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 Friday, 14 June 2019

Very nice atmosphere! Food is excellent, an original basque place to try! Recommended!

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Visited On Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Super restaurant. Great food, lovely wine, relaxed ambiance and excellent value for money. We’ll definitely return.

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Visited On Tuesday, 04 June 2019

great traditional basque food, very nice fish and croquetas

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Visited On Friday, 31 May 2019

Wonderful restaurant

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Visited On Thursday, 30 May 2019

http://www.gourmandgunno.com/blog/2019/5/31/donostia-welcome-home

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Visited On Friday, 31 May 2019

Delicious food, exceptional service.

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Visited On Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Our waiter was very helpful and basically ordered a selection of dishes on our behalf. The servings are a little on the small side but all the ingredients incredibly fresh and tasty. We were sat at a table of 4 but if you’re 2 then I’d recommend the bar seating as the kitchen is open and the atmosphere likely to be better

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Visited On Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Great cooking ad usual, wonderful tastes

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Visited On Sunday, 26 May 2019

While the tapas were nice, they weren't executed to the degree that the price would indicate. The service was reasonable, but nothing to write home about.

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Visited On Friday, 24 May 2019

One minor bit of feedback: you have jamon legs hanging in the window by many of the tables. When I stood up, I hit one of the legs and it left a giant grease stain on my shirt. I would suggest moving those -- they're very easy to run into! Otherwise, the food was INCREDIBLE!

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Visited On Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Inventive food, knowledgeable and friendly service.

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Visited On Friday, 17 May 2019

Another reliably good night at Donostia.

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Visited On Thursday, 16 May 2019

I enjoyed good food and drink as always.

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Visited On Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Great place!

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Visited On Saturday, 11 May 2019

Everything was great! The food was next level and they even made the music louder when we asked. :)

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Visited On Sunday, 12 May 2019

Octopus was terrible chorizo was ok fish dishes were average bread was not great.. wine was good though, as was atmosphere and service

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Visited On Saturday, 11 May 2019

Recommended by a friend, we really enjoyed the food, drink, and a wait staff that was v knowledgeable of the food. She helped us select our meals!! Watching the chef prepare the food was also a treat. I will recommend Donostia to my friends!

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Visited On Saturday, 11 May 2019

Food and environment were perfect for lunch. Service was very friendly and helpful.

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Visited On Thursday, 09 May 2019

great food and staff

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Visited On Wednesday, 08 May 2019

Consistently the very best tapas !

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Visited On Thursday, 02 May 2019

Great experience!

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Visited On Saturday, 04 May 2019

Lovely meal a little on the pricey side but good food and service.

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Visited On Saturday, 04 May 2019

Excellent, attentive lunchtime service. Good food.

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Visited On Tuesday, 23 April 2019

5 stars from us. We pretty much liked or loved everything we ordered. The only problem was we ordered too much. We were too full to finish the last few dishes. I think we were recommended to order too many dishes. Glad we could try things but I really don't like to waste food and we were at a hotel not giving us the option to eat it the next day. We have already recommended Donostia to multiple locals!

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Visited On Saturday, 27 April 2019

The food was excellent but as a good Basque restaurant, the quantity of food served in each dish should be a bit more in our opinion.

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