Fitted snugly into the elegant independent shops of Marylebone village, Donostia – San Sebastián in Basque – basks in the prestige of that gastronomic capital. Whole legs of ham hang in the window as a nod to tradition, but decor is mostly modern and minimalistic. Staff are knowledgeable and passionate about the food they serve, while head chef Tomasz Baranski (previously of Barrafina) turns out Basque interpretations of classic dishes. Understated flavour revelations make the tapas stand out; serrano ham was wrapped around fleshy prawns, then deep-fried to create the ultimate surf ’n’ turf.
Donostia’s version of the classic squid-ink risotto arrives topped with simply grilled monkfish to contrast with the inky rice beneath. Although torrija is traditionally eaten at Easter, the fluffy, milk-soaked bread was fried perfectly and served with a surprising goat’s milk ice-cream – good eating on any day of the year. The wine list is worth careful consideration; two wine importers who fell in love with Basque cuisine run the restaurant, and the menu often features unusual wines they’ve collected on their travels. Try a bottle of Rioja from their biodynamic collection, or a glass of Basque natural cider, poured spectacularly from a height to aerate it.