Originally the Basque Country was not on our France itinerary as we visited Bilbao and San Sebastian during our Spain tour. However French Basque cuisine has a lot to offer and as we were only an hour away we thought that it would be rude not to have an explore!
…And thank the Lord we did as we were treated to one of the most gourmand experiences of our tour… an after-hours restaurant visit! Our friend Pablo is a chef at a restaurant called Entrepotes in Bayonne and after a night time visit of the city’s secret corners he let us in to the restaurant to try his famous chocolate fondant. The recipe for the fondant has been pleaded for even by his Michelin star friend, yet Pablo has only given the recipe to a young budding chef in whom he believes. Six months of trial and error, hundreds of not-quite-right variations on the fondant and a lot of frustration has produced absolute perfection.
Having heard about his creation all night this dessert had a lot to live up to… yet it beat all possible expectations and is without a doubt the best of its kind I have ever tasted. Extremely pure chocolate taste yet with a light and fluffy texture making it not too rich made a chocolate lovers absolute heaven. To astonish us even more, he revealed that it contained no butter, no flour and no sugar! He also whipped up a delicious carpaccio, allowed us to try some marinating gizzards and showed us every corner of the kitchen and his duties as Head Chef… An exhausting yet undoubtedly rewarding calling!
The following day we ate in the restaurant along with the everyday clientele. Pablo has created a menu for 11 euros including starter, main course, dessert and coffee so that the local workers and businessmen alike can eat like kings. An extremely down to earth and caring man, yet we couldn’t quite believe how he could possibly afford to make such wonderful food for so little money. We had another taste of the chocolate fondant for our dessert and it was possibly even better! This confirmed its status as the crème de la crème as it hadn’t just been our usual experience of getting carried away in the moment and exaggerating.
Bayonne is an enchanting town, and its nationalist marks give it that extra charm. This hidden away restaurant definitely deserves much more status than it currently has and I recommend it as a must to anyone for a true Basque experience.
- Why you should visit the Basque Country (coast – part three) (ggnitaly84.wordpress.com)