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COMO The Halkin, 5 Halkin Street
If Ametsa’s dining room looks a little clinical with its test tubes of spices undulating in the ceiling, that’s no coincidence – there’s a meticulous, almost scientific approach to gastronomy here. But it’s also worth taking notice of the poppies etched on the mirrors because the cooking has a boundary-pushing, dreamlike quality, intended to astound more than just the taste buds. The menu describes its dishes in a florid style – ‘scallops leaving home’, ‘tuna with cinnamon on fire’ and ‘sea bass with celery illusion’ – and they all deliver “incredible artistry” and Michelin-starred “wows” galore. A dessert of orange toast with spinach has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity to round off the meal. “Fantastically knowledgeable staff” get their share of plaudits, while the sommelier is “informative and spot-on” when it comes to the Spanish-biased wine list. “Pure theatre”.
Best in Knightsbridge
Best Haute Cuisine
Best Spanish restaurants in London
SquareMeal 2 Stars
COMO The Halkin, 5 Halkin Street
Hyde Park Corner Tube Station 305m
Knightsbridge Tube Station 623m
Buckingham Palace 529m
Harvey Nichols 579m
Tues-Fri 12N-2pm (Sat 12.30pm- ) Mon-Sat 6.30-10pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
The last time we dined at Ametsa we raved about it, and, although we have had disappointing second visits to some other restaurants, at the end of this treat we were wondering why on earth hadn’t we been back before. It started off with a properly professional welcome, and the front of house, impeccably schooled by the outstanding restaurant manager, Ednor Pronjaj, made us feel right at home throughout the meal. We chose the tasting menu, and as we discussed it with Ednor we let slip that lobster was a great favourite with us; quick as a flash he informed us that they were preparing a dish for inclusion on the menu at a later date, he checked with the chef and sure enough one of our “entrantes” became lobster instead of langoustine. A lesson to be learnt here by other top venues. Even before the super “aperitivos” which set the tone for the evening, we happily indulged in some very good olive oil with with our home baked bread and then began the parade of delicious dishes: thick cep soup with manchego crackers, followed by an excellent combination of kataifi with light fish (in this case scorpion fish), a brilliant prawn gyoza style dumpling, and a crafty crunchy black pudding set against a sweet marmalade syrup. As with the whole menu the level of seasoning in these better-than-amuse-bouches was just perfect. The first starter caused us to raise our eyebrows as it had hemp seeds as one of the ingredients; however, the brilliant Scottish scallops mounted on a parsley base were perfectly matched with the nutty hemp crackers and given a memorable contrast against a wonderful mango salsa for a dish that could justifiably be called historic. Balanced textures enhanced our special serving of lobster which was perfectly lightly poached and matched with orange blossom, a seaweed cracker that was almost like crackling and finely sliced beans - another winner. The final starter kept up the amazing standard of cuisine and presentation, a signature dish called eggs in the moon, a crazy yet somehow logical take on eggs and bacon with a combination of fried egg wrapped in its own white, chorizo, a tomato coating and apricot salsa and turmeric. Another nice idea was the diner being able to choose a fish dish and a meat dish from the à la carte menu. The fish had to be turbot for both of us, but we differed on the meat, my wife taking the ox cheek, while I favoured the suckling pig. Blackberries would not be the first ingredient one would think of to accompany turbot, but it really worked, somehow pointing up the supreme delicacy of the the king of fish when properly cooked, and here it was emphasised by a concentration of dried loganberry and reduced cauliflower which was soft and reshaped to look like florets. This was a triumph! Not to be outdone, the melt-in-the-mouth ox-cheek with its melon pickle, Jerusalem artichoke and black sauce reduction, and the tender, gently porky suckling pig with its delightfully sweet fat under light crackling and “pseudo-cereals”, vegetables transformed to look like grains, were both splendid. A yuzu-tasting palate cleanser prepared us for the first dessert - the “coloured crystals”, a signature dish amounting to a lesson in mathematical/molecular gastronomy, in which a red-coloured grape vinaigrette is poured onto a mead base and it spreads to produce a sort of snowflake pattern, showy but nonetheless amazing. This was followed by a geometrical structure of triangular wafers of different colours and tastes and hardness arranged round a fruity crumble, and finally an explosion of passion fruit with churros reduced to crunchy crisps and served with the required rich chocolate, a truly Spanish classic in the making, and like all the other courses presented in an imaginatively artistic manner. Bravo chef Briones! A brilliant dining experience that we will definitely be hoping to repeat.
We had the pleasure of dining at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction on Fri 10 June, we opted for the lunchtime tasting menu, we are not disappointed! It was pure theatre from start to finish, wonderful food, combinations you would not think of putting together, a really interesting and varied menu which kept us guessing. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, the staff were fantastic, attentive without being too overbearing. I cannot wait to book my next visit! Thank you so much to the Ametsa team, what a fabulous way to spend a Friday afternoon!
I was recently taken to Ametsa somewhere I hadn't been before and I have to say I was blown away. From the moment we arrived at the perfectly discreet and warm environment of the Halkin in which Ametsa sits the evening was a wonderful journey. The staff are without a doubt some of the most knowledgeable I've come across with the perfect mix of being friendly, warm and informative.
The food is the main highlight though, if you opt for the tasting menu (which I highly recommend) you are led through 8 courses of incredible artistry by the chefs, the presentation is a real wow factor and what I loved was that there was still enough on your plate which is not always the case with tasting menus and fine dining!
Each course was expertly paired with a selection of Spanish wines, personally I normally find sommeliers to be a bit over bearing but Jose was fun, informative and was spot on with his recommendations!
It mentions in the overview being sky high prices but I thought the tasting menu was actually really good value for money and I noticed that the lunch menu was only £27,50 for two courses (want to come back when I'm paying)
Would highly recommend and is somewhere unique to London.
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