It was 2½ years ago that I went to El Toro for some Spanish food on a friend's recommendation. That was a pretty decent meal, but I never found an opportunity to return. Apparently the chef has moved on and opened a bigger and much fancier restaurant, and I decided to check it out with a friend tonight.
DN innovacíon looks like an upgraded version, both in terms of the space as well as the menu. In addition to more "traditional" items, the chef apparently does a few "molecular" creations. I am a fan of molecular gastronomy, and although I was a little weary of this chef doing something along these lines, I decided to ask the chef to throw in something from the molecular side of things along with the traditional.
Powdered foie gras, chocolate and orange caviar - I guess this was the molecular dish... The foie wasn't a "powder" like what I had at El Bulli, but rather "granular" like couscous. Perhaps it was the humidity. The foie was sitting on top of a block of chocolate "brownie", which tasted a little of turmeric and in any case overpowered the foie... The caviar made from orange juice were a little small and the chef didn't get the balance right, so they were just balls of gelatin and didn't have the same consistency as the real deal. The whole point of spherification is to have the little balls burst in your mouth, and I can't believe how many chefs fail to achieve this. The cinnamon toasts were OK, but together with the parsley coulis just added to the already busy mix.
One thing I was quite impressed with was the restaurant's wine list. For once the wine list isn't full of boring Bordeaux. There are a few good selections from Burgundy, a great selection from all over Spain, and a smattering of German, Italian, Alsatian and others. It is clear to me that the sommelier who put together the wine list really knows wine. To top it off, the prices are pretty reasonable.
This was a pretty enjoyable evening. The food was pretty good, although I wondered why Chef Daniel kept using the same ground bits of dried black olives... In terms of pricing this is starting to skew towards the high end for Taipei, which may partially explain why we were one of only two tables on a Monday night. I think I'll give this place another try sometime in the next couple of months.