The last time we dined at Ametsa we raved about it, and, although we have had disappointing second visits to some other restaurants, at the end of this treat we were wondering why on earth hadn’t we been back before. It started off with a properly professional welcome, and the front of house, impeccably schooled by the outstanding restaurant manager, Ednor Pronjaj, made us feel right at home throughout the meal. We chose the tasting menu, and as we discussed it with Ednor we let slip that lobster was a great favourite with us; quick as a flash he informed us that they were preparing a dish for inclusion on the menu at a later date, he checked with the chef and sure enough one of our “entrantes” became lobster instead of langoustine. A lesson to be learnt here by other top venues. Even before the super “aperitivos” which set the tone for the evening, we happily indulged in some very good olive oil with with our home baked bread and then began the parade of delicious dishes: thick cep soup with manchego crackers, followed by an excellent combination of kataifi with light fish (in this case scorpion fish), a brilliant prawn gyoza style dumpling, and a crafty crunchy black pudding set against a sweet marmalade syrup. As with the whole menu the level of seasoning in these better-than-amuse-bouches was just perfect. The first starter caused us to raise our eyebrows as it had hemp seeds as one of the ingredients; however, the brilliant Scottish scallops mounted on a parsley base were perfectly matched with the nutty hemp crackers and given a memorable contrast against a wonderful mango salsa for a dish that could justifiably be called historic. Balanced textures enhanced our special serving of lobster which was perfectly lightly poached and matched with orange blossom, a seaweed cracker that was almost like crackling and finely sliced beans - another winner. The final starter kept up the amazing standard of cuisine and presentation, a signature dish called eggs in the moon, a crazy yet somehow logical take on eggs and bacon with a combination of fried egg wrapped in its own white, chorizo, a tomato coating and apricot salsa and turmeric. Another nice idea was the diner being able to choose a fish dish and a meat dish from the à la carte menu. The fish had to be turbot for both of us, but we differed on the meat, my wife taking the ox cheek, while I favoured the suckling pig. Blackberries would not be the first ingredient one would think of to accompany turbot, but it really worked, somehow pointing up the supreme delicacy of the the king of fish when properly cooked, and here it was emphasised by a concentration of dried loganberry and reduced cauliflower which was soft and reshaped to look like florets. This was a triumph! Not to be outdone, the melt-in-the-mouth ox-cheek with its melon pickle, Jerusalem artichoke and black sauce reduction, and the tender, gently porky suckling pig with its delightfully sweet fat under light crackling and “pseudo-cereals”, vegetables transformed to look like grains, were both splendid. A yuzu-tasting palate cleanser prepared us for the first dessert - the “coloured crystals”, a signature dish amounting to a lesson in mathematical/molecular gastronomy, in which a red-coloured grape vinaigrette is poured onto a mead base and it spreads to produce a sort of snowflake pattern, showy but nonetheless amazing. This was followed by a geometrical structure of triangular wafers of different colours and tastes and hardness arranged round a fruity crumble, and finally an explosion of passion fruit with churros reduced to crunchy crisps and served with the required rich chocolate, a truly Spanish classic in the making, and like all the other courses presented in an imaginatively artistic manner. Bravo chef Briones! A brilliant dining experience that we will definitely be hoping to repeat.