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10 Seymour Place
This “marvellous” Basque kitchen has always served the food and drink of San Sebastián and its environs against a backdrop of purest white, with touches of grained wood and marble – although it’s now reaping the benefit of a 2016 refurb. The food doesn’t need much flattery, even if the act of pouring natural Basque cider from great heights does add a certain ceremony to the experience. Excellent charcuterie dominates the selection of cold plates, while pintxos could be foie gras with walnuts and PX vinegar, jamón croquetas or tempura prawns with ham and mango. Bigger tapas dishes give meat and fish a starring role, as in Ibérico pork shoulder with romesco sauce, crispy-fried cod cheeks with squid-ink aïoli or marinated quail with spinach, pancetta and truffle oil. There are classic extras including blistered Padrón peppers and masterfully made tortilla too. Donostia’s owners started out in the wine import trade, and there’s quality in every glass.
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
10 Seymour Place
Marble Arch Tube Station 420m
Edgware Road Tube Station 622m
Odeon Cinema Marble Arch 397m
Premier League & Football League 402m
Mon 6-10.30pm Tues-Sat 12.30-3pm 6-10.30pm Sun 5-9pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
I have been to this restaurant a lot. Over time one would expect a restaurant to lift off the accelerator yet this charming boutique Spanish restaurant continues to charm and come up with the goods. A typical example of what can and should happen in London with an owner led restaurant. The food is never less than deliciously satisfying and the enthusiasm of the owner and staff is palpable.
Food + drink: 5
On the first autumnal evening (torrential rain, cold, grey, true London) this year, I escaped into this little gem in Marylebone (more Marble Arch end of Oxford St). Donostia is an attractive, contemporary, cute restaurant with fine fine Basque cooking. The owner is an ex-Barrafina chef, so this establishment is a serious contender for the best tapas in London. The atmosphere was buzzy, warm and had that bonhomie, that is often hard to find in London city.
We were seated by the window (best table for the frisson) with ‘ham on our heads’ (ie a large legs of Bayonne ham, tantalising near enough to nuzzle). I managed to refrain. You can also sit at the bar, if your posture is good enough.
The menu was clear, concise but bursting with yummy sounding bites. The tempura prawns with mango had the lightest batter and the most succulent seafood, at £2 per prawn, I had to order another. Cod cheeks with tarry black aioli were delightfully moreish. The star was the chargrilled porky iberico shoulder surrounded by dollops of delicious romesco sauce. The often boring tortilla was an eggy, carbohydrate revelation. Triple cooked chips with brava sauce were as good as the ones in Opera Tavern.
The wine list was equally impressive with novel and classic Spanish wines, with very reasonable price tags. The end bill was a rather economical £75 for 2, for a meal of this quality and quantity (I wish this was my local). I must also mention the fantastic service and our waiter who braved the downpours to hail a cab from around the corner. Old school manners count for a lot these days. This place is a little taste of San Sebastian on our doorstep, not to be missed.
Visited here with my boyfriend for the second time in as many weeks. On the previous occasion we reserved a table but opted for the bar the second time-its where the action is. Sitting on the dining bar we could see the chefs preparing various dishes in the open plan kitchen and kept adding to our order. We are big fans of Spanish food and all agreed their croquettas were the best we ever had. We also had the mini wagyu burger and chorizo from the menu. The Tapas dishes were more elaborate, we had the pil-pil cod cheeks, a gelatinous heaven and my boyfriend had the baby fried squid (chipirones). We spoke to the barman who suggested the pork shoulder and the pig cheeks in red wine with parsnip puree. I have never had pork cooked like this, medium rare and incredibly jucy. The cheeks were slow cooked in red wine and very tender. Worked wonders with the parsnip puree. We left out the deserts as were too stuffed. Highly recommended.
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