As the most fanatical about eating in the group that went to San Sebastián it was up to me to find and book our fancy lunch. While I am happy to pay sometimes crazy amounts for meals ( chefs table at Dinner) the rest of the gang were not. A friend was just back from a weekend in SS and he had squeezed in both Arzac and Mugaritiz in three days, a quick pricing review told me that I wouldn’t be doing either this trip and his less than glowing review of Mugaritz eased my pain a little.
San Sebastián has two 3* restaurants, four 2* and five 1* so we really were spoilt for choice. I decided to go for a lunch over dinner to help with cost and as I felt it would be a little more relaxed. My final choice was Kokaxa, price wise it was excellent with two tasting menus we opted for the slightly larger market menu at €82 and the food felt approchable, yet exciting.
On leaving the house to walk to the old town we realised we were all dressed in black and walking down the seafront promanade in this relaxed town we must have looked like some rejected 90’s girl band looking for a come back.
Our arrival was swift, too swift in fact and we were there before our 1.30 booking and the restaurant opening. The restaurant itself sits in the shadow of the beautifuland Igelesia de Santa Marta and is light and airy.
Everything was incredible for me bar the pre dessert, the mint was so overpowering it tasted medicinal and sharp.
Stand out courses were the scallop ceviche, beautiful to look at every flavour worked on this plate, the scallops were soft and sweet and worked beautiful,with the combination of creamy sweet potato and sharp contracts of the pink grapefruit gel.
While not a dessert person, I did love it, because it was fun, it was bloody incredible to eat but I loved the fun element. On presentation we were told to crack it in the middle, this broken the incredible wafer thin honey biscuit to reveal a vibrant orange yolk of sorbet surrounded by smooth, creamy chocolate mousse.
Our last course of petit fours came with a passion fruit panacotta, topped with crumble, why this is not on the main menu I don’t know it was sensational, I could have eaten all four and probably kept going. When they told us that staff get to finish any left over on a Saturday, it took real determination not to return to help them do just that.
The service was lovely, it was very gentle and unintrusive, perhaps almost too much so. There were a number of times we had to ask for drinks to be brought over, and had service been more attentive we would have without a doubt ordered more wine, which would be a good thing for the restaurant. The staff knew their stuff, were polite, friendly but for a Michelin starred restaurant I would have expected a little more polish.
I’d definitely return to Kokaxta but with so much choice in San Sebastián it’s not likely to be for a while, I’ve got a long list to make my way through.