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Image 1: www.akelarre.net Chef: Pedro Subjiana
Aranori (7-course): €125 Bekarki (7-course): €145
À la carte: About €40 appetizer and €50 main course
Closed on Sunday night to Tuesday and all February.
Image 2: The restaurant is just a few kilometres away from the San Sebastián centre. It was a nice drive through the winding cliff road with a view of the Bay of Biscay.
Image 3: Lounge area for pre-meal drink.
Image 4: The friendly Chef Pedro Subijana visited and engaged in long conversations with each table throughout the meal. We also met Tus, sommelier from El Bulli, during the meal as he was in town for holiday.
Image 5: Do go there for lunch as the dining room offers a magnificent view where the sea merges with the sky.
Image 6: They welcomed us with a set of creative looking amuse bouche - Basilic holes / Pepper and black olive checker / Bread and black pudding / Zurrukutuna
Image 7: Followed by "Fried Egg". It was actually sun-dried tomato paste - unfamiliar dish presented in a familiar way!
Image 8: And one more, "Cuttlefish dropping the ink". A nice picture of a cuttlefish spraying ink! The “black sand” was really made from ink! We were glad that they allowed us to order two different tasting menus: Aranori and Bekarki
Image 9: Aranori: Prawns and shrimps in their shell powder / Tomato Meringue and Roquette
The prawns and shrimps were really back into their shell as the crispy batter was made with their grinded shells. Interesting!
Image 10: Bekarki: Oysters eaten with Shell
Similarly, oysters were put back in their shell too! The dark hard shell was actually frozen custard made with lime, crushed oyster shell, and sea salt. Very original!
Image 11: Bekarki: Oysters eaten with Shell
The frozen crunchy shell provided a unique temperature and texture to accompany the oysters. My first time eating an oyster with its shell! The orange and honey sweet syrup underneath added a nice fruity touch to the dish.
Image 12: Aranori: Steamed Molluses with Borage
Borage is an herb also known as “starflower”. The thick green sauce at the bottom was made of seaweed and aloe.
Fillaboa Seleccion Finca Monte Alto 2004
Image 13: Aranori: Steamed Molluses with Borage
The treasure covered by the foam was a mixture of mussels, razor clam, and baby octopus.
Image 14: Bekarki: Scallop in Coloured “Sand”
The “sand” was actually crushed fava beans. Every dish here is an artwork!
Otazu Chardonnay 2001 fermentado en barríca
Image 15: Aranori: Wild Mushrooms in the Forest
We could sense a mushroom hunting scene here. This dish provided a clever contrast between the unique flavour and texture of each type of wild mushrooms. This was definitely the best dish of our meal.
Image 16: Bekarki: Lamb’s boneless Tail / Cauliflower, Leeks, Beetroot and Carrot “macaroons”
Bohorquex Ribera del Duero 2003
Image 17: Seared Foie Gras
We added an extra course to our tasting menu. A generous portion of foie gras rested in a creamy nut sauce topped with shaved pistachio. A perfectly seared silky foie along with a rich nutty flavour was just fabulous.
Ochoa Moscatel de Navarra 2005
Image 18: Aranori: Turbot with Mussel’s Lentils
Image 19: Bekarki: Monkfish with Artichokes and Fava beans
Image 20: Aranori: Roasted Baby Pig, with Tomato “Bolao” and Iberian Emulsion
Image 21: Bekarki: Roasted Wood-Pigeon with Cider, Kuzu and Walnut
Care cariñenas 2002
Image 22: Aranori: Curled Coconut, lightly Lime perfumed
Another interesting dish! Our server poured a milk-like liquid into this simple glass and asked us to wait for 2 minutes. We didn’t understand the purpose of the wait until we stick the spoon in afterwards. The liquid magically turned into custard! Similar to the Chinese dessert “double-steaming milk” but it had an intense coconut flavour.
Image 23: Bekarki: Rhubarb sorbet and frosted Herbs
Image 24: Aranori: Swiss roll with “meringued milk” and Mulberries
Moscatel Molino Real 2005
Image 25: Bekarki: Tangerine and Pineapple with White Chocolate foam
The pineapple hidden under the foam went surprisingly well with the chocolate.
Image 26: Our lunch ended with a large tray of petits-fours. It was a long lunch sampling more than 16 innovative courses. I love the dining room; I love the stunning view; I love the service; but food-wise, I would call it a fun meal rather than a delicious meal. I failed to identify more than two courses that I could described as delicious!