Meal at Akelarre

Meal at Akelarre

at Akelare on 5 October 2017
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73

This was a return to the greats, plain and simple.  From the printed goats butter, the best (black squid) risotto ever had, the beautiful beef tendon to the perfect apple tart and all round clever designs, this was a superb experience.  This was creative without going too over the top and with some wonderful moments.  Not every course was knock out, but there were enough superb moments to be content that this was special.  All three tasting menus were asked for and the whole package totalled €966 for the four of us (£241 each incl wine and service).  For the marathon of privilege that this was overlooking the Bay of Biscay from a 5 star hotel, I thought this was quite reasonable when considering the Fat Duck is £255 at time of writing, for just the food alone.  If you have this experience, I believe you should be walking away very happy and not uncomfortably bloated at the same time.  A superb meal all round.

There are a huge number of components within one tasting menu here, let alone three and therefore the only sane thing I can do for this review is provide a typed translation of all three menus that were provided to us at the end.  The three tasting menus were the only ones available and I chose The Classics, therefore I will comment on those dishes and others that I sampled from the Aranori and Bekari menus that I had.  I should also mention that I had the best Rioja I have ever had in my life here and this particular kind has made me wish to source a case of it immediately on return to the UK.  Current mark ups place the Miguel Merino at approx. £43 per bottle in the UK which, I will pay in a heartbeat it was that immense.

There are a huge number of components within one tasting menu here, let alone three and therefore the only sane thing I can do for this review is provide a typed translation of all three menus that were provided to us at the end.  The three tasting menus were the only ones available and I chose The Classics, therefore I will comment on those dishes and others that I sampled from the Aranori and Bekari menus that I had.  I should also mention that I had the best Rioja I have ever had in my life here and this particular kind has made me wish to source a case of it immediately on return to the UK.  Current mark ups place the Miguel Merino at approx. £43 per bottle in the UK which, I will pay in a heartbeat it was that immense.

A quick word on the introductions: the welcome was a bloody Mary greeting made of a spicy tomato chopped base with vodka and egg white foam which had a fair kick and whilst beautifully done, I thought the foam could have had more vodka flavour and more calming effect for the spice.  The olives stuffed with ham & anchovy were simple and whilst goats butter is quite strong and not my favourite, this was done well and with the restaurant logo printed on using black rice there is no knocking the design effort.  Herbed pomme soufflés, breads and baked bread crisps completed a healthy selection of nibbles that were not amazing on balance, but were definitely inviting.

So, the three menus in full (with my thoughts in brackets at courses tasted):

Aranori

Bekari

Classics

In order to sum up this meal as simply as possible, I can only say that it was a strong 3 Michelin starred meal served in a Relais & Châteaux hotel overlooking the Bay of Biscay which is a brilliant equation.  Even if the setting was not as lovely as it was (bit cloudy on our visit but on a hot, sunny day, this would be magical), the food was still of a very strong standard in terms of creativity and let’s not forget the most important thing….the actual taste of the food.  Moreover, none of us were bloated or bored at the pace of the meal; we were all, in fact happy to munch on  all the petit four at the end and that shows great skill in the balance of all three menus served with world class service at all times of the meal.  If you are ever going to celebrate anything, this is a prefect contender if you are having your holiday or passing through San Sebastian.

https://major-foodie.com/akelarre-san-sebastian/
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9 / 10

Akelarre Entrance

Bloody Mary welcome

Assorted flavoured baked breads

Olives stuffed with ham & anchovy

Goat’s butter with black rice decoration

Pomme soufflés

‘Biscuits’ made from anchovy and red wine

Breads

Prawns and green beans cooked in orujo flame

Lobster salad

Variety of leaves with cold foie gras with aromatic dressing

Raw and smoked monkfish fillet, cut in thin slices, scampi barely cooked

– Chickpeas and violet potato with legume and tuber

Pasta carpaccio

Soufled kokotxa

Squid crown and Venere rice’s groats

The Rioja

Sautéed fresh foie gras with ‘salt flakes’ & ‘black pepper’

Hake in seaweed steam, plancton, oyster leaf

Crystallised cod presented in a fish box, over edible cod shavings and cod tripes in tomato water

Crystallised cod on tomato water

Red mullet with sauce ‘fusilli’

Sea Bass Umami

Beef tartare

New potato soufflé and aromatic herb bread for beef tartare

Squid risotto

Grilled lamb loin

Grilled lamb loin as served

Carved beef tendon and lacquered skin potatoes

Roasted suckling pig, bone and Iberian emulsion

Melting cupcake made with yoghurt foam

Gin and tonic on a plate

Cheeses

CoCoconut iced mousse

Broken jar of yoghurt ‘gatzatua’

Signature apple tart

Cross-section of signature apple tart

Petit fours

Dining room (1)

Dining room (2)

The lunch bill for 4

Downstairs bar area