Image 1: For some reason, whenever I thought of grill, I could only think of dried and overcooked meat from a barbecue and wondered why some chefs would waste seafood on a grill! But my visit to Etxebarri re-defined what grill is all about!

Image 2: Simply cooking over an open fire with fresh ingredients, it turned out to be one of the most delicious meals ever!

Image 3: Chef: Victor Arguinzoniz
Tasting Menu upon request: Around €120 depending on what seafood are available
À la carte: About €20 each. Dinner only Saturday. Lunch Tuesday to Sunday.

Image 4: If you don't speak Spanish, you must ask for chef Lennox from Australia.

Image 5: He will do you a tasting menu of 10 to 12 tapas-sized items using mostly seafood from their daily changing menu.

Image 6: Two tender pieces of homemade chorizo.

Image 7: Smoked Butter to go with our bread. YES, SMOKED BUTTER! Wow, what an aromatic butter! Brilliant!

Image 8: Grilled Prawn
Again, we were amazed by the smokiness and the freshness of the ingredient! That's what this restaurant is all about. For this type of cooking, there is no sauce or anything to hide an imperfect ingredient.

Image 9: Grilled Langoustine
Oh my god, didn't know freshness and charcoalness were that good a combination. Especially the head, I couldn't hold myself not to suck out every drop of juice from it!

Image 10: Grilled Oyster
Stunning! It was hard to believe someone could grill such a delicate ingredient - a light smokiness was beautifully carried throughout.

Image 11: Seriously, it really had a charcoal aroma deep inside this moist oyster. At this point, we already decided to come here again soon for another meal. We wanted more grill - prawn, langoustine, oyster, butter... everything!

Image 12: Grilled Sea Cucumber
Locals called this a sea cucumber, but it is different from the Chinese Sea Cucumber. This is rather similar to razor clam. Nice crunchy texture.

Image 13: Grilled Mussel with carrot and pumpkin stock.

Image 14: After this course, it really made me doubt the reliability of Michelin Guide - How could this restaurant have just received their first Michelin star after so many years!!! This course, hidden underneath shavings of white truffle...

Image 15: ... is a Grilled Egg Yolk! This place is out of this world! Again, the charcoalness is simply sensational... Yes, it had smokiness even inside the egg yolk!

Image 16: Grilled Squid with sweet onion

Image 17: Grilled caviar
This is the course featured in Anthony Bourdain's No Reservation!

Image 18: Even thought it had a nice grilled touch, but it was way too salty to be honest!

Image 19: Grilled Baby Eel

Image 20: Superb! It was like having fine pasta... but a closer look revealed countless number of lives sacrificed in one small dish! Can't believe we ate thousands of eels. That's very bad!

Image 21: Grilled Eel
Rather crispy compared to Japanese unagi.

Image 22: Grilled Foie Gras

Image 23: Moving from the sea to the land, it was nice to have a good quality tender steak after so much seafood.

Image 24: Served with a salad on the side.

Image 25: Smoked Ice Cream!
It wasn't a joke, yes, smoked ice cream! The chef first smokes the milk and then makes an ice cream from it. Shockingly delicious and what a nice charcoal aroma to end this meal!

Image 26: Small cakes as petits-fours.

Image 27: We then had a long chat with chef Lennox as it was too impressive a meal. He showed us the wood used to create the charcoal consisted of oak, apple, orange, grape and olive.

Image 28: The type of seafood determines the type of wood to be used and the heat intensity, which can be precisely adjusted by the height of each grate. The chef is the King of Grill!

Image 29: Fresh seafood!

Image 30: Impressive meal! Just a simple grill, but it was the most intriguing meal in my life! This place totally re-defines what grill is all about. We will be back!!!!

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  • FDE

    Possibly. I remember we paid an extra 20-30 euro per head for each of the extra caviar course and the baby eel course. And that was 3 years ago.

  • Roy (Singapore)

    I’ve read many reviews of Etxebarri and I must say your’s is one of the most amazing. The range of ingredients you have received is simply mind-boggling! I suppose your budget may have been much higher than the current ‘standard’ tasting menu.

  • FDE

    I don’t know if Lennox still works there and if the menu style is the same as 2 years ago. What I did was tell him a budget and time, he will fix things up for you. My dinner took no longer than 3hrs, if you start at 2pm sharp, say you leave by 4:30pm, an hour drive to Bilbao, should be fine. Enjoy and let me know how it goes.

  • Peter O (Madrid)


    I´m heading to Etxebarri this Sunday and was wondering how much time it took to go through the tasting menu. My reservation is at 2PM and my bus back to Madrid leaves (currently) at 6PM from Bilbao. I feel like I haven’t given myself enough time, should I try to get a later bus?

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  • Tickets

    September 2014