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, 15 August 2019

my favourite place in Marylebone area

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Visited On Wednesday, 14 August 2019

All great Waitress lovely Didn’t like the octopus!

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Visited On Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Great food lovely staff 😉

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Visited On Monday, 12 August 2019

WONDERFUL food, friendly staff, try the black rice mmmmmmm

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Visited On Wednesday, 07 August 2019

Amazing restaurant, one of my favourites in London, dinner delicious.

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Visited On Wednesday, 07 August 2019

I introduced some friends to "Donostia" and they enjoyed it. Always a good experience.

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Visited On Sunday, 04 August 2019

Excellent tapas -including the best octopus I have ever eaten- and delightful wine! Would definitely dine here again!

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Visited On Saturday, 03 August 2019

great food, great drinks, great service

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Visited On Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Super evening, great food and atmosphere

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Visited On Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Very quiet at lunch time

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Visited On Monday, 29 July 2019

Excellent as always

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Visited On Thursday, 25 July 2019

Great food and a brilliant restaurant. The portion sizes are not large and it isn’t cheap but so worth the money.

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Visited On Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Smart intimate tapas bar with seating at tables and the bar. Basque twists make it intriguingly different from the usual Spanish offering. Everything beautifully fresh and tasty and the olive oil is to die for! Charming service too.

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Visited On Saturday, 13 July 2019

I have been to Donostia several times and I am never disappointed. I really like the friendly staff and wonderful food.

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Visited On Wednesday, 24 July 2019

First time and really enjoyed it. The food was extremely good, well presented and tasted amazing. Definately going back!

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Visited On Sunday, 21 July 2019

It was a great experience!

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Visited On Friday, 19 July 2019

Excellent food and wine, reasonably priced, and great service

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Always lovely at donostia. Shame there wasn't any razor clams or the foie gras brioche!

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Visited On Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Excellent food

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Visited On Saturday, 13 July 2019

Clean, bright, excellent food , great service. As usual, lovely.

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Visited On Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Great food, amazing atmosphere and kind staff! Will be back! 😉

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Visited On Tuesday, 09 July 2019

One of my favourite London restaurants - always excellent.

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Visited On Saturday, 06 July 2019

Wonderful food, great service, nice wine.....nothing bad to say!

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Visited On Saturday, 06 July 2019

Great little place with excellent ingredients.

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Visited On Wednesday, 03 July 2019

The food was average (could do with balancing some of the seasoning) but the dessert was amazing.

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