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Mugaritz

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World’s 50 Best
3rd 2012
Last Visit: Apr 2011
Month of Review: May 2008

San Sebastian is renowned as a gastronomic wonderland, with more Michelin stars per capita than any other city on earth. As fine dining explorers, it is inevitable to make a journey to this world’s hottest culinary destination. Using molecular gastronomic techniques, yet able to capture flavours of natural ingredients, Mugaritz definitely sets itself apart from the rest.

About the Chef

Andoni Luis Aduriz, at the age of just 35, became one of the most recognised Spanish chefs. He has apprenticed at El Bulli, Arzak, and Martin Berasategui. He used to pass Arzak on the school bus every day and wondered if he’d ever go inside. Considered as the future of Spanish cooking, he now runs a team of 25 with an average age of 28.

Aduriz takes a scientific approach to cooking. He likes to get to the root of things by understanding what is behind the raw material and tracing it back to its very origin. He had even spent two years at a liver research clinic to study the function and composition of this organ. He later applied his research findings to foie gras and has been consequently crowned as the “foie gras king”.

Going beyond the Basque tradition, this culinary wizard’s cuisine is best described as molecular with an ingredient-driven cuisine. Each dish is refined and flows in harmony just like a poem.

About the Restaurant

The visit was before the fire incident which nearly destroyed the restaurant.

This house, located 13km from San Sebastian, mesmerised me more than any other restaurants we have been too. The setting is rural yet contemporary; it gives us an illusion of simplicity yet we can notice original touches everywhere.

Hanging on the wood-beam wall, there is a row of letter “m” to denote both “Mugaritz” and the “mmmmmm”, a sense of something delicious. On each table, there is an iron pendulum made of a spoon and a fork, as well as two greeting cards for each diner to choose at the end of the meal -- “150 min of suffering!” and “150 min of contemplation!” We can immediately feel that an extraordinary dining experience is about to begin…