Monday, 12 September 2016

La Viña del Ensanche

Top notch Basque cuisine 

Joselito Iberian Cured Ham with tomato,
virgin olive oil and oven baked ciabatta

La Viña del Ensanche, a traditional Spanish restaurant in the heart of Bilbao downtown. It was highly recommended by a close friend who had just recently came back from Bilbao and judging from all the positive online reviews, it does seem like a place that was well worth a visit. The restaurant had two dining space, a casual pintxos bar with tavern seating in one end and a much more formal and classy dinning room on the other end. The menu was large, with traditional pintxos, tapas, tasting menu, as well as a a gastronomic menu.  

Marinated Bluefin tuna served with shusi rice
Grilled cod with roasted peppers

To kick off the meal, we tried the Spanish classic: Joselito Iberian cured ham, as expected, it had such a beautiful oily texture, rich and nutty in taste, it turned into the best sandwich in the world when paring with the tomato and ciabatta. The marinated bluefin tuna was stunning, the melting texture was really sensational, at less than £10 per dish, it was exceptionally value for money. The grilled cod was perfectly seasoned, silkily smooth with a settled sweetness. Last but not least, the grilled Joselito Iberian pork loin was another outstanding dish, the beef was tender and powerful in taste, just as good, if not better than a piece of high quality steak.

720 minutes Joselito Coppa
Grilled Joselito Iberian pork loin
Red fruit gratin

My meal at La Viña del Ensanche was pretty special, the quality of the ingredients were of such a high standard, it costed me less than £30 while managing to try premium Iberican pork and bluefin tuna, I would most likely needing to pay at least double the price to get anything of that quality in London. Perhaps the only issue was at the restaurant, all the staff had either limited to no English knowledge, so when we were asking questions about the food, they offered iPad menu in English, otherwise it would be a real struggle. Having said that, the cooking was really fantastic and one that I will highly recommend for anybody who is heading to Bilbao.  

Food 4/5

What I paid: 

£37 per head with 3 glasses of cava

Average cost without drinks and services:


Diputazio Kalea, 10, 48008 Bilbao, Bizkaia, Spain

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