As you might remember, I have recently had the pleasure of enjoying Basque food on our trip to South Western France. The Basque cuisine is really quite something! It is influenced by the sea on one side and the fertile Ebro valley on the other. With fertile ground for grains and vineyards in an area called Álava, and good land for livestock breeding in Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa, Basque country has a rich culinary heritage. It is no wonder then that today the region boasts almost 40 Michelin starred restaurants! 

One Aldwych Hotel in Covent Garden

Obviously I got really excited when I found out, that I didn’t have to jump on a plane to enjoy a beautiful Basque meal, as Eneko actually has brought it all to me!  What I really love about this place is, that you can enjoy Michelin Star food at a reasonable price!  You see, Eneko is a transplant outpost of one of the Basque region’s leading chefs, Eneko Atxa, whose restaurant, Azurmendi, outside Bilbao, has three Michelin stars and on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.

Before our dinner at Eneko, we decided to enjoy a pre-drink at The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych Hotel

The new Showtime Cocktail menu celebrates the passion and drama of London’s great theatre productions

Enjoying my cocktail and snacks at a cosy spot! (look at the funky high chairs behind me!)

I have to agree with the reviews of this place! This really is one the most beautiful hotel lobby bars in London!

Just around the corner you will find the entrance to Eneko!

I entered into a cool, modern, elliptical space. Design firm Casson Mann have surely done an impressive job reimagining the subterranean dining room in this grand Edwardian building (built in 1907 as the Morning Post headquarters). Furthermore, they have introduced a shiny copper staircase from street-level to mezzanine (talk about making an entrance) – and revealed and restored the original steel columns. It was love at first sight for me!

Even though the room was quite big, the atmosphere was still cosy and relaxed decorated with beautiful sculptural flowers

Time to have a look at the menu card…

and enjoy a glass of wine…

 – served by the lovely Janelle

We had a delicious bottle of G22 by Gorka Izagirre. (Eneko and his uncle Gorka use local grape varietals to create four unique wines at their winery, Gorka Izagirre)

The butter was mixed at the table with basil and chopped chives! It was so good that we had to ask for more! 

Frenchie won the price of having the most beautiful dish of them all! His starter was simply out of this world. This is the signature dish “Memories of the Bay of Biscay”: Diver scallop, daikon and chive emulsion

Another very well-presented starter! Basque Duck Liver Parfait: Txakoli wine-soaked apple compote! It tasted so good, that I might just order the same again, next time I visit Eneko!

As Basque as it gets! Txipirones en su Tinta: Basque style squid in ink sauce! Frenchie was very happy! 

And I went for more duck! Simply because this dish could not be more beautiful (and delicious)! Seared Duck Breast: Julienne of king oyster mushrooms and pickled red onion! You simply have to try this one! 

There are several side dishes to choose from. We had a bacon, potato, idiazabal gratin and stuffed piquillo  peppers! Lovely! 

It was hard to say no to dessert after these amazing dishes…

And yes, it was definitely worth the extra calories! I enjoyed every bite of this fabulous Salted Caramel Mousse

Frenchie went for a very traditional Basque dessert! This is Torrija: Basque vanilla sponge with caramel crumble ice-cream (it tasted so good, that I had to steal a bit from time to time!)

We had a wonderful time here – and were pleasantly overwhelmed by Eneko’s cooking (and also just how good value for money it was) As something new Eneko also offers a brunch menu with the option of unlimited Cava, Bloody Mary’s or Kalimotxo!

Would we return? In a heartbeat!

X Louise