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“Creative cooking in Ubeda” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zeitum

Zeitum
Calle San Juan de la Cruz, 10, 23400 Ubeda, Spain
953755800
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Ranked #10 of 69 Restaurants in Ubeda
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Creative cooking in Ubeda”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

I organised a meal here as part of my husband´s 50th birthday celebrations - the restaurant was fabulous on getting me a cake, candles and the whole works just at the right time. They were extremely gracious and helpful.

Our meal was fantastic, the kids (now gourmets like their father!) enjoyed their jamón, prawns and Steak which were all perfectly cooked. Carlos and I had a nice selection of tapas - all veryenjoyable, with a great combination of different tastes. Carlos had Corvina which was beautifully served and very fresh and I had a lobster salad which was just perfect.

This was much more creative and daring than we expected and would thoroughly recommend making a stop in Ubeda to enjoy Zeitum. The service was also fantastic and knowledgable.

Thanks Zeitum for giving us such a good night!

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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71 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    24
    10
    0
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rome, Italy
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Excellent Fare in Historic Ubeda”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

We spent 3 days in Ubeda and had dinner twice at this restaurant. It has an interesting menu revolving around olive oil as a main ingredient, innovative Spanish fare, at reasonable prices. They have an excellent "prix fixe" menu which provides a sample of 3 tapas, a main course and a dessert, all for a reasonable 25 Euros. "A la carte" prices are also very reasonable. The chef is very pleasant and patient, and will explain in English the preparation of each dish (assuming one gets there early as the restaurant opens for dinner - not earlier than 21:00) and is very accommodating in case there are ingredients that one does not care for. The wine list is very interesting and the chef provided very good recommendations, and the prices of the wines are very reasonable. Overall it has an excellent price to quality rapport and I would recommend it highly. I would definitely go back. Forgot to mention that the service was also very attentive and pleasant.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Europe
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Don't miss it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Unlike the Asador de Santiago, the Zeitum got it right when we booked. It really is within five minutes walk away from the Parador, or less if you get a move on!

We had a reservation for 20.30 but arrived ten minutes early. The doors were open, the waiter was just finishing off the tables but ushered us in to our table; he was happy to break off to bring the menus, a beer and a bottle of water, then left us to it until he had finished setting up.

The restaurant is tastefully furnished in a modern style, very welcoming but perfectly matching the beautiful old building. The wide, winding, wrought iron staircases are a feature also to be admired. From memory the main salon, which is where we ate, had about eight or so tables but there are a couple of other areas; in total they can probably feed up to fifty diners. This would be the very upper limit and would mean that all tables would have to be fully occupied, which does not happen in practice.

In our area there were four or five occupied tables; the bar, which is on the ground floor, had dinner guests as well; however the kitchen was on the second floor, one level above us. During our visit there was no sign of the Maître d. There was only one waiter on duty and he was dealing with the main restaurant, the bar on the ground floor and the dinner guests in the bar area.

It's about now that you are wondering how I could possibly award five stars to a restaurant so under-staffed. But I can and I will. This waiter was something else. He flew up and down those stairs with grace and aplomb. He never missed a step, never looked flustered and he managed to ensure that orders were taken in a timely manner and food arrived at the right time - not too quickly but certainly not too delayed. God knows how he did it, but he has to be congratulated.

Having set the scene, what about the food? I took a couple of the tapa dishes for a starter, one centered around anchovy and the other around sardine. Both excellent. My main course was Corvina de Huelva - corvina being a type of sea bass and Huelva being a Spanish town on the Portuguese border. The corvina was served in a choco (cuttlefish) stew with baby broad beans (habas). Superbly cooked and a real pleasure to eat. My wife decided against a starter, but did sample two or three different olive oils with bread, which I was also tempted to try. She then went straight for the main course; again fish, as she is very fond of Bacalau (cod) if it is cooked well. She said this was absolutely delicious. Perfectly cooked in a red pepper (pimientos) and green tomato creamy sauce. A pleasure to the eye as well.

I'm not a pudding man (although I have been known to rave over some masterpieces) but my wife expressed complete satisfaction with her dessert.

All this was washed down with a bottle of Libalis, a wine we knew little about but one recommended by this incredible waiter. I had originally gone for a Gewürztraminer as we both enjoy Alsace wines. However, when the waiter explained that this particular wine was from the Barcelona area, not from Alsace, we had a change of heart. Nonetheless, he still found time to produce a small glass of each wine for us to taste and we unanimously opted for the waiter's recommendation, the Libalis, which suited the meal perfectly.

The total cost was €68, superb value and about €40 less than the previous evening at the Asador de Santiago, which I have also reviewed. Frankly, no comparison.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“The gastromomical highlight of our vacation in Spain”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

If you find yourself in Ubeda you should not miss the opportunity to dine at Zeitum.

You may have to poke around a little to find it, since it's on a side street off the Plaza Mayor, but you will not be disappointed in terms of value.

Zeitum is one those rare restaurants where authentic culinary innovation is founded upon a real respect for, and knowledge of, the native food ways of the region. The menu is centered around the theme of olive oil, which sounded a little odd to us at first (even though Ubeda actually is situated in the navel of a vast olive growing plain), but the flavours were excellent, the ingredients were of the highest quality, and the plates were imaginative and delicious.

The Chef/proprietor Anselmo prepared us a tasting menu for two and was happy to accommodate my Girlfriend's vegetarian requirements. Some of the memorable flavors were a bright tasting English pea-based gazpacho, a thinly sliced, intensely flavored air-cured duck, and a beautifully presented foie gras in a delicate frozen apple wrapper. We enjoyed our meal so much we invited Anselmo to join us for a postprandial glass of the excellent Ribero de Duero he had recommended to us.

I was quite curious to discover more of his story and to know how he had come to establish his restaurant in this part of Spain. It turned out that he had been born and raised in this region and wanted to return there after completing his training and apprenticeship, to try and develop the local culinary traditions he had grown up with. I quickly discovered that Anselmo is a person with a true love of good food and a passion for the art of cooking, as well the legacy of the local food culture. He explained that he always would hope that a local person will be able to recognize the fundamental flavours of their home cooking in his food, even while he sought to expand upon its core themes.

The fact is we ended up closing this joint down and polishing off several more bottles of wine as the conversation ranged from dry fly fishing to bull fighting. These activities appeared to resonate with Anselmo's artistic temperament and he proved to be equally passionate on these topics as well. As several hours passed by we found ourselves engrossed in lively conversation, yet in the back of my mind I knew that we were running up quite a tab. When the check was tallied, at some point in the wee hours, I was a bit shocked however and found that I had to do a bit of negotiation to settle our bill. This was one of those unusual occasions where one has to insist on paying more than the total just to feel that fair value had been exchanged.

Granted, we visited Zeitum on a weekday and it was a slow night for them, so I would not expect to receive the same type of attention when I return next. However, I felt very lucky to have discovered this unique place. Zeitum is not the kind of restaurant you will find in every town along your path. This is the kind of food that actually deserves that often over used description, authentic artisanal cuisine.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Leiden
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fine food at a very reasonable price.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

Olives in various forms and shapes. Very tasty food.

Visited October 2011
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