4 amb 5 Mujades is a restaurant where (organic, biodynamically grown) vegetables are the centrepiece of every dish, and where meat and fish are present only in the sauces or broths.
It’s the brainchild of Toni Romero, the chef at Suculent, and his business partner, Javier Cotorruelo. In fact, the name is an homage to Cotorruelo’s family allotment in Gavà: a 'mujada' is a unit of land in the Baix Llobregat region, 0.5 hectares. The restaurant has its own vegetable garden! Julien Bruy, the resident gardener, explains that he plants and harvests biodynamically, according to the phases of the moon, and that ‘the aim is to achieve permaculture: to close the circle, use food waste as compost and become self-sufficient’. But it’s much more than an organic restaurant. Above all, vegetables are king. ‘When you roast a suckling pig, you’re thinking about the meat and choosing garnishes. We don’t work like that here,’ says chef Quim Coll, who even rejects the ‘vegetarian’ label. ‘This is for anyone who wants to enjoy vegetables in a different way.’
The menu changes four times a year, obviously, and the seasonal focus means it doesn’t adhere to the classic pattern. Instead it’s divided into root, leaf, fruit and flower. And moons next to each entry indicate a dish’s potency. One moon: Japanese beetroot with sesame, spring onion, soy and trout roe. Two: a delicious salad of fennel with green apple, both diced and in a sorbet, and creamy goat’s cheese (the cheese balances the acidity, the sweetish strength of the cheese is defused by the apple – amazing). And three moons: white turnips in a broth of roast quail and grated truffle, or Jerusalem artichokes cooked with cod stock and skins (and all the rich fat released by the cooking process). These triumphs of haute cuisine will cause rivers of ink (and sauce) to be spilt.