Donostia-10 Seymour Place W1 London
New Basque place up near Marble Arch tube.
The interior is very simple with white walls, dark wood floors, a few tables and bar with several seats behind which you can watch the cooking take place.
As I was on my own didn't manage to order that much and all my pinxtos/tapas came together which I wasn't expecting Maybe because I was dining alone?
The tortilla was very good with a nice crust and gooey inside with soft slices potato and caramalized onions. Cod cheeks with pil pil sauce brought a good quantity of meaty yet yielding cod cheeks and a light yet satisfying sauce. Garnished with micro herbs and strips of chilli which were a bit superfluous.
The orange and hazelnut salad was serviceable as with these things not enough of the orange or hazelnut.
The bread was good and a nice grassy olive oil to accompany it.
Washed this down with a couple of glasses of natural basque cider.
Service was good and I spoke to the manager who said they will be putting more French Basque dishes on the menus in future.
All in all a very agreeable lunch and will definitely be back to sample more of the menu.
Very nice interior, lighting could do with dropping a notch. You can reserve a table or walk-in and sit at the bar. We had a reservation but begged a couple of bar stools.
Boquerones with piquillo were lovely although there weren't many of them for £5. Croquetas with jamon were superb, among the best I've had outside San Sebastian itself. Mini chorizo a satisfying snack.
Pan con Tomate above ordinary with an excellent kick.
Pluma pork fillet outstanding with a romesco sauce and the Tortilla with cod was the best I've ever tasted, outstanding.
We spent just over £70 with a bottle of Cava and two glasses of house Rioja. If you went with a huge appetite though and ordered the Txuleta and Jabugo you could see the bill run away with you.
Highly recommended if you like basque pinxtos or to test the water for a trip to SS.
Also it's opposite Vinoteca which is a great place for a glass of wine before or after dinner.
An interesting question. From my experience of staying both sides of the border I would say yes, but I wonder if that is mainly execution as Donostia (San Sebastian) is such a competitive town for food the resulting standards are very high and therefore it is really easy to eat well there, whist it isn't as easy to eat well in a similar sized town like Biarritz.