When you love food as much as I do, you constantly desire new experiences, new tastes and flavours and ideas. Sometimes these desires lead you down dead ends, and sometimes your eyes are opened wide.
Eneko is a London restaurant, part of the fabulous One Aldwych Hotel at the end of The Strand and the food offered is modern Basque cuisine. Well my experience of Basque cuisine was nil, until this quite eye-openingly good meal which started with excellent bread and a butter and basil emulsion that was blended in a ceramic mortar at the table. It was an impressive start.
My partner for the evening, the beautiful Mrs C, chose a traditional dish called Talo. It was as pretty as a Mrs Shilling hat, Google that, a mound of intensely flavoured tomatoes and edible flowers in a basil dressing on a crisp tortilla. I tasted it and I loved it. I chose the suckling pig and was immediately in piggy heaven. It came in a tempura style batter with an incredible bacon sauce, who would have thought of that? It was very good indeed.
On then to main courses and Mrs C chose the hake dish with Basque style red peppers and a parsley emulsion. It looked stunning and tasted even better, the dense white flesh of the fish simply flaking apart in pearly shards.
I chose the suckling pig and was immediately in piggy heaven
I chose baby squid in a squid ink sauce. It was scarily black but incredibly delicate and sweet, the tiny squid stuffed with a creamy filling that stood out in sharp contrast to the black sauce. We chose two sides, excellent buttery mashed potato and tiny stuffed piquillo peppers in a vibrant amber coloured sauce. My meal was a feast of colour, red, black, yellow and white, dramatic to say the least.
In sharp contrast my dessert was a delicate display of white, pink and scarlet, as one might expect for a rose marshmallow with strawberry sorbet and sliced strawberries. I know it is a little early for English strawberries but it sounded great and it really was, and the whole was further dramatised by the arrival of a single red rose in a small vase into which our delightful server poured water to reveal dry ice that then spilt rose scented mist across the table. Yes poncey nonsense but very nice poncey nonsense that made total sensory sense. Mrs C chose a light peanut sponge with dark chocolate ice-cream, a short description on the menu for a far more complex modern dessert. Chef Eneko Atxa is creating beautiful food in stunning surroundings that I will certainly re-visit.
020 7300 0300
Eneko at One Aldwych
London, WC2B 4BZ