Refined Basque cuisine with a stunning view
This is my second visit to Akelare, one of the most celebrated restaurants in San Sebastian, with 3 Michelin stars and part of the Relais and Chateaux association, meaning it guarantees a very special experience. The menu hasn't actually changed much vs my first visit from about 5 years ago, I came here for the state of the art service and its unique offering: A stunning seaside view overlooking the Biscay sea, not many places can rival its beautiful setting. The restaurant has now also added a terrace, great for a drink or something a bit more casual if a full-on tasting menu is not your cup of tea. As that is the only offering from the main restaurant.
|Prawns and Green Beans on Orujo fire and Sea Roe|
|Grilled Oyster with Oyster Sauce. Iberico Pork Tails Terrine|
|Tubers in Herbal Infusion|
|Rice with Red Prawns Coral and its Carpaccio|
|Garden Vegetables and Lobster Salad|
|Pan-seared foie-Gras with “salt Flakes and Pepper Grains”|
|Kokotxa, Pumpkin Seeds emulsion|
The red prawn rice was like a shellfish umami bomb, the rice was mixed with prawn roe before laying on top of some thinly sliced red prawns carpaccio, it was a rich dish with a hint of lovely sweetness to it. The kokotxa was well seasoned, soft, and served with a smooth pumpkin seeds emulsion to offered a sweet spices tone, with the side of garlic and parsley bread offered a freshness to the finish. The steamed hake was very moist, the addition of seaweed and oyster leaves further enhanced the flavour of the sea and acted as a lovely seasoning. The grilled Iberian Presa was tender, cooked perfectly, as was the classic pepper and garlic garnishes. This was a classic flavour combination done in a really refined way.
|Hake in Seaweed steam with Plankton and Oyster Leaves|
|Seabass and goose barnacle|
|Risotto-like Squid, Butter Blossom|
|Pigeon Royale with “Morokil”|
|Grilled Iberian “Presa”, Pepper Seeds and Garlic Risotto|
|Sheep’s Milk Dessert|
|“Xaxu” with foamy Coconut Ice Cream|
Overall, the food quality was more or less the same as what I have encountered before. Mostly traditional flavours but presented in a stylish modern way, with some innovative elements in between. If judging food quality alone, I personally prefer Martín Berasategui which is another 3 stars restaurant in San Sebastian, and my top pick in the whole of Europe. What Akelare however has with the edge is the dream-like view, almost like paradise when is on a sunny day. The service is also outstanding without being overly formal, this is indeed a great place for a special occasion.
What I paid:
280 Euro per person with wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
paseo del Padre Orcolaga 56 (barrio de Igueldo), 20008 Donostia-San Sebastián