Sunday 10 May 2015

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Donostia Social Club

I love Spanish food, in fact I'm going to Bilbao and San Sebastian for my birthday this year with the soul intention of eating. Basque Country tapas i.e. pintxo is a little different from the food you'd find in other regions on Spain. Pintxo is normally characterized by morsels of food pinned to a piece of bread with a toothpick. I love the style of eating, because pintxos are normally only a few bites worth of food you can try lots of different things.

Donostia Social Club have been around for a while making a name for themselves on the street food circuit. I've tried their food at a few different KERB markets before but with my up trip to the Basque Country this autumn I wanted to refresh myself with their delicious style of cooking so I heard down to the Streets of Spain festival at the Southbank where I knew their eye catching blue van would be parked up.

The bar is covered with cold pintxos for you to ogle over and there's a menu with hot options that you can order as well. I've had the braised pork cheek and bean purée before so didn't order it this time but it's lovely and rich, a really hearty little stew.

From the cold bar we ordered a slice of bread with goats cheese, strawberry and a balsamic dressing. The slice of cheese was a generous size and the combined with the fresh strawberry this was a lovely combinations of sweet and savoury.

The crayfish is also from the cold bar and consists of big, juicy crustaceans in mayonnaise. Very similar to a prawn cocktail, just better.

We order three things from the hot menu, the first being the prawns a la plancha with alioli. This was lovely, the kings prawns were cooked perfectly with an ever so slightly caramelized exterior. The alioli had a nice twang to it making for a really delicious dish full of flavour.

The seared scallops with Spanish ratatouille was perfect for two as it consisted of two big juicy molluscs. The ratatouille was light enough to not obscure the delicate taste of the perfectly seared scallops, a really lovely fresh dish.

The winning plate for both me and Steve was the confit duck slider, so good in fact we had to have one each. The duck was succulent with a crispy skin, combined with the juicy apples slices the sweet and savoury combination of this mini burger was perfect.

I really love Donostia Social Club and their relaxed attitude to food where you just order one plate at a time. Even better, they've just opened their first permanent spot at Pop Brixton where they'll be serving cold and hot pintxos galore, I can't wait to check it out.

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  1. Ah I spied these when I was there - wish I'd tried them out now!

  2. I've seen these at Kerb - the goats cheese one looks so good! x

  3. I've never tried these guys funnily enough, even though they pop up at KERB quite a lot. The scallops in particular look right up my street.
    You will love San Sebastian! I went there years ago, and had the best tapas... you just wander from bar to bar in the evening and sample loads of different tapas and wines. It's a beautiful town too. It's also a stone's throw away from Biarritz, which is a great place for a day trip.


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