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San Sebastian: Etxebarri (1*)

We rented a car from San Sebastian, with a sole reason - to visit Etxebarri. I concur with another fellow blogger that the car journey to the restaurant itself as an experience. The directions were clear but we still felt unsure with each turn we made. It was worth it though, as the restaurant was beautifully nestled in a tranquil and green countryside, with clear blue sky as the backdrop.
Much has been written about the amazing restaurant awarded 1* by Michelin. Chef owner Victor Arguinzoniz made the charcoal grill famous by using it to grill impossible things like butter and caviar. The exterior of the restaurant was a quaint stonehouse flanked by two benches and some wild flowers. Inside, on the first floor was a casual bar and the main dining room was upstairs. There was not many tables; roughly could seat about 20 guests at any one time. The interior was sparsely decorated. I guess functionality was the name of the game.

Instead of the tasting menu, we went ala carte. Beware - the portions were generous and we got too full eating too much of one thing. Not always a good thing as defined by the law of diminishing returns. That said, the food was fresh but I sort of wished there was more of that char-smokey flavour.

Language barrier was a major issue for us. Only one senior staff (a lady) could understand a bit of English but not great either.

Baby octopus with sweet and sour notes, squid ink jam.

Gambas de Palmós. Hands-down my favourite dish for the entire trip.
These shrimps were on the large side, barely cooked and had an extremely creamy texture with just a touch of bite. The heads oozed with sweet, natural juices and I made sure to clean them out. The hunk of homemade bread came in handy as the vehicle to ensure I mopped up every drop of goodness.

Smoked oysters with fresh wakame. I think I prefer raw oysters.

Whole sea bream - bathed with plenty of good olive oil and garlic slice 'chips'. Very fresh, very good. But it was a 1.5 kg fish amongst three girls. Not good.
Plaza San Juan 1, Axpe Achondo, Spain
Tel: (+34) 946583042


Anonymous said…
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I chanced upon your blog and really love your cupcakes as i am very much into less sugary cupcakes as well.

I always find the frosting too sweet to even finish the cupcake.

Wonder if you actually share your recipes on your blog?

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