Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar
Time Out says
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The first London restaurant from a three-starred Basque chef.
You can tell a lot about a restaurant from its butter. Whether churned in-house, smoked or run through with bone marrow, cared-about dairy is usually a good sign of things to come. And at Eneko, a spacious Basque eatery at One Aldywch hotel it is exceptional. This is the first London joint from Eneko Atxa, whose Azurmendi restaurant near Bilbao holds three Michelin stars. The butter comes topped with black pepper and chives, squidged together in a mortar so it’s edged with a verdant slick: you can then pile it on to good sourdough. If only the rest of the meal had continued in this vein.
Two starter platters were brilliant to look at but mixed bags to eat. The Txerri Boda Pork Festival (in a pig’s head-shaped box) was the better, featuring a tiny, tasty milk roll stuffed with crumbly chorizo; but the Memories of Bay of Biscay (ooooh, dry ice!) was marked more depressingly by a mulch of prawn tartare overpowered by the flavour of onion.
A main of confit pork cheek with earthy ham duxelle was better, pinging fresh notes afforded by a few fried shallots. Cod tripe sounded ace, but the macaroni-like chitterlings were obliterated by the rich tomato and pepper sauce they were swimming in.
Eneko has flashes of culinary brilliance, which show just what it might have been. But overall, the cooking is reflective of its pastel-flecked hotel atrium surroundings: blandly populist and a major pain in the wallet.
One Aldwych Hotel
|Price:||Dinner for two with drinks and sevice: around £140.|
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat midday-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm|
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