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 Saturday, 12 October 2019

Very nice restaurant. Nice staff. Very good ambiance..over priced...

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Visited On Saturday, 12 October 2019

Very nice restaurant. Nice staff. Very good ambiance..over priced...

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Visited On Saturday, 12 October 2019

A great mix of traditional and inventive tapas. The wine was good too and the restaurant had a great buzz.

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Visited On Wednesday, 09 October 2019

Authentic atmosphere, friendly staff and honest food nicely presented. After three visits it feels like coming home.

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Visited On Saturday, 05 October 2019

Lovely cosy Spanish vibe in the restaurant. Service very friendly and professional

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Visited On Saturday, 05 October 2019

Delicious food prepared in an open kitchen where you can watch from the bar

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Visited On Thursday, 03 October 2019

just perfekt

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Visited On Saturday, 28 September 2019

Great, Great food Great wine Friendly and knowledgeable staff Great Atmosphere. All round we had a really enjoyable evening.

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Visited On Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Superb value set lunch, delicious and just the right amount of food, impeccable service.

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Visited On Friday, 20 September 2019

We felt really comfortable and looked after. The food is lovely if a little pricey, great wine selection

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Visited On Saturday, 21 September 2019

Delicious food and great service

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Visited On Thursday, 19 September 2019

We've been coming to Donostia since its opening over seven years ago. Donostia is one of the very few London restaurants we return to time and time again. Out preference is to sit at the kitchen bar and watch the magic happen. Every time the experience - service, food, drink, atmosphere - is special. Like coming home.

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Visited On Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Delicious food, excellent service and lovely wine choices. Donostia is our family favourite. Just perfect.

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Visited On Thursday, 12 September 2019

Great food and nice atmosphere

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Visited On Saturday, 14 September 2019

Delicious restaurant in Marylebone, not touristic, just authentic place!

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Visited On Saturday, 14 September 2019

Nice neighbourhood feel, good service, great food, recommend sitting at the bar

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Visited On Saturday, 14 September 2019

Exceptional tapas, great service - highly recommend, we had a great evening and really enjoyed every dish we had!

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Visited On Thursday, 12 September 2019

I feel that the quality and good taste of food has come down and also the selection is rather limited and could be improved.

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Visited On Thursday, 12 September 2019

Need more food menu!

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Visited On Monday, 13 May 2019

One of my absolute favourite places to dine!

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Visited On Sunday, 08 September 2019

I love San Sebastian, and we are fortunate to have a little enclave of that culinary tradition here in London

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Visited On Saturday, 07 September 2019

Always my first stop when in London. Started comming here shortly after they first opened and it has only gotten better ever since! If you can't get in, keep trying. It is worth it! Don't forget the Grill across the street for you next meal!!

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Visited On Thursday, 05 September 2019

As good as it ever was... And run by the most friendly people. If you're wanting tasty tapas and good wine, this is the place for you. Highly recommend.

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Visited On Friday, 06 September 2019

Excellent lunch

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Visited On Monday, 02 September 2019

Delicious dinner and great price.

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