We’ve chosen Eneko at One Aldwych for our recent night out in London for an after theatre meal. I still find it kind of surprising that not every fine dining restaurant offers tables after 10pm – but some shows finish late and we prefer to dine rather after the show then before. Located in Covent Garden in the heart of London’s West End, Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar is both a restaurant and wine bar from the acclaimed Chef Eneko Atxa.
We have already visited the Basque country and the few days on the French side of the basque country was one of our favourite holiday. But, travelling with small children we did not have the chance to try any upscale, local restaurants. So when I came across Eneko on the London Restaurant Festival List 2018 – I thought this would be just perfect for our night out with my husband celebrating his birthday.
Eneko was still fairly busy at nearly half past 10pm on the night – which always telling: they should be doing something well. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The interior is fairly modern and the lounge music is in the style of the hip, the kind if Ibiza – style, rather upbeat, not my type of music, but at least it wasn’t too loud. The lights are very dimmed. On occasions, I struggled to actually see what’s on my place as we only have one flickering oil light burning on our table. This had an effect on the photos I took as I had to use flash.
We took a look at both the main menu and the London Restaurant Festival 2018 taster menu and initially got a bit confused with all the plate sizes and different menus. The taster menu was set perfectly: had a proper vegetarian option as a starter and a main too. So I went for the vegetarian options and husband picked the beef. We also selected wines from the chef’s family’s winery. The wines were absolutely perfect – and although I’m not a huge fan of Spanish wines – these were wonderful.
I love tapas and tapas-style dining, tasting small amounts of food at the time, especially late night. This taster menu is perfect for this – but it won’t leave you hungry! The restaurant prides itself serving the traditional basque dishes with a modern twist – and delivers beautifully. Every single dish was perfectly satisfying for both the taste buds and the eyes.
What we picked
I selected beetroot tartare with souffle potato and barbecue sauce as a starter, Pisto Bilbaina which was sauteed courgette, green pepper, tomato and a poached egg on the top as main, some grilled tenderstem broccoli and rose marshmallow for dessert. Husband picked Arroz con Almejas (clams and rice with lots of garlic and parsley), flat iron steak with mashed potatoes.
I enjoyed the beetroot tartare the best of all, really fresh and colourful dish. We both found the food absolutely fantastic, beautiful and bursting with flavours. My dessert was served with a rose petal conserved in fine sugar – crispy and sweet, really lovely. When serving it, the waiter also brought a rose in a little vase with some rose scented crystals at the bottom. When he poured water on it, it released a rose scented smoke. A really lovely way making the dining experience even more special.