Thursday 6 March 2014

Top 10 Restaurant Wish list.

This website was never intended to show that I'm the font of all food related knowledge. As soon as you start a blog like this, you realise that there's so much that you don't know. But the more places you visit and the more food you eat, the more you learn. Well that's my excuse anyway, I'm not being a glutton, I'm learning.
Apart from dropping many thousands of pounds on this ridiculous obsession, last year we probably learnt more about what's possible with food than in all the previous years combined. The Basque country trip was a game changer. Even restaurants we've not enjoyed so much, taught us something. (Usually not to go back).
There are always more restaurants to visit, more adventures to be had and more food to be eaten. So here is my current Top 10 Wish list, both here and further afield. These are restaurants I'd love to visit one day, money permitting. I don't really have an actual list as such, to be ticked off like a train-spotter, but these are a few places I would travel to, in an ideal world, where I'm richer than I actually am.
(Diverxo and StreetXo in Madrid do not make this list as we're visiting them in May).
1. Fäviken. Northern Sweden.
The very idea of visiting Fäviken, hundreds of miles from anywhere in the very north of Sweden is purely romantic. I pour over the stunning photos on the wonderful Spanish Hipster blog and dream of it. I'm not sure we'll ever do it, it's such a long way (80 hours journey time in total). Perhaps one day, as Mrs B's mum is originally from the region and it'd be an amazing experience just to go to Sweden anyway.
Fäviken: Courtesy of Spanish
Fäviken: Courtesy of Spanish
Fäviken: Courtesy of Spanish
Fäviken: Courtesy of Spanish
2. Asador Etxebarri. Axpe Achondo, Spain.
Another one off the beaten track in the Basque country, somewhere in the mountains between Bilbao and San Sebastian. The quality of the ingredients is said to be phenomenal and the cooking, simple, rustic and unadorned 'over a wood-fired grill', which appeals to me right now. Have a look on the Gastromondiale website for details.
3. Ibai. San Sebastian, Spain.
Similar to Etxebarri, in that the style of food here is apparently the antithesis of modern Michelin star trends. Very difficult to get a table; there are only six, hidden away behind a tapas bar. It's only open in the week and you must phone them to book. In Spanish, no English is spoken.
4. Sushi Tetsu, London. 
The more I tried to book the 'best sushi restaurant in London', the more I failed, and the more I became obsessed with getting a reservation. After two hours of constant ringing I finally got through. They had a table for three on our date and we wanted a four. Despite my assertion that Mrs Bacon is 'very small' it was sadly no go. See Jay Rayner's review. 
5.  Martín Berasategui. Lasarte-Oria, Gipuzkoa, Spain.
We've already been to 4 of Spain's several Three Michelin star restaurants, and I plan to visit them all, one day I hope. (If I don't die of gluttony before I get chance). This is the one that appeals most. See Andy Hayler's review here.
6. Casamia. Westbury Village, Bristol, UK.
With some restaurants, you just have to look at photos of the food and you know you'll love it. Casamia is one of those. See the review by the Critical Couple here.
7. The Three Chimneys, Skye, Scotland.
This place seems to be more in our grasp, but a quick scan on Google Maps tells me that it takes a staggering 8 hours to drive there from Manchester. Take a look at the stunning photos and recent review from The Critical Couple.
8. Mina. Bilbao, Spain.
Fellow Manchester blogger, Mrs Petticoat recently ate here. I was sickened with jealousy. See Spanish Hipster's review here
Mina: Photo courtesy of Spanish

Mina: Photo courtesy of Spanish

Mina: Photo courtesy of Spanish

9. Quique Dacosta. Dénia, Alicante, Spain.
Yet another three star in Spain. I was considering going to Dénia just to eat here. Then I saw Andy Hayler's review, and it put me off a little. But it must be remembered that you may not always agree with your favourite reviewers. Taste is such a personal thing.
10. Elkano. Getaria, Guipúzcoa, Spain.
According to the educative Gastromondiale blog, this has 'the best seafood in the western world'. 

I didn't have room for the many other places I want to visit, too many to mention. Next week, the 'list' might be completely different. I'd love to know yours, feel free to comment below.


  1. "You should go to Daniel Berlin in the south of Sweden. It is excellent. The next star in Europe. Check out my blog for a review.
    I have Le Louis XV, Fäviken, Ibai, The Fat Duck, Aponiente, Yauarcan, L'Ambroisie and Pujol on my list. My next trip will go to London. I have reservations for The Sportsman. Hedone and Mikael Jönsson's new restaurant.”

    Best regards
    Starfood Scout

  2. Good choices of all the ones in the Basque Country. By the way, you want to check out Restaurante Solana in Cantabria, seeing as you are in area.

    1. Thanks, that's a new one on me, looks fantastic!

  3. It is! Have been to many you have listed in the Basque Country but this one is really exciting (and cheap-), and the setting is pretty scenic too!. You do need a car to get you there & driving time from Bilbao is about 50 minutes.

  4. I keep thinking about Faviken and Noma.... and then the reality of having Lenclume on my doorstep kicks in.....why bother with all the hassle of getting there ? Maybe one day "if" im in the area.