A Spoon Full of Great Pintxos

Donostia

In what’s been called the culinary capital of Europe there’s more than just fine dining. San Sebastian, or Donostia as the Basques call it, is packed with pintxos bars. Pintxos is basically the Basque equivalent of tapas. The old town is packed with bars, the bars are packed with people and the people.

That clear cut border between bar and street and the next bar that’s quite obvious in Stockholm for example doesn’t seem to exist in the old town of Donostia. All the bars seem to melt together and everyone is stuffing their faces with everything from foie gras to baby spare ribs. Add some Txakoli, a local dry white wine, and you’re home.

My favourite tip is a place called La Cuchara de San Telmo, the Spoon of San Telmo. Very crowded, as all the other bars, but the pintxos are awesome. We tried the sweetbread croqueta, an amazing cod and spare ribs to die for. We missed the foie gras but hey, the people at Mugaritz informed us that it’s not in season now anyways so I guess we have to return. Soon.

A bar full of pintxos

Dining in Istanbul

View from the Bosphorus

Me and Lisa was down in Istanbul before summer. Basically to jump start the summer but also to experience the city so many spoke so highly of. It’s suppose to be the worlds fifth largest city in the world not counting suburbs.

During the long weekend we stayed at the W which was a real treat. As always we wanted to dine our way through the city and here’s what we found.

The best dining in Istanbul are the local gems. Whether it’s a backstreet in Beşiktaş or around the Grand Bazaar you can always find a good charcoal grill. For dinner we went to one of the best – Köşebaşı. Great grilled meats and mezes matched with some nice local red wines.

Two more posh places were recommended. The first, Vogue, was ok. They had good sushi and decent entrees. All in all it was a tad overrated and thus overpriced. The second, 360, was lousy as a restaurant but picked up more points as a club. The food was so so, the service was worse than average, the cocktails was a joke but the club had a good DJ so with a few beers the night ended well.

Fresh fish

Back to the Future

I have been to the Future and I have seen all it’s glory. It took me approximately 15 hours to get to the Future and I had time for a snack in Beijing. Spending a week in the Future really shifts your perspective on things. Like how much you miss the Future once you’re back home again.

This is not the first time that I’ve been to the Future but that doesn’t make it any less of an experience. The Future is of course also full of history. There’s a blend of new and old. Technology mixed with tradition. The Future is filled with bright lights,  lots of toys both for kids and adults, everything you can possibly imagine they have it.

Just have a look at the entertainment of the Future:

Brilliant! So you understand why I can’t wait until my next trip…

PS. Top five tips straight from the future: Shibuya for the nightlife and shopping; Harajuku for more shopping especially second hand; Asakusa for a little bit of tradition and some great food; taking the boat or monorail between Odaiba and Hamarikyu Gardens and experience two very different oases in the city; drag your ass early as hell to the Tsukiji fish market.