Restaurant Review: Eneko One Aldwych, Covent Garden in London
I could have very almost walked straight past the newly opened Eneko at One Aldwych but then I wouldn’t have been able to expand on the brilliance of this new Basque beauty. Chef Eneko Atxa and his three Michelin stars have followed him from the Spanish to launch Eneko in a bid to offer London a serving of Basque cuisine oozing with innovation.
Chef Eneko gets that us Londoners are after the whole gastronomic package. For something special…I mean really special, we’re after not only a dish capable of a conversation starter but extravagant presentation to fill our social media platforms, with sleek and intelligent hospitality; all wrapped up in a setting that balances out the informal with the equally sophisticated.
This, of course, in turn appeals of all of the senses and with a Michelin starred heritage wouldn’t be without carefully-sourced ingredients and beautifully presented dishes. The Bay of Biscay seafood starter is highly recommended and scores highest in terms of presentation with a parade of dry ice on and a uniquely designed metallic platter with a bed of seaweed; this really is Basque country meets London chic.
Bursting in not only the freshest of flavours but the intricacy of presentation and colours, the heritage tomatoes ‘from the garden’ is a dish with layers of tomatoes and delicate, edible pansies that will leave an impression both on your eyes and taste buds; the creative Txerri Boda Pork Festival combines Iberico ham with basil emulsion, chorizo and black pudding with soft, pillowy milk bread. Eneko’s Michelin stars shine with culinary knowledge of how to dish up pork and filters further onto the ‘from the land’ with Eneko’s main pork cut that ticks every box there is.
The desserts display Eneko’s sweeter side and constitutes caramelised rice pudding, raspberry macaroons with basil ganache, fresh strawberries with a light yoghurt mousse, dark chocolate with biscuit crumble base and cheesecake with red fruits all with traditional Basque sheep’s milk ice cream. For a touch of tradition the Torrija is Eneko’s signature favourite: delightfully simple vanilla milk-soaked sponge. We finished with a Basque cheese selection (Gaztaia).
Stepping initially onto Eneko’s floating mezzanine which presents itself to its arrivals as the wine bar with a 40 strong all Spanish list, this restaurant upholds the regions wines with bottles from Eneko’s very own Bilbao winery, Gorka Izagirre, that are exclusive to the restaurant.
A superbly well thought out new opening from the kitchen and its menu, to ceiling and floor, even many of the materials have been sourced from the Basque region including wood, steel and stone in particular. Together as one, Eneko is far from gaudy and effortlessly settles its footprints into the foundations of Covent Garden with neutral and natural colours and chestnut tables alongside textured stone touches.
Framed by an original cast iron and glass Edwardian doorway and onto gleaming copper staircase, Eneko is my latest recommendation and most favourite new opening. If you don’t know much about Basque cuisine then Eneko is the place to start. Every inch of this new opening screams success and I am rather smug that it’s made home in the heart of our delicious city.
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Address: One Aldwych, 1 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, 020 7300 0300, www.eneko.london