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
  • Outdoor Seating
  • 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, 24 October 2020

Excellent restaurant serving great food in a warm atmosphere.

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Visited On Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Delicious and carefully prepared original Basque tapas, sharing plates, attentive service topped off with a historic cheesecake. It's the only dessert they offer but they know what they're doing!

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Visited On Saturday, 17 October 2020

The main server was great, friendly and helpful with the menu and specials. We received the majority of our food very timely but had to ask for a couple of items as they didn't arrive with the rest of the food, we also had to wait quite a while for desert to come (which was amazing when it did come). All in all the good was brilliant and would recommend but the service could of been a bit quicker!

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Visited On Saturday, 10 October 2020

Excellent service

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Visited On Friday, 09 October 2020

Very good food and the prices were very reasonable. The place was absolutely packed out which is a very good indication of how good this restaurant is. I'll definitely be back with family & friends.

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Visited On Wednesday, 07 October 2020

Yet again great food and great service

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Visited On Saturday, 03 October 2020

Brilliant atmosphere reminiscent of a pinxtos bar in San Sebastian. The food was fantastic, the fennel pollen on the squid ink rice was delicious and really lightened the dish. The octopus was tender and melted in the mouth. Sublime.

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Visited On Saturday, 26 September 2020

A great place - the specials are always interesting, this time we had octopus and also beef cheeks - both were excellent!

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Visited On Saturday, 14 March 2020

Excellent

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Visited On Friday, 13 March 2020

Delicious and very original tapas with amazing specials. The squid and presa were both especially delicious. Service was great too, very attentive and friendly. One of my favourite restaurants in London.

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Visited On Sunday, 08 March 2020

Great food and efficient service

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Visited On Tuesday, 03 March 2020

I love this this restaurant!! My favorite restaurant in London!

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Visited On Saturday, 29 February 2020

Great food, fantastic ambience

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Visited On Saturday, 29 February 2020

Tiny portions, it’s impossible to share minuscule amounts for food as tapas for the table.

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Visited On Saturday, 29 February 2020

Restaurant ambience was excellent, lighting and decor beautiful. Menu choice is great and the food was well prepared and delicious, albeit rather expensive. Choice of wine by the glass could be a little better. The service was the only slight negative - most of the waiting staff were lovely but the manager was not very friendly and did not make us feel very welcome.

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Visited On Friday, 28 February 2020

Really enjoyed our Friday evening at Donostia. Staff, food, and atmosphere all great. Many thanks for an excellent experience!

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Visited On Thursday, 27 February 2020

It was great

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Visited On Saturday, 22 February 2020

Excellent food and service

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Visited On Thursday, 20 February 2020

Delicious special of monkfish with carrot purée Lovely new godello Iberico ham a dream

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Visited On Monday, 17 February 2020

I loved all food ( especially Hamon and Pork )and desert !! will come back again soon.

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Visited On Saturday, 15 February 2020

This is my 2nd visit, and the food remained fabulous. Great basics and some interesting specials I was really disappointed with the service this time, very rushed and felt like no time for us. The dishes came with minutes of ordering which added to the feeling of conveyor belt - real shame

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Visited On Thursday, 13 February 2020

Highly recommended!

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Visited On Friday, 07 February 2020

One of my favourite places

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Visited On Saturday, 08 February 2020

Delicious food and wine as always and brilliant service.

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Visited On Friday, 07 February 2020

Loved this place - great food, all the staff, from the Maître' D, to the chefs behind the the bar, to the waitresses. All on point and knew their stuff. Such a relief as so often this is not the case. We tried something from the whole menu - delish! Great wine reccommendations, and all in all I felt very reasonably priced for the quality of food and service.Left full and happy. Will be back. Thank you for a lovely evening. Sian

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