3 generations of cooking skills have been passed down to Michelin starred Chef Susi Díaz , owner and chef of La Finca Restaurant in Elx, near Alicante. Susi has been running the restaurant for 30 years tweaking and developing classical dishes into what they have become today. The menu here features Citrus fruits, herbs, and flowers grown in her own garden and these accompany the various meats and seafood from around the local area. On my visit Susi just cooked what was available at the height of the Spanish summer season. Showcasing her wonderful cooking skills with the tasting menu which you can see below. La Finca is definitely on for a return visit.
The restaurant interior is a lovely traditional brick house and warm welcoming lighting and décor. After many years cooking at La Finca ,Susi finally got Michelin star recognition in 2006.She’s one of the very few female celebrity chefs with many TV appearances.
The meal started with some light bites over a nice chilled glass of bubbly in the kitchen. I couldn`t resist a little look around hoping to get a peep at some of Susi`s trade secrets.
Aerated cheese using a vacuum, Just Incredible.
Olive surprise encased in a Cocoa butter semi-sphere shell
Tray of crispy treats – Seaweed, Rice and Local fried fish
Caviar of Riofrio with Blinis and Butter.
Local olive oil and paprika salt
First course – White and green asparagus ice-cream and Praline. White asparagus parfait, chopped green asparagus underneath, peanut crisp garnish. Lovely, refreshing rawness with a “taste of Spring”…..and sweet.Would have been better as a pre dessert crossover.
Chef Diaz’s version of sushi served on a spoon – Blue fin otoro (fatty belly of the fish) with Mirin (a type of Japanese rice wine) foam and topped by wasabi tobiko with a touch of lime. Wow,Melted in the mouth. Perfect, both texture and flavour. Accompanied by Otoro and Foie with a Port vinaigrette
A warm brioche blanketed with an ultra-thin Pancetta. Sophisticated cooking here! Thin slices of fat and a strong truffle aroma. …Who wouldn’t like this combo ?
A beautiful Green plate bearing Sea whelk, Mint, and two varieties of Cucumber – Local and foreign? ….Nice firm crunchy textures.
Local Prawn with Pil-Pil sauce( traditional Basque sauce). Topped with apple and coconut caviar. Fresh and delicate prawn but strong sauce; reminding me of a Thai curry for a second. Slightly overpowered the delicate beautiful flavour of prawn.
“Red Prawn in Santa Pola”. – Barely cooked as to focus on the true flavour of this local treasure with Incredible creaminess of the juices sucked out of the head.
Sea Eel, Feta Cheese, Sesame, pickles….. Sounds an odd combo but it worked surprisingly well. Sesame aroma, creamy light cheese, and smoky Eel, with sweetness too. Very nice.
Sea cucumber – superb texture but way too salty…Just bearable. Also had Pil pil sauce underneath. Peas were amazing, very sweet.
This dish was like a big black volcano. Cuttlefish,ink, rice, green peas, lots of great flavours.
Beautiful artistic work on the plate here in this plate of Red mullet with Augergine.
Covered underneath a corn crisp was slices of medium -rare Beef loin with diced mushroom. Eaten with a pair of tweezers. Juicy and flavourful.
Pre-dessert – a cute lemon meringue cake with edible rice paper. A light start to dessert.
Pineapple and coconut – The classic “Piña colada combo”. Mild and refreshing with a touch of mint… Superb.
Final dessert – Variation of Chocolate – Crumbs, mousse, liquid centre truffle Choco .
A very trendy way to serve the sweet treats.
For a 30 year old restaurant I thought it would be serving `old school` traditional Spanish food, but Susi utilizes good ingredients from throughout the region and cooks them with modern cooking techniques. It certainly isn`t over-the-top molecular cooking like many other young chefs where `style over substance` rules. Here we were able to truly taste the food. The size of each course was also spot on , not overly filling even after we had 12+ courses.
To view all of the photos from La Finca , please CLICK HERE.