Ametsa with Arzak Instruction

Ametsa with Arzak Instruction


Posted 2017-10-16 by Nicole Jfollow
is a tribute to Arzak, the mother Restaurant in San Sebastián. The name is complicated and the food is fussy, but memorable. Chef-patron Elena Arzak, who was awarded "Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef" in 2012 has carefully designed a menu to bring a little piece of the Basque region to London's Belgravia.

The restaurant is intimate, with room for about 16 tables. One wall is constructed entirely of glass and overlooks a lush green garden. The gunmetal grey chairs made out of mesh material look like posh outdoor furniture. Modern sand art installations hang on the walls while test tubes filled with spices drip down from the roof like stalactites.

Upon being seated, the sommelier offers us a glass of cava or non-alcoholic cocktail. As it is a school night, I opt for the mocktail and a refreshing mint, passionfruit and lime concoction arrives.

Our waiter brings freshly-baked brown and white bread. It's crusty, tasty and accompanied by some excellent Spanish olive oil.

The first course is a Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho sprinkled with squares of chopped onion. The creamy richness of the soup fills me up before I've even begun my culinary journey to the Basque region.

The Andy Warhol-inspired Fish and Chips with Lotus Root is a vibrant piece of art on a plate. Initially apprehensive about the eclectic colours, I am assured by our waiter they are dyed naturally with cochineal and seaweed extract. The 'chips' are actually round, flat crisps and are both delicate and moreish. The fish batter is light and crispy.

The third tapas stater is Lamb with Lotus Root. The meat is soft and succulent. A vivid slice of shocking green lotus root decorates the slate. The colour reminds me of the 80s TV show You Can't Do That On Television.

My main of Hake with Chic(k) Painting is slightly overcooked. I have no idea what the title of the dish means but it is beautifully presented.

The other main of Pork Cheek in Black Sauce comes garnished with dehydrated pieces of apple and a pickled grape. Sadly, the flavoursome fat is missing and the cut is lean.

Pudding is charred sweets with spun sugar. It reminds me of a bird's nest with its prickly shards. It has a coconut flavour and tastes like a posh Bounty. It comes with a cloche over it and a puff of smoke billows out when the cover is removed - pure theatre.

Service is seamless and the waiters are accommodative of allergies and dietary requirements.

My friend came across a promotion on Bookatable for 3 courses plus a glass of cava at £38 per person. By the time optional extras, service and VAT are added the price becomes £43 per head. One Michelin star equals pricey, but good value set menus pop up from time to time. Keep your eyes peeled.

The menu changes with the seasons. For the latest menus click here and scroll down.

To make a reservation call 020 7333 123 or email reception at [email protected].

A quick search on google translate tells me that Ametsa means 'dream' in Basque. The menu is as bizarre as some of my dreams and the experience surreal.

66306 - 2023-01-20 02:11:11


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