Located in the hills outside of San Sebastián, in Errenteria, Spain is the internationally famous 2 star Basque restaurant, Mugaritz. In operation for 18 years in a former farmhouse, the grounds and gardens are filled with flowers, herbs and spices tended by Chef Andoni Aduriz and his large team. The setting of this 50 seat restaurant is minimalist, farmhouse chic. There are no adornments inside the restaurant, just white table cloths and a white broken plate as a centrepiece. Apparently, the food is meant to be the main attraction.

You start your meal in the beautiful garden, weather permitting. We had a glass of Cava rose and about five amuse-bouche, and then moved into the dining room. The service was excellent and the staff quite friendly. We had about 24 small bites in all. Unfortunately, there was not one memorable dish. In fact, it was a roller coaster of mediocre to tasteless food. The meal was a huge culinary disappointment for us. Actually, it was the worst gastronomic meal we have ever had, and when spending 500 euroes for lunch, I think it would be nice to have some outstanding, and intense flavours. The meal delivered no real pleasure for us. Some dishes had no plate appeal. One course even looked like a turd on a plate, a burnt tasting potato dish. For dessert, we returned to the garden for a dish called the seven deadly sins. It comes stacked in seven wooden boxes. Again, the desserts were lacklustre and uninteresting. The only saving grace was a wonderful white wine from Rveda, a 2011 Ossian Verdejo. It reminded me of a much more expensive Peter Michael.

This year the restaurant was named the seventh best restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino. This rating baffles me. The food really lacked flavour, creativity and taste. Some dishes were bland, or fishy or sour tasting. You can imagine my huge disappointment. The food just wasn’t appealing. Don’t waste four hours of your life.

What was the World’s 50 best thinking?

Not recommended.

Happy dining,

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