Albert Raurich conducts a retrospective to catalog all the dishes created to date.
To celebrate this, they have designed a special menu that will be available from January to April to commemorate some of the most iconic creations.
dos palillos by Albert Raurich and Tamae Imachi turns 15 years old and this is the perfect moment to look back, reflect on everything that has happened and share it with all those who have helped this project to remain more alive than ever.
In 2008, Raurich ended his 11-year stage at elBulli, being a head chef for the last seven years, and moved to Barcelona – encouraged by Ferran Adrià, with the aim of realizing a dream he had been brewing for some time in the kitchens of Cala Montjoi, which became dos palillos.
This project was born out of the desire to create a dialogue between Asian and Spanish cuisine, which are so different and distant from each other, but at the same time have in common the fact that in both they eat with chopsticks. In Spain, the palillo is undoubtedly the “king” of the Spanish tapa and in Asia it is a fundamental tool. Wooden elements, pure, simple, minimalist in their design, primitive and modern at the same time. This meeting gave the restaurant its name and the perfect excuse to merge two of the most interesting gastronomic cultures in the world in Barcelona, a place where the gastronomic revolution was taking its first steps at the time. And Raurich’s distinctive and creative cuisine, inspired by Asian cuisine – especially from Japan– and the very present Mediterranean, surprised and enchanted.
An innovative concept that represented a revolution, but not only in terms of the gastronomic offer, but the staging was also boundary-breaking. Fernando Amat was responsible for the design of the space, in which Albert wanted to combine the concept of the Japanese bar – where the chef serves you – with the Spanish bar. So, they created this place where the cuisine is expressed through a tasting menu served by the chefs in a bar that surrounds the kitchen.
“When I look at it today, I think about how daring or unconscious I was at the time to open a restaurant with a fully visible kitchen where the chefs were forced by the concept – to work with chopsticks, with the skill required to do so. The truth is that we have done very nice things and now that we have turned 15 years old, we want to remember and share them with all those who have accompanied us to this day, but also with those who don’t know us yet,” says Raurich.
In 2023, 15 years have passed since the opening and in 2024, Albert Raurich and Japanese sommelier Tamae Imachi – his partner and fundamental companion on this journey too – want to do something very special, with an idea that, as they say, “we have been carrying around with us for more than a year because we didn’t really know how to celebrate our 15 years yet. We have always celebrated our anniversaries with work, and we believe that this is a good opportunity to slow down the creative part – even if it is inevitable to continue working on new dishes– and use this year to organize everything we have done, classify it and, above all, do an internal analysis. “We want 2024 to be a year of retrospective, where we can review all the dishes we have created, and people can taste them.”
This whole process of organization and classification has motivated them to create a menu that contains a reliable review of what has happened at dos palillos during these 15 years; it will only be available until April and will help to tell the story of the restaurant. A menu whose preparations will vary from January to April, depending on the products of each season, but in which there will always be some of the most representative dishes from each year of history that the team has sifted through until they have found what they have internally called their “best of”. Transience will therefore be a condition, but at the same time an incentive that will lead them to maintain their work philosophy, where it is clear that the complexity of their cuisine lies in simplicity and respect for the product.
The anniversary menu is offered every day for lunch and dinner (in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday and at lunchtime from Thursday to Saturday) and can be reserved on the website https://www.dospalillos.com/. Although this special menu will only be served in the first four months of the year, 2024 will be a year of retrospective transition for Albert and the team, so there will be constant references to this celebration until the end of the year.
During this time, the premises of dos palillos have been redesigned and updated. In addition to the bar with an open kitchen, there is now also a private room for 8-10 people where to enjoy the tasting menu. In June 2021, the Tamae Sake Bar was opened, located in the old dos palillos bar, which has been completely renovated to adapt it to the new concept. In this bar, located right at the entrance of the establishment and with a garden terrace, you can enjoy “à la carte” dishes accompanied by a selection of sakes that is unique in the city. Tamae Imachi has always wanted to pass on her knowledge of the world of sakes. And what better place to do so than here, in this space created to enjoy mainly sakes, beers and wines, with a gastronomic offer that harmonizes with them, and not the other way around, as is usually the case.
Unique in Spain and one of the few in Europe, with more than 40 quality Jun Mai (pure rice) references that complement a menu created by Tamae herself, as well as a small selection of dos palillos classics – such as the Japo burger– and a selection of neo-sushi and sashimi. The restaurant seats just 8 guests in a casual atmosphere serves à la carte and doesn’t take reservations.
It has taken 15 years to form a community of more than 20 employees – more than 40 in total between dos palillos and dos prebots – the team that accompanies Albert and Tamae. Certainly, in those first days that we remember today, Albert couldn’t foresee everything that would come later, just as he will not be able to foresee everything that is yet to come. Let’s enjoy this anniversary year and long life to dos palillos!