Monday, 26 September 2016

A Basque Feast at Eneko at One Aldwych.


I'm rather partial to Basque cuisine, but it had been a while since I'd visited a Basque restaurant, especially as there aren't very many in London. So I was excited to try out the newly opened Eneko, at the One Aldwych hotel, where I stayed over my birthday weekend back in April. I took Edd along with me so we could have a catch up and 'last supper' before my move to Australia next week, and he declared it the best meal he's had! Seeing as he'd just returned from San Sebastian, I'd say this was pretty good going.


A few months back we went to a Michelin starred restaurant which I still haven't reviewed on here. It was long and tiring, and although the food was great, sometimes you just don't want ten courses. And wine with each course. We ended up so full of food and so drunk on wine that we literally walked down the road to the tube doubled over linking arms trying to steer each other in the right way without falling over. It was hilarious. But I can hardly remember the actual food. 

So this meal was much more successful, we had three courses, Edd had wine (I was driving so stuck to a very small glass of it - it was a beautiful and oaky, just how I like it), and then we went to my friend Freddie's fashion after-party afterwards. No walking bent double, no stumbling down the road trying not to walk into a passing car. And I remember everything about the meal and actual food!

As you enter the restaurant you descend into the abyss below London's busy and bustling streets. Eneko is a welcome haven from the hectic hurrying above, and a contemporary delight in the design stakes. 

Image courtesy of One Aldwych



After descending down to the bar level, you then walk down another staircase to the subterranean restaurant, which is large and spacious, and has an excellent amount of space between each table. There is nothing more awkward than trying to get your childbearing hips and big booty through those tiny spaces in tiny restaurants...brushing everything off the table with your butt cheek as you go.

We were sat in a large corner booth, and started to peruse the small but perfectly formed menu. Despite it's small-ish size, there's something for everyone, with all areas covered (the starters are separated into 'from the sea' 'from the land' and 'from the garden'). Sadly the lighting in there is very tricky, so you'll have to excuse the photos...


I started with the Basque Chicken Liver Parfait and Txakoli Apple (£9), while Edd had the Txerri Boda Pork Festival (£12), which was chorizo on milk bread with glazed sweetbread, and suckling pig tempura. He devoured every last morsel, while I did the exact same with my incredible chicken parfait and Txakoli wine-soaked apple compote. Also the presentation was spot on - how cute are these!?


For mains Edd continued with the red meat and had the Seared duck breast, julienne of king oyster mushrooms, pickled red onion (£17). He's a bit of a fuss-pot though and doesn't like large mushrooms, so the restaurant kindly offered him a mushroom emulsion instead of the large mushrooms. I wish I'd got a photo of his face as he was eating it, he's one of the most facially expressive people I know and just remembering the joy on his face makes me laugh! 


I chose the Basque-style hake in tempura, confit vegetables, red pepper sauce and parsley emulsion (£15), and loved every bite. The tempura batter was light and not greasy at all. The fish was flaky and delicious, and I could have easily eaten it all over again! The only little niggle was that the confit vegetables were a little too rich for the Hake, so I ate them separately rather than together, but aside from that it was completely delicious.


Finally it was dessert time, and all of a sudden while in mid-conversation a huge trolley covered in desserts appeared... :O it was amazing. I chose a plum cheesecake type of thing with a crumble on top (£7), while Edd chose a chocolate mousse thing (£7). Both were incredible and so moreish! Edd declared it the best dessert he'd ever had. As soon as he took a bite he looked at me with his 'omg' face, eyes wide and said 'this is the one'.


We had a brilliant meal; the prices are decent, the quality top notch, and I actually enjoyed it more than the Michelin-starred Basque restaurant Ametsa with Arzak Instruction! So do yourself and your friends/family a favour, and get yourself down to Eneko ASAP!


*Our meal was complimentary, but all food love is my own

Eneko At One Aldwych Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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6 comments

  1. I really enjoyed my meal at Eneko too, especially that chocolate dessert ;) x

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  2. This place looks amazing, I love the entrance! Definitely one to put on our 'to visit' list :) xo

    we are Dannah | Australian lifestyle blog

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  3. We absolutely loved it here too, the presentation was so fantastic

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  4. This all looks so lovely! Although I'll admit, I like the sound of the boozy place too! xx

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  5. Oooh I've heard mixed reviews so glad you liked it! I want to try now :)

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