Basque cuisine already exists in London, but has never had such an intense assault on raising its profile. Whilst a couple of new spots have popped up, Eneko appears to be the one all are pinning their hopes on.
Squid ribbons and courgette broth
Eneko Atxa, who has the pleasure of being at the helm of three Michelin star Azurmendi Bilbao, brings his traditional Basque country cuisine to One Aldwych Hotel. Dangerously close to ME London with its STK, Radio Rooftop and Cucina Asellina, having been to two of the three, I don’t think Eneko will have a problem establishing itself as the go to hotel restaurant on this Aldwych corner.
Crispy corn talo with heritage tomatoes, fresh herbs and flowers
On entering its separate entrance, you are greeted by a staircase bringing you to the reception desk and bar area. Follow another staircase down to the lower ground floor and you are greeted by a large sweeping room with booths, high ceilings around the edge and what feels like the floating bar above. This is very reminiscent of the former Isola restaurant in Knightsbridge.
Seared duck great, julienne of king oyster mushrooms, pickled onion
The staff are well trained and the service is on the formal side. This is a fine dining restaurant but with traditional food. Not sure if the service style would be called authentic in the Basque region, but to the discerning diner who will be able to afford this menu it is probably more welcome.
Delicate cod tripe stew in bizkaina sauce with deep fried cod bites
The food was interesting. There were some dishes which certainly spoke of Basque wonders, some with tricks (steam created by oxide nitrogen), but all had a common thread of being thoroughly enjoyable, even at the trial stage when we dined. The main picture is the oyster, crab and wild prawn platter (with the steam trick).
Selection of Spanish cheese with quince
A special occasion type of place simply because of the price. Definitely worth treating your other half or parents. Definitely setting the bar for Basque dining.
London WC2B 4BZ