Foodies the world over shed a collective tear when elBulli closed its doors, leaving their dream of securing a position at the table of what was once the world’s best restaurant painfully unfulfilled. And after altering the world’s cuisine trajectory with his beguiling feats of molecular gastronomy, the question was how would Ferran Adrià’s culinary genius now manifest itself?
As is often the case when someone operates for so long in a complex space, Ferran chose to return to the simplicity of tradition. One of his latest forays is Pakta, a Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant in a working-class neighbourhood in Barcelona. Exploring the realm of Nikkei cuisine (which evolved from the Japanese who migrated to Peru in the early 19th century), Pakta serves pisco alongside sake, and tasting plates of ají-spiced ceviche and nigiri, for an exploration of one of the world’s lesser-known gastronomic fusions.
Equally as impressive is the fit-out by local architecture firm El Equipo Creativo, who combined the austere, clean lines and simple finishes inherent to Japanese design with the bright colours of Peru. The walls and ceiling of Pakta (meaning ‘union’ in the native Peruvian language of Quechua), resemble an enormous loom, similar to those used to craft the vibrant fabrics signature to Peru. Known for his knack for mining the talents of only the best chefs, Ferran again enlisted the help of his brother Albert (a longtime sidekick at elBulli), as well as Kyoko Ii and Jorge Muñoz who are the custodians of the Japanese and Peruvian dishes respectively.