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Donostia

10 Seymour Place, London, United Kingdom, W1H 7ND
Critics Review 10/10
Restaurant info
Opening Information

Reservations are taken for tables during lunch and dinner services. There are 10 dining stools around the open kitchen that are left free for walk-ins after 730pm so please always feel free to drop by. If all stools are occupied when you arrive, the reservations manager can take your number and call you when something becomes available. Please note that we usually have two sittings so may respectfully ask for your table back after two hours

Facilities
  • Outside Seating Area
  • Gluten Free Available
  • Business Lunch

About Donostia

Basque restaurant serving pintxo, tapas and unique wines

Cuisine: French, Spanish, Tapas
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Price point:
£ £ £ £ £

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Critics Review
It'll never match a night out in San Sebastián, but it's a damned fine try
10/10
Walking towards Donostia, , we pass a pair of natty, pointed men's shoes at an artful angle outside a Marylebone boutique. It looks as though a dapper, window-shopping elf has spontaneously-combusted. Nearly as curious is the fact that a Serbian chap, an English gal and a Polish chef have opened a restaurant specialising in the cuisine of San Sebastián – aka Donostia. San Sebastián is the heaven that I want to die and go to. It's the foodie equivalent of sex tourism – a place to indulge unjudged. The city has a fewMichelin-starred big hitters, but the hardcore sensationalist is here for the txikiteo, or bar crawl. The locals have a snifter and a pintxo in each; foreigners eat themselves into seven kinds of oblivion. Because they can. The difference between this and a carnival of all-you-can-eat buffets is that everything you try – every beef cheek, every sliver of Ibérico, every plancha'd wild mushroom – will be ambrosial. Of course, it's not just Donostia's parentage that isn't Donostian, but the fact that you're here for actual dinner. In San Sebastián, you'd have tortilla in Nestor, an anchovy or two in Txepetxa and wild mushrooms in Gambara. So we attempt to recreate a txikiteo in the one restaurant, by eating everything on the menu apart from deep-fried prawns with mango that sound a bit Berni Inn, and by drinking tourist quantities of wines, from young txacoli, poured from a height into wide tumblers to give it extra "life", to godello, described accurately as having notes of peach, anise and ripe apple (owners Nemanja Borjanovic and Melody Adams are wine importers). There's Basque cider, too. It appears from the bill that we have quite a few corkers, but details are a little, um, hazy. There's some top stuff here. Meat is a particular strength. Pluma, that lusciously-marbled cut of Iberian pig here described as "shoulder" (it's a bit more complicated than that) is lustworthy: smoky crust, juicy, rosy-pink centre, with a romesco of roast peppers and almonds. Lamb chops are equally good, chomped like lollipops from their charred wee bones; and steak is from O'Shea's, which is as good as having "bloody gorgeous" branded on to its flank. You can book a table, but the little open kitchen fringed with stools is for walk-ins, so you can watch the ham-carving, frying and emulsion-whisking. A special of a blowsy courgette flower, its petals swollen with creamy goat's cheese, is fried until lacy and crisp. Croquetas – as good a benchmark for a Spanish restaurant as the equally deceptively simple carbonara is for an Italian one – are sexy little balls generously studded with jamón, or with prawns in a shellfish béchamel that's as pungent as lobster bisque. Tortilla is identical to the one at Barrafina, where chef Tomasz Baranski worked before, and is a miracle of engineering: its outside firm and fluffy, its innards sticky with caramelised onion and oozing. Maybe they're equally ace at fish? Cod cheeks pil-pil deliver slithery little dollops in a chilli-kissed sauce, an emulsification of olive oil and the fish's juices. It's better than many I've had in the homeland: less challengingly gelatinous. Deep-fried txipirones, the weeniest baby squid, are pleasingly crunchy and greasy: the ultimate bar snack. And there's a miraculous rendition of cuttlefish on arroz nero: the cephalopod as tender as marshmallow, the inky rice wonderfully intense. Servings are typically small, and overindulgence can see bills mount from mild ouch to actual physical pain. Baranski has worked at two San Sebastián restaurants, the trad Urepel and the more rock'n'roll, wagyu burger-toting A Fuego Negro. Perhaps in "Portman Village" you might not be able to stagger from one great bar to the next (although Vinoteca over the road is pretty hot stuff), but given that everyone tries to ape the utopian ideal, Donostia may not be the head-scratcher it first seemed. The mystery of those shoes, however, remains.
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Visited On Thursday, 06 December 2018

Lovely local amazing food with friendly helpful staff. Always a perfect food experience with the beat Spanish tapas.

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Visited On Monday, 03 December 2018

This place is a London gem. The food was extremely good, well presented and coming to our table perfectly on time. The amount of food is not large which it might be good idea to increase a little but the quality and taste are extraordinary that you want to request another round. The atmosphere is beautiful, calm, and pleasant. Our waitress was truly knowledgeable and other staff were prompt to attend us when we needed them. I strongly recommend this place. Surely I will come back soon.

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Visited On Tuesday, 27 November 2018

100% recommended

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Visited On Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Food was amazing! Best food I’ve had in London in a long time

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Visited On Friday, 23 November 2018

Excellent food and the staff know the dishes well, for recommendations, etc. Small venue to inevitable that it's a little noisy at times. Bar area is a nice touch as well since it ensures the venue has a good level of customers inside. Wine selection is also good.

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Visited On Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Fantastic tapas bar - the food, service just everything is amazing. The staff are so friendly and sitting at the bar has such a great atmosphere

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Visited On Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Good food and wine

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Visited On Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Absolutely love Donostia. My daughter said the oxtail was the best she had ever eaten.

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Visited On Friday, 09 November 2018

Nice location ,but tiny. Good food ,nice wine ,fast service .

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Visited On Thursday, 08 November 2018

Specials a little underwhelming but delicious wine and standard menu

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Visited On Thursday, 08 November 2018

One of the best restaurants in London.

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Visited On Sunday, 04 November 2018

superb as always!

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Visited On Friday, 02 November 2018

Great place, service and food brilliant

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Visited On Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Food was good, especially the bread and the tapas. The prawn mains wasn't that great and definitely not value for money. The Rioja was excellent, service sometimes a bit slow and unattentive but overall a very good experience and highly recommend.

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Visited On Sunday, 28 October 2018

Used to be better in the past. This time not the quality I expected anymore.

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Visited On Saturday, 27 October 2018

always go for the specials- they are amazing

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Visited On Friday, 26 October 2018

delicious!

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Visited On Sunday, 21 October 2018

We enjoyed food, drink and service!!

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Visited On Saturday, 20 October 2018

Amazing food and a great buzzy atmosphere with an open kitchen. Service can be a little slow at times during the busy periods. Food is delicious though with classic as well as a few experimental dishes.

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Visited On Friday, 19 October 2018

Fantastic place. Food and service excellent

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Visited On Thursday, 11 October 2018

Lovely restaurant

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Visited On Thursday, 11 October 2018

The pintxos are superb and we are huge fans of San Sebastián and this is the real thing just wonderful.

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Visited On Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Lovely G&T to start in a goldfish bowl. The specials one after another were superb. Wine paired with the cheese was exceptional. Then another G&T to finish. A great first visit - we would like yo live there!

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Visited On Friday, 05 October 2018

Great food. Great vibe.

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Visited On Tuesday, 25 September 2018

the food and service is great. When you are sitting in the back you are loosing some of the atmosphere and you feel your are in the "second" space - if possible try to get a table in the front part

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