (Chinese cabbage, the most traditional kimchi in Korea), Mu kimchi (daikon, a mild-flavoured winter radish) and Cherry Tomato Kimchi. When it comes to fermented foods, I like cabbage, but I was not too keen on radish and tomatoes, so my friend was happy to munch on both of our portions throughout the evening.

The first course consisted of a Deep fried oyster served with cava and oyster juice. It was really tasty and we loved the clever twist on a classic “oysters with champagne”!

Next we had Tuna tataki with homemade ponzu sauce, daikon, shiso leaf, garlic oil and garlic chips. Lots of unfamiliar terms here, so Alejandro explains… “Tataki-style” term is used when the food is seared quickly on the outside while being left raw inside; ponzu is a citrus-based sauce with a tart-tangy flavour, similar to a vinaigrette and shiso is an aromatic herb from the same botanical family as mint. Lesson over, this tuna tataki was exceptional - flavourful and melt-in-your-mouth soft!

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Following tuna tataki, Alejandro presented us with two beautiful chirashi bowls. Chirashi literally means “scattered” in Japanese, but he jokingly called this a “lazy sushi”. It consisted of salmon, corvine (drum fish), chu-toro balfego tuna and hamachi (lemon fish), avocado cream, pickled daikon (called damuchi in Korean), sesame seeds and red shiso powder. Again, we loved the richness of flavours as well as this unusual presentation.

Our final savoury dish was Doeji galbi (Korean pork rib) with Cantonese sauce. Alejandro told us that the pork rib was “marinated in soy and cooked at low temperature for 12 hours, then regenerated under vacuum for 2 hours, grilled in the Josper oven and burned with charcoal just before serving”. It was served with chives in Cantonese sauce and plain white rice. A very rich, sweet and savoury, sticky, messy, but hugely enjoyable few minutes…

Both of us were already full, but when Alejandro mentioned the desert, our eyes lit up with expectation. Now, in the past 40-something years, I have tried some pretty amazing deserts all over the world. And, considering how great everything else up to this point was, my expectations were very high. Still, what came out left me speechless! This – a Smoked chocolate flexi ganache with pine needles, freeze-dried raspberry, white chocolate powder, chocolate earth, raspberry, mango and coconut gel, sake-marinated tapioca pearls, sake sorbet and a “tile” of caramel and nuts – was spectacular! It looked like a piece of art, too beautiful to try, but not trying it would defeat the object of our visit to SABA. Every little part of this desert was a discovery in itself - from smoked chocolate ganache to sake tapioca pearls - while all together these distinct flavours and textures complemented each other perfectly. I don´t think that I have ever tried such an elaborate dessert that I enjoyed so much, but somehow did not want to finish, just to prolong the experience. If this was the last course of my last meal, I would die a very happy woman!

This incredibly satisfying experience, a five-course tasting menu, right now costs only 60 euros per person, but the prices might go up in the high season. Part of me wants to tell you to go and try it as soon as you can, but selfishly I would also be quite happy to keep this secret treat in my closest circle of friends.