The Food Journal Singapore made its way down to Spain for a media trip during the 24th to 29th of September. We were invited to dine and explore two cities; Bilbao and San Sebastian. Located in the north-central part of Spain, Bilbao was truly a breath of fresh air. Home to various eateries, 1-Michelin Star restaurant, Zortziko, and museums. Its diverse culture totally blew us away. That, and the food. As you know, the way to our heart is definitely through food. The 3 days spent in Bilbao truly left us at awe.
Upon reaching Bilbao, we were brought to our hotel, Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao. Grand Hotel Domine Bilbao oozed of contemporary décor. It was akin to living in a present-time art museum. We were given about 7 – 8 hours of rest and relaxation for the next day was going to be a long one for us. Upon given all that free time, we decided to venture out on our own. This quiet town was definitely gorgeous in its own, modernesque way.
When the sun went down we were expected to have dinner in the quaint Guria restaurant. This restaurant has been serving traditional Bilbaino food since the 1920s. We were in for a lovely treat whilst dining here. Being served an array of delicious Bilbaino food whilst basking in its lovely ambience. It was a lovely treating dining here on our first day. Being served with dishes like Pisto, Green Pepper Stuffed With Squid, A Four Flavour Cod and lastly, a plate of delicious Apple Pudding Topped with Custard. More on Guria Restaurant can also be read here: Guria restaurant
The second day had more in store for us. We began with a trip up to Guggeinheim Museum—a must see whence in Bilbao. With a spread of Guggeinheim Museums being located in other parts of the world—America, Europe and the Middle East—we were fortunate enough to visit this internationally renowned art museum during our stay in Bilbao. Soon after, we were led out to a guided tour down to the Old Quarter of the city to visit the Riberia market and the Gothic Santiago Cathedral. Whilst the Gothic Santiago Cathedral rendered us speechless due to its historical significance and strong architectural influences, we were spoilt for choices at Ribera market due to their immense collection of food and drinks available.
Whilst at the Ribera market, we were treated with a scrumptious Pinxtos lunch. Pinxtos are akin to Tapas’ and we enjoyed trying various kinds of dishes as we ‘restaurant hopped’ from one shop to another. Additionally, we managed to try Txakoli—a locally brewed white wine.
For dinner, we were invited down to Zortziko, a 1-Michelin Star Restaurant. The staff in Zortziko were exceptionally friendly and the dishes here did not disappoint. More on Zortziko can also be read here: Zortziko
Our last day in Bilbao was spent visiting the Abandoibarra area—where it is beautifully surrounded by buildings that were filled with signature pieces that were belonging to some of the best architects and designers. We also continued to the Bilbao Art District Area and Azkuna Zentroa – a multi-purpose venue designed by French designer, Philippe Mathieu. Art lovers shouldn’t give this place a miss as this the visual appeal in this area’s amazing. We also had lunch at Yandiola – a restaurant that’s located in Azkuna Zentroa.
After the well-deserved lunch, we visited the Biscay Transporter Bridge. A World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We learnt more than we expected from Bilbao and appreciate the wonderful hospitality given to us by the amazing people of Bilbao. As we head back to our hotel for the night, we did a few more sight-seeing of our own and got a good’s night rest.
The next part of our adventure begins at San Sebastian which can be read over here: San Sebastian