Just arrived to San Sebastian film festival to attend the official Foodies documentary screening this evening. I am trying to squeeze in some meals during the very short time I am here and yesterday’s visit to Kaia Kaipe was more than worth the thirty minutes drive from San Sebastian. It is the sister (or rather, “brother” as both restaurants are owned by two brothers) restaurant of Elkano, famous for it’s superb turbot. Like expected, the simply grilled turbot was surreal and probably the best I’ve ever had. The family also owns one of the most amazing wine cellars in the world. The 40 000 very reasonably priced vintages are stored not in one, but in two cellars nearby.
The seven seat counter restaurant is owned by a young man from Japan called Toru Takahashi and his wife Harumi. Before opening his own restaurant in 2012, he studied British history in Kobe and later worked at Nobu. Like many Japanese chefs, Toru is very hard on himself . You won’t distract him with your chatting at the moment he is focusing on his work. Finding top sushi quality ingredients is one of the main Toru and Harumi concerns, but they are doing a pretty good job for that. In fact, if only they had access to Tsukiji, Sushi Tetsu could compete with fine sushi restaurants in Tokyo itself. Squid sashimi with sea grapes and seared otoro sushi were the highlights of the meal.
While jumping shrimps, as seen at Noma few years ago, are not really my cup of tea, scallops, still being alive once served raw, is what you should normally expect from you scallops. Mikael Jonsson from Hedone is one of those products obsessed chefs, who will go to great lengths to discover rare produce. This time it was scallops from Isle of Coll, which were still jiggling once touched with a fork. Their flavor was so pure,marine and intense, I could only compare them to the surreal scallops from Hokkaido, that are used at some of the best Tokyo’s sushi-ya. The other highlight of the meal was baby John Dory, so beautiful,delicate and tasty… My older reviews of Hedone can be found here, here and here.
Ever since I tried Heston Blumenthal’s spin-off restaurant at Mandarin Oriental hotel, I was quite sceptical about what he was doing. Thanks to a dear friend, who was brave enough to wait for one hour on a phone, simultaneously click on The Fat Duck’s online reservations, and, finally reserve two months in advance, I was able to get into the real thing. Lunch at The Fat Duck has brought me back to the main reason why I love blogging about gastronomy. Heston Blumenthal is a true genius, who is capable to balance visual and sensory aspects of food with it’s deliciousness. Forget about all his TV appearances or supermarket endorsements, the dessert in the picture above was just one of many examples of how talented Heston Blumenthal is.