Seaside fine dining, luxury Basque country style
|Roasted pigeon with mile and cocoa|
Akelare might have a lower profile compare to the other two triple starred Michelin restaurants in San Sebastian, but it certainly has by far the best views. It is located on a hill and offering stunning sea views that few restaurants can match. Beside the Michelin status, it is also a member of Relais and Chateaux, which can only mean 1 thing: a top quality, luxurious restaurant with services that is fit for royalty. Unlike most fine dining restaurants, it has 3 tasting menus that allow diners from the same table to mix and match any of the 3 menu, a rarity as usually these types of restaurants would need the whole table to take on the same menu.
|Prawns and French beans|
|Lobster salad with cider vinegar|
|Pasta carpaccio with parmesan and mushrooms|
|Scampi and smoked monkfish|
I opted for the classic menu while my other two guests went for the other two menu so we managed to experience every dish from the restaurant. Here are some dishes that stood out: The green broth infusion, a soup dish delivered some outstanding taste, the fresh scampi was as sweet as you can get with a melting sensation. Together with the smoked monkfish, the soup offered a contrast taste of bold, meat flavour. It all linked up beautifully with an aromatic broth which offered harmony and balance. One dish that was truly stunning was the sautéed fresh foie gras with salt flakes and crunchy pepper, buttery and loaded with delightful rich flavours with a soft earthy undertone, it was by far the best foie gras dish I have ever experienced. The Grilled Iberic “Presa” was pork dish at the highest order, finely seasoned and cut like butter, the garlic element offered a settled spicy and punchy edge without overpowering the mild sweetness of the pork.
|Crystallized cod with tripes|
|Fresh foie gras with salt and pepper|
|Red mullet with "stuffed fusili"|
|Grilled Iberic Presa with garlic and pepper seeds|
|Broken jar of yoghurt|
As the tasting menu contains so many courses, it is normal that you would expect one or two dishes that you might not be a fan of, this was not the case with Akelare. While a few odd dishes might not be truly 3 stars level, most dishes were outstanding and some were absolutely magical. Lastly, the service level was slick and smooth, never missed a beat with great attention to detail, charming, but formal at the same time. Along with the flexibility of the menu and the stunning views of the restaurant, I think is is worth the 185 Euro for sure, given you are dining at one of the finest restaurants in the world.
What I paid:
210 Euro per person with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
paseo del Padre Orcolaga 56 (barrio de Igueldo), 20008 Donostia-San Sebastián