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Truly amazing lunch experience – worth the travel: Restaurant Akelarre (17. November 2019)

| December 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

To have a 3 Michelin starred lunch is definitely among the more enjoyable things in life. The Akelarre is located a bit outside of San Sebastián and about a 15-20 minutes drive away from the city center. Once you get there, you’ll see immediately that it is totally worth the drive! Once you’re seated and have ordered the menu, you are served a “seafood soup” which was smooth in terms of intensity and tasty in terms of flavor.

Next in line were some “crunchy nibbles” …

… “trademarked goat butter and a variety of colored breads” and all in all it was just perfect to get your palate started.

I absolutely loved the crackers which were served next …

… and while I was wondering why they would serve chocolate cookies so early, it turned out they were “blood sausage crackers” and they were amazingly delicious!

Finally, it was time to chose one of the three available tasting menus – I decided to go for the tasting menu “The Akelare’s Classics” (EUR 240.00) but switched the main for the pork course. In order to round up the trip, I also took the “wine pairing” (EUR 110.00).

The first course looked interesting with the “garden vegetables and lobster salad (vegetables. lobster just cooked at the moment and our classic dress of cider vinegar)” as it was somewhat refreshing and at the same time very smooth and lovely in terms of flavor.

The next course were “”tubers in herbal infusion (8 varieties of tubers and 5 of aromatic herbs in a balanced combination. subject to surprises)”. It looked so simple but it was incredibly delicious. The different tubers had an interesting consistency and went incredibly well with the sauce and the fried chip on top. The combination of textures was excellent.

The next course was one of my absolute favorites – the “pasta carpaccio, piquillo and Iberic with Parmesan mushrooms (home-made pasta with piquillo and Iberic flavors. It feels like eating cold meat even though it’s vegetables)”. The description of the dish was very correct – it actually tasted like meat although there was clearly no meat in the dish. But it was a liberal interpretation and just making you crave for more!

The “rice with snails and periwinkles in tomato and basil film (carnaroli rice, tasty and original, and one of our oldest techniques: the film)” was something I was a bit skeptical about at first as it looked almost too simple to me. The rice was delicious – especially in combination with the sauces which were at the bottom. And the snail wrapped in that thin film of tomato was just adding that little extra to the dish.

One of the courses which I considered most interesting was the “sautéed fresh foie gras with “salt flakes and grain pepper” (sautéed foie gras with a lot of “salt and pepper”)” and mostly because I was super surprised that they would put that much “salt” …

… and “pepper” …

… on a piece of foie gras. Turns out, the ‘salt’ were actually sugar flakes and the pepper was also something different. So, the combination with the foie gras became an incredibly enjoyable one and one of which your palate immediately approved.

After the foie gras, it was time to go to the seafood side of things again. The “whole-grain red mullet with sauce “Fusili” (red mullet fillet, head and bone’s praliné, liver and onion. Fusilis stuffed with parsley, soy and “ajo blanco” sauce, whole-grain because we use the whole red mullet including head, bones and liver)” looked super interesting. While the fish itself wasn’t entirely to my liking as it had – for my – a bit too much of a seafood flavor, I liked the Fusili quite a lot as they were something I haven’t eaten before and the fact that they were filled with different flavors just really made them great.

Then, it was time for my “non-standard main” I had picked from the other menu. The “grilled Iberic “Presa” with pepper seeds and garlic in three different versions (fresh 5 year pork meat, roasted in vegetable charcoal and lacquered with red pepper juice)” and I must say that the meat was close to perfect. Intense. Flavorful. Enjoyable. The garlic part of it was a bit intense to be honest but you didn’t necessarily have to eat it all ;-)

When I read about “gin & tonic on a plate (made out of a jelly (the authentic gin & tonic) a juniper sauce (the gin perfume) and some accessories to turn it into a dessert. Try each ingredient separate and mix as desired)” I was a bit skeptical (I just figured I’m skeptical quite often) and I still was once the dish was served. It turned out to be absolutely delicious and interesting in consistency.

The “actual gin & tonic” which was served with it, made it no worse but actually added to the whole experience.

One of my absolute favorites was the “‘Xaxu’ and coconut iced mousse (Tolosa traditional little cake with the permission of Gorrotxatequi pastry chef. We have recreated: egg and almond with a side of foaming coconut ice cream)”. On one hand side of course because of the actual flavors which I like quite a lot. But on the other hand also because the consistency of frozen foam was absolutely great!

Last but not least, some chocolates were served to finish off the lunch. Enjoyable. Lovely. Which went perfectly with the “café de Colombia (de fino y penetrante aroma. Sabor marcado por una punta de acidez natural y una agradable persistencia)” (EUR 5.00).

The interior of the restaurant is amazing and the view onto the ocean (when the sky actually kind of clears up) is absolutely breath-taking!

The service is outstanding – they are friendly, attentive, and swift. As in the Martin Beresetagui, you also have to announce about one course in advance if you want to use the washrooms. Which is something you have to get used to a bit. In any case, the Akellare, overall, was my favorite experience in San Sebastián. Martin Beresetagui managed to create these moments of ‘oral orgasms’ but had a dip in terms of consistency over the courses. Mugaritz was interesting but it frankly had the issue that there was just too much wine so you would be kind of totally overwhelmed with everything. If you are ready to go for lunch, then it even doesn’t seem to be that difficult to get a table – at least it wasn’t completely full when we were there.


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Akelarre

Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea 56

20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa (E)

Tel.: +34 943 31 12 09

E-Mail: info@akelarre.net

Homepage: http://www.akelarre.net

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 1'500.00 (incl. tip) Filed in: Restaurants, San Sebastián

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