We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wow, wow, wow!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Can Fabes - CLOSED

Can Fabes
Calle Sant Joan, 6, 08470 Sant Celoni, Spain
+34 938672851
Improve this listing
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
“Wow, wow, wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

Canfabes :
As we travelled 1hr from Barcelona to the small village of Sant Celoni, we remarked that it certainly takes a lot of faith to travel all this distance just for a 3hour dinner but we have been so wowed by Santi in Singapore that we were adamant we must make this philgrimage to this 3-star restaurant where Santi started.

Ambience : we specifically asked to sit in the kitchen and so we could experience
the full orchestra in motion. The sights, the sounds, the smells were all so
theatrical. The restaurant itself is set in a building dating more than 300 years old by the original Santi's family and yet, part of it is modern and part of it retains its historical heritage. This is similar to Sant's cuisine, not 100% modernise nor 100% traditional. Best described as taking the best from the past and injecting with the modern methods of the present to create what we would call "magic".

And the culinary adventure starts;

Starter of green peas marshmallow, potato with ham and breaded sea urchin. Nice play
of textures and taste. Some are fluffy, some are crispy, some are marshy, but all

Fresh tomato slice with lemon sorbet - wow, so uplifting and tingling, probably the
best tomato slice we ever had. The japanese may hv the best tomatoes in the world
but Santi has the best technique to perfecting this simple Spanish tomato.

The mackerel grilled with a tinge of salt and sweet sauce - another morsel dropped
from heaven. One pop and it brings tears of joy into your eyes.

Potato puree with razor clams and laced with chorizo oil - nice touch of french
influence. But to prevent the potato puree from just being another mashed potato,
the razor clams adds texture and the chorizo oil and red pepper adds a tinge of
sophiscation to this simpe potato puree.

We made the mistake of asking for a dash of vinegar to enhance the taragon olive
oil, and the over-zealous chef brought out 6 different kinds ranging from tomato
vinegar to italian etc, wow. We never had tomato vinegar before and it was different and really good.

Shrimp ravioli with porcino mushroom - Santi's signature. First taste of the
sweetness of the prawns but in your mouth, the porcini mushroom comes full circle.

Grilled baby squid with green peas and red orange and fennel - beautiful dish on
presentation. And the taste - another of Santi's signatures. Overwhelming and
well-balanced. Explosion of dif flavours from the semi-cooked green peas, the
intensity of the grilled baby squid, the sourness of the orange slices, wow wow wow!

Sea cucumber with wild asparagus and cauliflower sauce and a slice of tomato
cracker. Land meets sea. Yummy.

This is poetry in motion that we are witnessing and yet, we are sure we are not at
the chorus yet.

Wild mushrooms morelles in baby broad beans - the morelles has expanded and absorbed
all the sauce into itself and is no longer just a mushroom, it is a sponge of

More, we want more. This is not some funky molecular cuisine. This is premium
catalyan cooking at its finest. A true maestro at work.

Red mullet fish, lightly-grilled with truffle sauce - the king fish of the
mediteranean, nice flavour and firm texture.

Pomelo sorbet with crackling - superb, fresh, a little bitter and a new high.

Ice-cream with Meringue and rasberry - beautiful presented like gaudi's familia church.

Conclusion : tickets may have its theatrics, commerc 24 its full-flavoured tapas but
canfabes has both of these and more, it has the warm hospitality of Xavier, Matthew and his
entire team. We had so much fun laughing and talking about food with them that at
the end of the experience, we felt we were at a best friend's house and he was
cooking a feast for us. More than taste, more than presentation, dining here is warm
both from the food and from our new found friends. This is the 3rd star for can fabes, the last star for the taste of friendship that envelopes the food.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

72 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2012

I feel really mean only giving this 3 stars because the staff were really nice and I loved the decor but the food just didn't do it for me.
I see, though, that most other people have given it rave reviews.
First, the plus points:
Once you've dark-adapted, the decor is great. Love the semi artdeco look blended with modern twists.
The staff were delightful.
After canapes in the vestibule we had a great tour of the kitchen before the meal and the chefs were were very informative.
We were given a lovely private dining room for the four of us and the serving staff were excellent. That was a real highlight.
The problem for all four of us was that the food was reminiscent of those overly heavy tasting menus of 15 years ago.
In fairness, though - it was described as the Menu Prestige rather than a tasting menu. Also, the maitre d' suggested we had the seasonal menu rather than the Prestige, which showcases their signature dishes. I'm cynical enough to be suspicious when they suggest certain dishes in a restaurant. It's usually because they need to shift them, but I'm wondering if he was trying to tell us something.
It has to be said, though, that all of the dishes were excellently executed and this is technically very high standard cooking. I've attached some pics to show this, but be warned - they don't really demonstrate how big the portions are, although perhaps you get the idea from the amuses.
I didn't think the overall menu hung together well. Having looked at the pics again, though, I'm almost tempted to go back, but the truth is that we all felt full to the point of feeling a bit sick by the end of the meal. If you go, make sure you haven't eaten for some considerable while before.
The wines were indifferent.
I do feel churlish writing this especially as they've had the tragedy of the chef passing away. Also, his lovely widow came to ask how we were enjoying the meal.
However, the strength of Trip Advisor is the (I hope) honesty of the revues and as I said earlier, I acknowledge that many people totally disagree with me.
As a final thought, the rooms were clearly just tacked on to the restaurant. Definitely don't have the top end suite which we did. It's a converted attic and much of the floor space is unusable because of the sloping walls. The TV was a small screen on the floor, which was a joke and there's no wifi. They couldn't manage early breakfast for us but did put out coffee in a thermos and croissants the night before. The coffee was totally undrinakble, though. I see some reviewers have praised the breakfast they ate in the kitchen, which I would have liked but unfortunately we had to leave early to catch a plane. I guess the rooms are ok just to save having to walk elsewhere after the meal.
So, all in all, a dissapointmet for us but I really hope the restaurant survives, although I did wonder if it's strugglling a bit. It was a Saturday night and there weren't many diners.
All of the staff were lovely and I thank them for their attention and all the chefs for their skill even if the meal wasn't to my taste.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merville-Franceville-Plage, France
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

One of the best meal I have ever had.Service was impeccable. we had the chef's menu and dined at chef's table in the kitchen where we could watch the goings-on of the kitchen staff.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fabulous food in the middle of nowhere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2011

We stayed in Barcelona and wanted to go to one of the very best restaurants in the area. Quintessentially recommended and booked Can Fabes for us. We took a taxi out to the small village of Sant Celoni, about 40 minutes or so away from our hotel. It probably takes much longer if you hit the rush hour in the late afternoon. Next time I go there I will probably pay a little extra for a limo service and enjoy a champagne aperitif in the car on the way to the restaurant.

So what about the food? When you go to a 3 star Michelin restaurant you expect impeccable food and service, and this is exactly what we got. Along with our visit to NOMA in Copenhagen, this was our most memorable restaurant visit so far this year.

The restaurant organized a comfortable Mercedes taxi going back to Barcelona. I think I fell asleep after 2 minutes and woke up when we pulled in front of the hotel.

  • Visited June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“The BEST Michelin 3 Star Restaurant we have eaten at. Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2011

Santi Santamaria created it. Xavier Pellicer has maintained the incredible standards since the death of Santi. Xavier ran his own Michelin 2 Star Restaurant in Barcelona before returning to Can Fabes where he had worked with Santi.
The building is full of charm.
We started the evening in the Cava with champagne before going upstairs to the restaurant for a wonderful gastronomic experience. Meticulous attention to flavours and detail. All local ingredients. Service impeccable. House's own Vino Blanco, Chardonnay, very good. Chose with the assistance of the sommelier a Catalonian Red.
We spent two nights in the upstairs accommodation. A must! Very tasteful and quiet.
Another highlight was breakfast in the Kitchen. We watched Xavier's assistants prepare our breakfast and their preparations for lunch while we ate. What an experience.
Angels Santimaria, Santi's widow, recommended a day trip to the nearby mountains. Stunning.
Our parting purchase was the House's own olive oil.
In the future, whenever we are near Barcelona Can Fabes for an overnighter and dinner is on our itinerary.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Can Fabes also viewed

Sant Celoni, Province of Barcelona
Sant Celoni, Province of Barcelona
Sant Celoni, Province of Barcelona
Sant Celoni, Province of Barcelona

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Can Fabes, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.