The other Enigma: Albert Adrià designed the best restaurant in the world
The other Enigma
I don’t know if there is a real heaven somewhere. What I know though, is that there’s a heaven for foodies. It’s in Barcelona, in a place called Enigma.
I’m a food lover. I love to cook, and I love to eat. I’d do anything to eat at a great restaurant, even if it means travelling thousands of miles or dozen of hours. I’ve seen great places, I’ve tasted great food and great wines.
But I’ve never experienced anything like Enigma, the latest restaurant by Albert Adrià, the brother of mythic chef Ferran Adrià.
I won’t tell you the whole experience because then it would be like telling you the end of a movie you’re planning to watch.
Ferran Adrià is to cuisine what Picasso was to art. There was before Ferran Adrià and now there’s after Ferran Adrià. He’s the bridge linking classical and contemporary cuisine. As for Albert Adrià, he created the first accomplished modernist restaurant.
Albert Adrià and his team don’t rely on talent only. They use methods and tools. For their restaurants, they rely on Design Thinking, they iterate, and make avery aspect of the restaurant evolve.
Most restaurants think their “job to be done” is to feed patrons. Great restaurants think it is to delight patrons with food. But with Enigma, Albert Adrià took a couple steps further. It’s not only about food: it’s about spending an unforgettable moment.
So he designed a unique experience that will engage all your senses and even your mind.
The power of stories
Every single detail in the Enigma experience is about taking you on a journey into the unknown. An enigmatic quest. You feel part of a story you are the hero of. And this story is what engages your senses and mind way beyond taste and smell only.
For a start, you register online and all you get is a place, hour and code. When you show up, it doesn’t look like a restaurant entrance. Like, not at all. All you see is a dark, closed door. There is no one around.
So you type in your code. The door opens on an empty hallway. And your journey begins.
I would love to tell you more, I really would. But then, you would never forgive me.
An overwhelming experience
You will leave Enigma with all your senses on the edge. Quite turned upside down by this once in a lifetime experience. You will not actually leave through the front door like in usual restaurants. When you cross the exit door, you will probably feel some kind of loss. Because deep inside, you’ll know you will probably never be able to come back or live a similar experience ever again.
Enigma, the restaurant, really is a piece of artwork.
Lots of people asked me how I was able to get a table in a place that is already fully booked for the six coming months.
Well, I’ve been following the work of the Adrià brothers for a long time now. So when I heard Albert was creating a restaurant with the same name as my own company, I reached out to his team. Simple as that. We had a chat about this name and the mystery it implies. And then they kept a table for me.
I really experienced a moment of pure, intense, overwhelming happiness.