San Sebastian – Akelaŕe

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Akelaŕe is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant in San Sebastian, a town of the Basque country known for having many good restaurants. The restaurant is situated on a hill and you’ll need to drive up hill to get there. It was pictures of the view which enticed me to try this restaurant. Unfortunately, it was quite a cloudy day so the view of Biscay Bay was not the most fantastic when I was there.

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They offered 3 types of tasting menus at €185 each – Aranori, Bekari and Classics of Akelaŕe , as well as a la carte options. Each diner can choose their own menu, not necessarily one menu per table. You also get to swap the main courses if you wish.

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Bloody Mary

The first canapés was tomato in various textures like foam and jelly.

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More Canapés to start. These aren’t as simple as they look. The zucchini lookalike is potato crisps with creamy filling, the olives were anchovy cream filled in olive jelly.

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Prawns and French Beans cooked in “Orujo” Fire (Bekari)

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The prawns were cooked in front of me in that dutch oven with flaming vodka. 

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I loved it.

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The leaves and the Foie under the rain (Aranori)

Looks like a bed of leaves but at the very bottom when you look closely at this picture towards the back, that is a layer of foie gras shaped flat like a leaf and dusted green.

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Cubed Tear Green Peas (Bekari)

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Green Broth Infusión, Scampi and Smoke Monkfish (Aranori)

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It comes with crispy prawn head.

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Soufled Kokotxa, White Garlic Pil-Pil (Bekari)

I love this crispy potato.

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Very thin and Light Beef Tartare, new Potato Soufflé and Aromatic Herb Bread


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Hake in Seaweed Steam. Plancton and Oyster Leaf (Bekari)

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Sea Bass “Umami” (Aranori)

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It comes with tartare.

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Squid as a Risotto, Butter Flower (Bekari)

Beautiful. No rice, the “grains” are squid. It tastes exactly like risotto.

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“Desalted” Cod Box with Shavings (Aranori)

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Grilled Iberic “Presa” with Pepper seeds and Garlic in three different versions (Bekari)

I decided to go for the pork shoulder because this is Spain and I suppose they have good pork. It’s my first time having pork this doneness. It was done like medium rare beef steak. The texture was nothing like normal pork.

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Roasted Suckling Pig “Bone” and Iberic’s emulsion (Aranori)

I don’t quite see the purpose of giving a fake bone made of sugar.

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Melting Cupcake (Bekari)

Well, it looked better than it tasted.

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Xaxu and foaming Coconut Ice Cream (Aranori)

The sponge looking thing was like a very light frozen mousse but it had the taste of rancid coconut milk from a can. Not impressed.

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Orange “Tocino de Cielo” Sheet with Fruit Leaves (Bekari)

This was supposed to be like a flan made with orange juice. It was too sweet.

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The Broken Jar of Yogurt, “Gatzatua” and Berries (Aranori)

Can’t go wrong with fresh berries so this was alright but nothing special, apart from the cute plating.

Overall the desserts were not good. Overly sweet in the artificial way.

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Petite fours looking very pretty.

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Overall, I’ll say the food was good but not to 3 star standard. The desserts were especially disappointing. For the savoury items, only a few did stand out. The portion was quite big and I was unable to have dinner after this heavy lunch!

I was mainly attracted to this place because of the view, but on hindsight I should have tried Arzak in San Sebastian instead for better food.

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Paseo Padre Orcolaga, 56, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain




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