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Inspired by the originals in Barcelona and Bilbao, this new outlet in London's West End is spread over two floors with an open kitchen on each level: one area is devoted to casual pintxos, tapas and Spanish wines by the glass; the other is a more formal space offering top-end Basque specialities and generic dishes. Imported produce is the cornerstone of the set-up, with cured meats, cheeses and preserved vegetables playing a key role on the vast menu – expect salt cod fritters with alioli and lemon, Josper-roast potatoes with onion confit, hake and cockles with salsa verde or grilled quail with goose liver parfait, fig and sherry caramel, followed by desserts such as caramelised French toast with vanilla ice cream and apricot purée.
Created by three Spanish friends in 1999, Bilbao Berria has expanded into London with the aim of showcasing Basque cuisine, eating particularly via pintxos (food served in skewers) and tapas (aka food served on plates). Tucked in the lower end of Regent Street, the chain's first international restaurant is fronted by Aussie celebrity masterchef Ash Mair. Heaps more polished than the Bilbao and the Barcelona restaurants, the London joint is STUNNING. It's very cosmo-industrial which I reckon would appeal to those who like a good social scene (thus questions the choice of location, close to tourist-laden spots...
More from Musings from the girl next shore »
I don’t envy any new tapas restaurant opening in London. Unless you’re as good as José or Ember Yard, or as cheap as Barrafina, then it’ll be a real struggle to stand out. Bilbao Berria tries to rely on three things to set itself apart – a menu with alleged Basque and Catalan influences, a celebrity chef and glossy surroundings. I’m barely aware of Masterchef since I watch hardly any TV these days, so the fact that the kitchen is headed up by the 2011 winner of the cooking contest show matters little to me. The gilded surroundings certainly are pretty, but ultimately it’s all about the food...
More from The Picky Glutton »
Just opened in Lower Regent Street, Bilbao Berria is a Basque influenced restaurant which offers an extensive menu of Spanish cuisine and wines. We chanced upon this bar/restaurant on Saturday evening just 2 days after its official opening and were intrigued by the sight of a veritable forest of sticks, each attached to a tasty snack. These were the traditional Pintxos which accompany the wines. We were enticed inside (it didn't take much) by the friendly encouragement of Alex who kindly gave us a potted history and a tour of the restaurant. We then stayed to enjoy a couple of superb Spanish wines and a range of the...
More from Seafood Review »
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