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“Amazing, innovative,... Gorgeous!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aponiente

Aponiente
Calle Puerto Escondido 6, 11500 El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain
34 956 851 870
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Cuisines: Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Madrid Spain
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Amazing, innovative,... Gorgeous!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

I was there during summer. First time, but promise to repeat! Angel Leon is a genius in the way he understands the different products from the sea; plancton, rare fishes, etc.
The sommelier, Juan, is great at helping you choose wine (even recomending some of the cheap wines of the menu). And he is also very helpful to understand the food.
Don't be afraid to try new things, products, textures... and you'll be more than happy that you tried!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lausanne, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Art first”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Aponiente is definitely a unique experience worth making to taste something different, get inspired, enjoy creativity in gastronomy like abstract art. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared for it because if you are like me not fond of strong fish taste, alguas, oyster and the like, you will probably be able to eat only half of the 25 dish put in the about 100 euros menu. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take it, as I said it is inspiring and different, it doesn't always taste good for your non fishy tastebud. The best dishes in my opinion are the ones inspired from morocco such because they are lighter, more subtly spiced (example the soup of smoked tuna with a touch of mint or the eggplan fish smoked with olive kerns). Excellent creations are also the mozarella type cheese stuffed with plancton and the risotto with plancton as well. There is a very pregnant dish called secret of the sea that is too strange to taste good but actually the most skillful creation.The dishes I didn't like are actually the one finding more success in spain because they are typical spanish dishes such as oxtail, sanlucar langoustin, chorizo and the like but revisited in a fish way. As I don't like those dishes already, their fish creation was no better for me (personnally I think spanish cuisine is a bit rough in general and not as subtle as some other cuisines can be). So your enjoyment of it will depend on your cultural roots. It nevertheless is worth the experience once in a lifetime and you won't be full even when taking the better value full fledge menu. The cheaper menu is not much value if it is your firstime. It is good if you come for a second time and actually know which dish you want. The booklet and service make it for a memorable experience. Coming for lunch or dinner doesn't make a difference when menu is concerned. All the dishes takes few minutes to be prepared so you won't be waiting between one dish and the next (at least when I came as there were few customers as well)

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

For the past 4 years my wife and I have visited Cadiz for a week to attend Spansh school and we always take the ferrry over to the Puerto for a late lunch. This afternoon we were wandering around, a number of restaurants shut due to the Feria in Jerz but we found that Aponiente was open. They agreed to take us at around 3.30pm. A wonderful experIence...we have eaten at El Bulli and Arzak so know a little of what to expect. Excellent service, there was little delay between courses, a great play on fish, no good for meat eaters. We had an unusal Tondonia rose from 2000 which hit the spot and not too expensive.

Not cheap but vale la pena!!! Would definitely recommed this restaurant for a lunch.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain
Top Contributor
200 reviews 200 reviews
157 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Fishtastic gastronomic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

Finally we made paid a long overdue visit to the renowned Angel Leon restaurant in El Puerto de Santa Maria. It is the only Michelin starred restaurant in the province of Cadiz.

We opted for the full tasting menu at 98 Euros per head plus VAT. For 70 Euros a shorter menu could have been enjoyed but there is no a la carte option available. With such an extraordinary menu it would have been difficult to choose individual courses.

Leon specialises in using algae and plankton and less popular fish species. All of the menu is fish and shellfish only with no meat. The tapas starters included a fish version of Spanish charcuterie (various sausage including jamon and chorizo) and came with a fabulous cameron topped bread (small fried shrimps).

High lights of the meal included an algae rice dish; langoustines in an intense sauce with crunchy fired camerons (small shrimp) which was cooked at the table by chef Leon; a mozzarella style seafood stuffed cheese; a smoked fish broth served with peas, altramuces and a grilled egg yolk; a small piece of roasted fish served on an intensely reduced sauce and smoked sardines.

Some courses were not to our taste; the chef pushes the boundaries with a lot of fish insides being used which give a distinct and strong taste especially to a couple of stuffed squid dishes, a tin of plankton/algae served like caviar, sea snails and a tuna tripe stew. But of course the advantage of the extensive tasting menu is that you will encounter dishes you would never choose and discover new tastes and culinary ideas.

Desserts are more straightforward but delicious.

The accompanying wine tasting was generous and excellent with a very knowledgeable and professional sommelier. At 38 Euros per head it is not cheap but still is good value for money.

Overall an amazing gastronomic experience but perhaps not to be repeated often, not least because the menu would have to change quite a bit to want to repeat again.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Effingham, Surrey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Undoubtedly a world class chef in a tiny, obscure restaurant - go now before he gets discovered”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012

Aponiente is a small, ultra contemporary restaurant down a side street in a town full of second rate restaurants, although La Bodeguilla del Bar Jamon has great food and a great atmosphere for tapas.
The staff are friendly, hugely enthusiastic, passionate about the food, and some speak good English. They have got exactly right the informal, friendly service the best restaurants now offer.
But...the food's the thing. A fixed price gourmet tasting menu is all that is offered, and it at first comes as a shock - 68 Euros when there is tapas around the corner for 2 Euros - but as soon as the food is served you know you are onto a bargain.
The theme is fish - but not as you'd know it. You run out of superlatives as you enjoy perhaps 15 different dishes, each thoroughly tasty, enjoyable and often surprising.
I won't try to describe each course, but this is indicative: one of the 5 tapas (pre-starter!) is a rectangular plate with 4 different, but instantly recognisable, slices of Spanish chorizo/sausage except each one is a different fish. Each has pretty much the consistency of sausage, but is entirely fish.
Very Heston you say, and of course you're right, but their ambition is only matched by their achievement - and you should do yourselves a major favour and go now before they get a "transfer" to Madrid and prices double because this restaurant is not financially sustainable. There were 7 chefs in the (glass walled) kitchen - and only 7 tables. Go now!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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