Following on from the success of his Bilbao temple of gastronomy, Azurmendi, chef Eneko Atxa promises to bring Basque cuisine to Covent Garden with his new restaurant venture, Eneko at One Aldwych, which opens on September 1, with previews from August 1.
A modernist glass masterpiece set on a hillside, Azurmendi has garnered three Michelin stars for its tasting menus. This same attention to detail will be channeled in Atxa’s 110-seat London restaurant (second picture), designed by architects Casson Mann with Basque decor references. A 35-seat wine bar on the mezzanine level will serve Spanish wines, including glasses of the house Gorka Izagirre Txakoli white from Atxa’s own vineyards.
Dishes will include starters from the sea, such as Memories of the Bay of Biscay (£17, first picture) – a tartare of oyster, crab and wild prawn – and a tempura of fresh summer anchovies with tomato and ginger granite (£16), as well as options from the land and garden, including the Texerri Boda Pork Festival (£15) – a trio of Iberico ham and mushroom duxelle, suckling-pig brioche and pig-trotter bocata.
Anchoring the menu are fish dishes such as Cod Bizkaina (£18), a delicate stew accompanied by crispy fritters; meats such as seared duck breast (£25) accompanied by a julienne of oysters, or pork with garlic cream (£24); while vegetarian dishes include Mushroom Al Ajillo (£16) – a king-oyster mushroom quenelle with garlic chips – and a creamy Basque-style risotto (£18) with Idiazabal pesto, Parmesan and black-olive barquillo.
Rice-pudding lollipops (£9, third picture) are just one of the inventive deserts that finish things off with a flourish.