Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Martín Berasategui





















Loidi Kalea, 4, 20160 Lasarte-Oria,
Gipuzkoa, Spain

Stunning, simply stunning is the first impression when walking through the dining room of the three Michelin starred Martín Berasategui. Having had the pleasure of frequenting restaurants such as Vue de Monde at the top of the Rialto, Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour and plenty of other restaurants that strive for a memorable view, nothing compares to the sheer serenity to that of the terrace of Martín Berasategui's San Sebastian restaurant.


Overlooking the rolling hills of the Basque countryside Martín Berasategui features an outdoor terrace alongside the impressive dining room which on a warm Spanish evening offers a very impressive setting with no compromise to the three Michelin star experience.

I can't recall ever writing a review of a restaurant and spending two paragraphs gushing about the perfection of a restaurants dining setting, once our Champagne arrives I am already anticipating a great dining experience.

Our waiter walks us through the menu and despite what appears to be an overwhelming 12 courses in the great tasting menu there is really no option as to which way to go. An interesting detail to appear on the menu is the year in which a dish debuted. While some dishes go back to 1995, the majority have appeared this year or in the past few years which is a good sign that the kitchen isn't just resting on the "Greatest Hits".

So with that, the dining marathon kicks off. The first course arrives in a fashion that would be typical of the night, plates served to us in sync with a small perfectly plated well thought out dish. Mille-feuille of smoked eel, foie-gras, spring onions and green apple is not showing signs of a dish that is 18 years old and also shows that great combinations never go out of style.


From here the standard of food and the consistency of service does not skip a beat. Whether is turning an ingredient I am indifferent over like oyster in to a dish I would go back for again once paired with cucumber, kafir and coconut or the deceivingly delicious sauteed black garlic with beet ceviche which looks more like dessert than savoury course, every dish delivers.


Singling out a dish though for special praise though would be the red mullet with edible scales, for a menu that is devoid of gimmicks or cliches I thought his may be a bit gimmicky, but to my delight the edible scales add a delicious crunch and flavour to the red mullet. The scales are reminiscent of teppanyaki prawn legs but much more delicate. This rates among my favourite dishes of all time.



Desserts were as enjoyable as the savoury courses, the apple, lemon, celery, cucumber gin and mint is a perfect palate cleanser, almost like an edible mojito meets gin and tonic and the final course of mist of coffee and cacao a perfect finale to a magnificent dinner.




How do I sum up dinner at Martín Berasategui? As close to perfection as one can get, 12 faultless courses, magnificent setting, impeccable service and great wine matching from the sommelier. One final comment on the service, the staff seem to enjoy working in the restaurant as much as the diners enjoy dining there, this along with everything else makes this possibly the single best dining experience I have had the pleasure of enjoying.


An epic dining experience can only be given one rating - an epic win.



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