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Mugaritz – a theatrical dining experience in Spain

LANDSCAPE Tender and bitter sips

Restaurant: Mugaritz | 
Chef: Andoni Luis Adoriz | 

During our last holiday to Northern Spain in 2019, we added to our international epicurean adventures with an indulgent honeymoon treat at this fine institution located in Basque country.

Having had a few other similar fine dining experiences on previous holidays, this one took service to a different level, almost that of theatrical performance. The steady string of courses presented to us were inventive and interesting, although not always to our liking.

But we had lots of laughs and fun. It was, on the whole, a unique gastronomical event we will always cherish from this trip to Spain which the photo essay below should hopefully attempt to capture the experience.

About the chef and restaurant

Mugaritz is a well-known restaurant in Errenteria, Guipúzcoa, located in a rural spot that is about a  20-minute drive from San Sebastian in Northern Spain. It opened in March 1998 under the management of Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz. Prior to this Chef Aduriz had studied at the Donostia School of Cuisine in San Sebastian. He then worked for various other prominent chefs before joining the team at El Bully under Ferran Adria in 1993. Within three years he moved to a chef position under Martin Berasategui at his restaurant outside San Sebastian. And two years later Aduriz then set up his own establishment.

The restaurant is considered one of the top restaurants in Spain and the world, ranked 7 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants at the time we visited. 

It is housed in a traditional Basque house, relocated after a fire damaged the old property in 2010. The Mugaritz website promises an adventure involving risk, creativity, nature, game and excellence. Our experience during a 3-hour long dinner proved to be an entertaining one which met those expectations. 

The drive out to the rural setting prepares you for an elegant ceremonial and sensory experience involving food and drink. Dinners are well spaced out in the dining area and service is impeccable, without being intrusive throughout the meal service. 

From our reception at the front door and then seated, we could tell that it was clearly going to be a fun and theatrical night (and a hoot). This was confirmed when the sommelier and accompanying waiter brought our welcome glasses of cava to us by pouring it infront of us, clinking them together and then dramatically walking around to our sides and serving them to us in sync!  We knew then to just relax, go with the flow and not to take any of it too seriously!

Gallery - a photo essay

All photos by Selwyn Lemos and Ban-Foo Leong