Mirador de Ulía ★ // San Sebastian // Spain

If you like the idea of combining amazingly creativity food with one of the most beautiful views over San Sebastian, then Mirador de Ulía is somewhere you should eat. Chef Ruben Trincado has worked in some highly respected restaurants, including the famous Laperouse in Paris and with Didier Garbage in the Landes region of France. Trincado has a very modern and pure way of demonstrating his talent. Each dish he presents is a spectacle of bright colours dropped onto a clean white plate. But it’s the exceptional combinations of products he uses that allows him to create his sublime version of Basque fine-dining.

The langoustine and bone marrow dish marrow is a great example of this. Why would you cook a langoustine to death if you knew the product was so fresh that you could serve it almost raw? Trincado shows that he really understands his products by creating this luxury version of surf ‘n’ turf. Cep and trompette mushrooms, with a few slices of truffle are added to a strong beef consommé to create a “chaud froid” delight. The marrow melts like butter and the langoustine is cooked just enough to give it some texture. The mushrooms bring some nice balance to the dish, alongside some fresh slices of carrot and radish.

Having the confidence to treat amazing products so simply is a real skill. Trincado does this again by creating an anchovy and black olive cream, lifted by the best olive oil from the region. On top of that sits monkfish medallions, which have been lighted dusted in flour before being pan-fried. The outside of the fish becomes crispy and the iodine flavour of oyster leaf links to the panoramic view of the sea in front of you. A final sprinkle of espelette pepper filaments adds just enough heat to balance the anchovy and olive cream. This is pure cooking, firstly because it’s created on the day, proving the talent of a chef who knows when his products are at their best. Secondly, because it hasn’t taken six months to develop in a laboratory. This is a memorable dish.

Desserts are also amazing, especially the avant-garde cheese plate. A carpaccio selection of local cheeses is served with an apple ice cream, nuts and some micro herbs; a fresh and unusual concoction.

Needless to say, cooking across all of the courses is spot on. In amongst the array of starred restaurants in San Sebastian, Mirador de Ulía offers an incredible view to match its wonderful menu.  Top of the list for us.