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“Good fine dining in Bilbao” 4 of 5 stars
Review of aizian

aizian
29 Calle Lehendakari Leizaola | Hotel Melia Bilbao, 48011 Bilbao, Spain (Indautxu)
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Ranked #15 of 726 Restaurants in Bilbao
Cuisines: Basque
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Neighborhood: Indautxu
Description: Aizian restaurant overlooks Bilbao’s lovely Doña Casilda Park, though the amazing cuisine will keep your attention riveted to your plate. Under the direction of chef Jose Miguel Olazabalaga, Aizian is now one of Bilbao’s destination eateries. The boxy room has a glossy finish, with stripes of cool wooden paneling softened with peachy carpets and pale upholstered seating. Olazabalaga’s cuisine is creative Basque traditional, so a starter like foie gras is served with orange blossom gelee and maple syrup. Traditional red mullet on begiaundi escalibada comes with barnacle soup. Desserts include seasonal cherry martini with white vinegar ice cream. Bring some adventurous friends and enjoy the nine-course Degustation Menu. The wine list has great depth in regional and Spanish wines and a fine selection from international vintners.
Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Good fine dining in Bilbao”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

A classy hotel restaurant near the Guggenheim musuem (so not that centrally located). This establishment is what I would call a "guide Michelin type" restaurant - the service, food and interior is what you would expect of a Michelin-starred restaurant (although I believe this place doesn't have one).

In short - the food wad excellent & rather creative (although less so than in some similar places I've been to), the service is fault-less, but it's not the sort of place you should go for if you want to have a lively meal in town. And it's pretty good value for money, too, considering the type of restaurant this is!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Surprise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Surprised to find a high quality restaurant like this in a relatively small hotel. The food was good, service excellent and a nice ambience.
Try the french toast and ricepudding icecream it is superb :) Thanks again to the Chef for providing recipe!

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Definitely time to re-think avoiding hotel restaurants”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

Having visited the #1 Tripadvisor restaurant (Etxanobe) the night before, and failed to get into the tiny Porrue #2 (hardly surprising with no reservation on a Saturday night), do I go for #3 the Aizian, which is situated in the Melia hotel ? Almost always avoid hotel restaurants like the plague (foolish I know) but decided to give it a try.

Walked in on spec, and they said they were fully booked but could almost certainly find me a table. 'Fully booked' seems to refer only to the main room, as they escorted me to a side room with six or so tables, as yet unlaid. OK, maybe wasn't planning on a whole room to myself but it's the food that counts. In the end it didn't matter as three further tables were taken in there as the evening drew on - the room isn't quite as classy as the main room, but there is absolutely nothing there to make you feel a second-class citizen, and the service was no less attentive.

As usual I was drawn away from the main carte to the degustacion options to avoid having to make difficult choices - interestingly they use rather downbeat titles, working up from Executive Menus 1 and 2 (sounds like my local Chinese takeaway's week-day lunch options) to the most extravagant .... 'Sample Menu' !

Went for the latter, and all eight courses (which for brevity I'll list as razor clam with asparagus, mussels with a vermouth sorbet, foie-stuffed chicken thigh, 'beans juice with streaky bacon', monkfish with truffle mash, pigeon with liver parfait, cocoa sorbet in saffron soup and candied egg-yolk) were, in a word, exemplary. Each course had at least one thing that made me smile (bit sad when you're on your own). If you're not into smears and foams and the like you might find the 'doodling' tiresome but frankly I just thought the whole meal was the sign of a chef and his/her kitchen knowing that they are at the top of their game, and very keen to stay there. As someone who much prefers savoury to sweet, it says something that it was the two desserts that absolutely nailed this for me, but the six courses before were faultless as well. If I was desperate to try and find something to criticise it was the eagerness to come and top up my wine or water glass after virtually every mouthful taken, but that is being picky.

Would rush back here with no hesitation, preferably with partner or mates in tow next time.

Visited September 2012
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Service Excellent but not matched by the Food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We were recommended to Aizian whilst in San Sebastian. Maybe because it was a Monday night, maybe because we had been eating Basque cuisine for a week, unfortunately the food didn't live up to the recommendations. Great service but the sauces were too heavy overpowering the cod trio. My partner's monkfish was better & the starters (squid & anchovies) were ok. Wine list was very good & for a hotel restaurant the prices were reasonable.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“A good representation of Basque cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

A very elegant restaurant. It was the restaurant of our hotel. In fact I had chosen this hotel because of the reputation of the restaurant. The food was real traditional Basque cooking. It was delicious. There were a big choice, but still my fist choice was fish. I recommend Cod of Atlantic cooked traditional basque way. The restaurant deserved its reputation,

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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