Acclaimed chef Eneko Atxa, who runs the three-Michelin starred Azurmendi restaurant in Spain, has opened an informal and relaxed outpost at One Aldwych hotel in London where you can try his unique Basque take on classic brunch offerings. Dishes like fried eggs and bacon muffins are given a stylish and inventive makeover.
The decor at Eneko at One Aldwych is smart and makes plentiful use of natural lighting; with many of the wood and stone used in the decor sourced directly from the Basque region and much of the contemporary furniture has been made to order from interior designers from the region.
There is a fine mixture of beverage options on offer from the unlimited Cava, Bloody Mary's or Kalimotxo, which can be added on to your brunch menu. Eneko and his uncle Gorka even produce their own wine using local grape varietals at their winery, Gorka Izagirre. Health-conscious options are also available with specialty juices like fresh Vitamin A Burst (beetroot, orange and carrot).
Eneko isn't only a talented chef, but an artist as you can see from the traditional talo dish: colourful heritage tomatoes are mixed in with edible flowers and a basil emulsion. It is a dish that has a stunning presentation and also makes you feel great after dining on it.
However, less healthy options were to follow – dishes that really show off the inventiveness of Eneko's cooking. Egg yolk was encased in a crispy tempura and provided a marvellous contrast in textures. Cerdito Caliente ‘Hot Hog’ was playfully served in a ‘lunchbox’ with a carved wooden pig's head and instead of greasy bacon, you are served refined Iberico ham along with mushroom duxelle and freshly-baked Basque muffins.
For the main course, you get a choice monkfish, duck or txuleta, which used organic Rhug Estate rib of beef. The meat was highly tender and cooked to a mouth watering pink colour and sprinkled with liberal amounts of sea salt. The duck breast that other guests ordered looked equally appetising and was served along with green Gernika peppers.
You will have to make room for their dessert offering which is the Torrija: a classic Basque vanilla sponge served with a fine scoop of caramel crumble ice cream. The cake was moist and not overly sweet, with the sugary tastes coming mostly from the heavenly caramel crumble ice cream.
For those bored of the typical weekend brunch offerings, Eneko at One Aldwych is a top venue to consider for the sheer ingenuity shown in their creative menus. Book in for brunch here.