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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 Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Attentive staff, interesting menu and wine list. The atmosphere was relaxed and "buzzy". It may have been a quiet evening but it was great not to have to give up the table after 90 mins, particularly as one of us had travelled quite a way to London for the evening. We will return! Thank you.

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Visited On Saturday, 16 February 2019

The presa iberica was a marvel. It’s rare that I disvover new tastes, and even rarer that I’m so impressed. Didn’t particularly like the patatas bravas though. Were they cooked in some kind of vegetable oil? Unimpressed with both the potatoes and the sauce. That’s the only negative though, really liked the place and service was very friendly and quick. We had an excellent evening.

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Visited On Saturday, 16 February 2019

Wonderful meal sat at the bar. Great food, great service and great ambience!

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Visited On Saturday, 16 February 2019

Great food, great, see vice, great atmosphere!

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Visited On Thursday, 14 February 2019

Very good dinning experience.

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Visited On Wednesday, 13 February 2019

As always great food, wine and service - we’ll be back

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Visited On Tuesday, 12 February 2019

We loved it and will definitely come again

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Visited On Saturday, 09 February 2019

it's more a tapas bar than a restaurant; service a bit confused; quality of ingredients good though

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Visited On Friday, 08 February 2019

We’ve been regulars now for more than a year and plan to return regularly

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Visited On Tuesday, 05 February 2019

delicious !!!

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Visited On Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Love the food and service but perhaps the kitchen can do with a stronger extractor fan . Not too keen having the cooking smells with me when I got home .

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Visited On Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Anders Schroeder

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Visited On Monday, 28 January 2019

Quite authentic and good service ! The king prawns are outstanding !

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Visited On Sunday, 27 January 2019

Excellent service and delicious Spanish dishes, especially the seafood tapas.

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Visited On Sunday, 27 January 2019

Superlative as always. My sixth time there and counting.

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Visited On Friday, 25 January 2019

Came for my birthday and everything was genuinely fantastic, especially the service! I didn't get anyone's name unfortunately but we were served by two lovely ladies who ensured I had a great birthday. Thank you so much!

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Visited On Thursday, 13 December 2018

Superb evening with with great food.....

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Visited On Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Great experience. Never tire of coming back. Love everything and always bring new guests. John

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Visited On Saturday, 19 January 2019

Always a pleasure to dine at Donostia. The consistency of food quality and service is impressive. One of my favourites in London. I would say that the restaurant itself could be more welcoming to match enhance the overall experience.

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Visited On Saturday, 19 January 2019

I love this place and have spent many hours enjoying the food and wine. Menu changes are very seasonal but great.

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Visited On Wednesday, 16 January 2019

We had a wonderful time, delicious food and buzzy atmosphere.

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Visited On Sunday, 13 January 2019

One of the top Spanish/Basque restaurant in London together with Lurra. Amazing service, highly recommended.

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Visited On Friday, 04 January 2019

Amazing food!!

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Visited On Friday, 04 January 2019

Fabulous food, great service, relaxed atmosphere.

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Visited On Wednesday, 02 January 2019

Would be great to have 1/2 large main dishes, like a txuleton rather than all small tapas

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