One thing Brits love, myself included is indulging in a spot of brunch. A few weekends ago, I was invited along to Eneko at One Aldwych, to sample a very different type of brunch – culinary delights from the Basque country.
Located in the heart of Covent Garden, there’s nothing fussy about Eneko at One Aldwych, which is one of its many appeals. Offering diners a comfortable and relaxed setting, its environment is exactly what most diners look for in a restaurant.
Since opening at the end of last year, three Michelin Star chef Eneko Atxa has put the Basque country well and truly on the map. Having never experienced Basque cuisine for myself until this point, I’ve been asking myself since, why the hell not?!
Mr O’T and I were booked in for the full Basque Brunch four course menu and apart from deciding what mains to order, the only thing required of us was to sit back, relax and enjoy the refreshing glass of Cava that had been kindly pressed into our hands.
The bread basket came and went before we remembered the camera but that’s ok, because nothing could have been more aesthetically pleasing than our first dish, The Traditional Talo. Beautifully presented, this visual delight of heritage tomatoes, basil emulsion and edible flowers, sat on a crispy corn talo, had me wondering how on earth I could eat something so darn pretty! I’ll admit, it wasn’t the easiest of dishes to eat, mainly because I wanted to keep it intact for as long as possible. It was however incredibly tasty and refreshing for a hot summer’s day.
Our second dish, the egg yolk tempura, is quite literally what foodie heaven is made of. Forget keeping up with appearances – poached egg encased in fluffy batter, on top of creamy mash and confit of vegetables is what the pros call love at first bite.
I actually made this dish last for around 20 minutes. It tasted that good, that I wanted to savour every single mouthful!
With a mutual exchange of smiles and a knowing nod, it was onto the mains. I ordered the monkfish as you don’t see monkfish very often on restaurant menus, making it difficult to pass up.
This was cooked perfectly and the seasoning of garlic, chilli and parsley really took it to that next level. How something so simple, can taste so divine, I do not know, but it’s the best Monkfish I’ve sampled in London to date.
Mr O’T had his eye on one dish and one dish only, the Rib of Beef. We don’t eat red meat at home, so as a meat lover, the Rib of Beef was a no brainer.
I didn’t try the rib as I don’t eat red meat but the comfortable silence, echoed by munching and swallowing said all that needed to be said.
By the time desserts arrived, we were feeling rather full. That didn’t stop me from trying the Torrija though, a Basque vanilla sponge accompanied with caramel crumble ice-cream. This is definitely one for those of you with a sweet tooth. The sponge which was moist, sweet and wet like in texture, balanced perfectly with the caramel crumble ice-cream. It might not have had the same impact at first glance but it tasted pretty amazing nonetheless.
Eneko at One Aldwych is one restaurant I’ll be returning to time and time again. The food is outstanding, the setting spot on and the service impeccable. It really is the most incredible introduction to Basque cuisine so if you haven’t made it down there already, get yourself booked in. I would even go as far as to say that this is the best brunch in London right now for quality and price. Three courses start upwards of £25 and for an additional £20, you can enjoy unlimited Cava, Bloody Mary’s or Kalimotxo, which can be mixed and matched throughout your meal!
Are you a fan of Basque cuisine and have you tried Eneko at One Aldwych before?