Saturday 16 July 2016

Kaia Kaipe Restaurant #MichelinStar

A rainy morning in San Sebastian (not unusual) and I decided that instead of a wet stroll around the town’s exalted pinxtos bars (see my ‘guide’ here), we should head out for a drive along the coast and try either Kaia Kaipe or, its sister restaurant, the Michelin starred Elkano – recommendations from Andy Hayler.

Located in the picturesque fishing port of Getaria, both places have been around for over 50 years. With large, al fresco charcoal grills, they are famed for their grilled whole fishes and meat – most notably turbots.

I telephoned Elkano first but it was engaged so I rang Kaia Kaipe and secured us a table. In high season and at weekends, it may be more advisable to book well in advance.

What Michelin say about Kaia Kaipe, “Serious and stable family-run establishment with high quality materials. A barbecue complements its activity during the summer and on weekends.”

What Michelin say about Elkano, “Professionally run with excellent maintenance. It has a small waiting area with a bar and a marine-style dining room that is enhanced by an excellent table service.”

What we ate:

Whole Grilled Turbot (Turbot grillé)

Grilled Sirloin (Filet de veau grille)

Tomato Salad (Salade de tomate)

Grilled Foie Gras with Grapes
(Foie gras aux raisins)

White Tuna with fruit compote

Chocolate Soufflé with Mango Ice Cream
(“Coulant” de chocolate con helado de mango)

Caramelised French Toast with Coffee Ice Cream
(Torrija caramelizada con helado de café)

Rice Pudding topped with Cinnamon
(Arroz con leche)

As expected, the Grilled Turbot, cooked expertly to perfection over charcoal was the star of the show. Simply seasoned with with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic and, the local wine, Txakoli, every part of the fish was a joyous experience. As always, the cheeks being the most prized morsels.

The other noteworthy dish was the Tomato Salad – I struggle to recall when I last ate such flavoursome specimens.

When we are next in the Basque Country, Elkano or a return to Kaia Kaipe will feature high on our list of places to eat.

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