Grilled fish is more than a tradition in the Basque Country; it’s nearly a religion. Our love of the produce, the sea and the work of the arrantzales is translated into a true devotion to fresh fish grilled over coals, even right in the streets, like they do in Getaria.

At SAGARDI Basque Country Chefs we have always remained true to this tradition, and our coal grills have never wanted for the best wild fish to be carefully grilled, following in the footsteps of old Basque grillers.

This is why, for our 25th anniversary, we wanted to take our commitment to fresh fish straight from the docks one step further, making sure we always have the very best produce on the menu.

We’ve signed deals directly with Basque fishermen to buy the best wild fish straight from them at the main Basque ports. No intermediaries: straight from the fishing boat to our grill.

So, we can now enjoy some of the best fish caught along the Basque coast on the menu every day. Always the best varieties of fish and the very highest quality. Like, for example, line-caught hake from the port of Pasaia, one of the most important in Euskadi where they bring in the best hake, with absolutely no anisakis.

From the port of Pasaia, we also get black monkfish, which is the most common type at Basque tables and is firmer and more gelatinous than other varieties. From Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the French Basque country, we get turbot, one of the great classics on Basque grills, and sole, which is subject to availability.

Nor could we forget the blackspot seabream from the Azores, a true Basque delicacy and the king of the grill. Plus other seasonal specialities, such as John Dory from Hondarribia, kabratxo (scorpion fish), red mullet, txitxarro (Atlantic horse mackerel) and kokotxas (hake cheeks).

 

Traditional chargrilling

As it is done in Euskadi, at Sagardi we only grill whole pieces, to share and enjoy with family or friends. We use customised grills based on the long tradition of Basque grilling and the best oak coals. There’s no secret, just respect for the produce and simple humility in taking meticulous care of these unique pieces, treasures.

The incredible hake cheeks, weighing more than 3 kg, are an explosion of flavour, gelatine and textures. Grilled turbot, with its firm meat, intense flavour and delicious details, like the tears on its bones. Or a whole monkfish to enjoy with the family and not leave a single morsel.

To highlight these flavours while respecting the produce, we also use a traditional sauce, simple and natural. It has a different name in each town in Euskadi, including agua de Lourdes and la que le parió. There’s no question that it is the best kept secret in any household. But the base of our sauce is very simple: good raw olive oil, txakoli from Getaria and a few drops of lemon juice.

We believe the real stars are the produce, the grill and our diners. Because there are few things better than sharing a table with a good wild fish that has been grilled and a bottle of txakoli. On egin!