Aqua Nueva 22

Fifth Floor, 240 Regent Street (entrance 30 Argyll Street) , London, W1B 3BR

020 3589 3946

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SquareMeal Review of Aqua Nueva

Refurbished in 2015, Aqua's upmarket Spanish eatery is predictably sleek and glamorous, although the food is sufficiently accomplished to hold its own. Low-lit black tables are arranged beneath an arched, copper-clad ceiling, while the menu of show-stopping tapas ranges from ultra-traditional pan con tomate and patatas bravas to glazed veal cheek with pickled mushrooms or poached cod fillet atop fennel purée. Respect for ingredients and presentation is evident throughout, from melting black-ink seafood croquetas presented in mussel shells to deep-pink raw tuna rolls, stuffed with a confit tomato and almonds, then studded with pomegranate (a riot of colour and texture). There are also larger plates of grilled octopus or perhaps Ibérico secreto pork, but our advice is to stick with the smaller, more adventurous tapas. Big bills come as standard, but the striking black-and-gold bar provides a more wallet-friendly alternative with its evening snack menu, array of cocktails and a terrace overlooking Regent Street.

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8.0

Food & Drink: 8.4

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 8.8

Value: 7.7

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Jaishri R. 01 November 2016

Food was good. Venue is lovely. Staff could do with some training on how to serve customers as they seemed a little new to everything. They should ask before serving main dishes as it can get a bit too rushed unless we ask for them to slow down to give us time to digest.......

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Rosie V. 27 September 2015

This was my first visit to Aqua Neuva though I have eaten next door at Aqua Kyoto many times. I was very pleasantly surprised! It is so much easier to get a table here than it is next door but for me the food was as good if not better and the service was excellent. I can particularly recommend the crispy pork and langoustine dish and the red tuna "escabeche" but everything we had was delicious, including the gazpacho. We were looked after very well and the food arrived exceptionally quickly. Give it a go!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

julia h. 06 October 2013

Bar, Restaurant and Terrace all very nice. The Service was actually very good despite the bad reviews we had read. The menu is a little restricted but what was served up was done very well. Not too noisy so we could hear each other talk and not to quite that you felt everyone could hear you. Overall Very nice evening.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Charlotte H. 14 January 2013

I came to the restaurant with a few friends of mine who are adventrous and in and around London's finest at least once a week so I thought I would join in on the action. Upon entering the staff were very welcoming and warm, reflecting the atmosphere of the bar area which you come through to. Being a fan of Tapas, it was by far the best I have had in very long time. Sitting near the terrace was a bonus in terms of the scenic views and relaxed spanish styled atmosphere. Taking into consideration the standard service, quality and diversity of dishes and perfect London locations it is indeed great value for money.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Samantha M. 02 November 2012

My sister organised my birthday dinner at aqua nueva and we had an amazing evening, the food was awesome, service was timely and the staff were very friendly and welcoming. The restaurant birthday cake was a wonderful treat indeed. Will definitely be back for more!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Annette B. 23 September 2012

The food was really good, we ordered the entire tapas menu and all of it was nice. Very expensive as well, but we thought it was worth it for a great evening out. The waiters at the tables were also nice. Not always the fastest, but absolutely ok. They did spill an entire drink over our table, but apologized and brought a new one. The staff at the door, however, were so incredibly unfriendly that they spoilt the entire experience for us. I was chased by a security guard for attempting to leave a piece of paper at reception. I had asked nicely whether they could throw it into the bin for me. They told me they didn't have a bin at the desk. And when I left the piece of paper (it literally was a piece of paper, nothing disgusting) there, asking whether they can then throw it into a bin somewhere else, they chased the security guard after me and one of my friends picked it up to avoid them going completely wild. I appreciate that I can't ask random people to do me favors. But the service personnel in a place where we just spent £80 each for dinner could be a little bit more accommodating than your average bistander. The way they treated us was absolutely disgusting. This was definitely my first and last time at Aqua Nueva. Such a service is simply not acceptable in places that charge prices like Aqua Nueva does.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Dell J. bronze reviewer 23 February 2012

Only went following a last minute recommendation from a mate when we were looking to impress some potential new clients, and boy is this the right place to do this. We were there on a Thursday evening and the restaurant and the rest of the bar were buzzing. Tried lots of different dishes on the tapas menu and then shared some main dishes and none of them strayed far from superb. Staff were attentive but discrete. Good recommendations on the wine. The piece de resistance was the after dinner drinks on the terrace which overlooks Regents Street – a very unique view from the 5th floor of the buidling. Highly recommended.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Marco G. 07 July 2011

I believe it is important to read a review before heading out to the actual place. Doing so, you avoid going to the wrong establishment on the wrong occasion… I mean why take your first date to a sophisticated underground gourmet, and vice versa take your best mate to a romantic Oriental club in Mayfair. And this exactly what you should keep in mind before approaching Aqua Nueva. It is not a place to impress your gourmet friends, yet if you are trying to get some action with a lady well, this is it! So for your first date needs, this venue tick all the boxes. Probably the most stunning interior and location (especially on a sunny day) around Oxford Circus, however the glamorous bar does not actually serve food, so perhaps I should not get myself influenced by the bar in the restaurant review Anyway the restaurant: First of all do not confuse aqua nueva with aqua kyoto, as the 2 experiences are completely different. Let’s stick to topic, aqua nueva… it is made of the tapas bar and the more formal dining restaurant. I' d avoid the restaurant, I didnt eat there, but it feels like it could easily consume you £200 for a good but not excellent experience…So if you are looking for top class upmarket food go somewhere else… I decided to sit at the tapas bar – here is where it gets more funny; closer to the ladies, closer to the bar, more enjoyable and less formal. And I have actually enjoyed my night at the Tapas bar. Why? Ok ignore the service, (quite sub-standard and not the sort of warm attentive service you'd expect from your local tapas bar) – yet if you have a passion for food it is interesting to observe how the chef prepares and composes the plates. Very tidy and well organized open air kitchen, that feels almot like a laboratory. Anyone with the slightest experience in a restaurant kitchen would appreciate that And what about the actual food? The results are good (yet places like brindisa or el pirata de tapas deliver better value for money). My selection included a toast with cured meat (not the best spanish saucisson, but a very innovative flat pizza or tomato bread as bruschetta) skew of cattlefish (good to look at, slightly too hard to eat) a plate of Spanish cured meat (good selection of meats for the affordable price), pancetta wrapped scallops with saffron onion (probably the best plate) a sous vide cooked lamb with finely cut root vegetable (simple but perfectly executed) chorizo and quail egg (simple dish, yet not too convinced by the choice of sausage on the plate) All the plates are fairly priced (remember that it s not an east London venue in a warehouse, but the most sumptuous central London location). In conclusion go on a date, sit at the bar, be prepared and finally, to thoroughly enjoy the experience, look at, and engage with the chef standing in front you methodically preparing the tapas… You will be going home feeling that “ok it was enjoyable and i have even learnt some cooking skills

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Bobby M. 24 May 2011

“this will be classed as ‘The’ experience of 2011, I can't get over the beautiful lighting, decor, terraces, food and staff. All absolutely charming and I'm very, very impressed”

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Christopher J. platinum reviewer 24 March 2011

Aqua Nueva is the Quaglinos of today – a big, noisy, fashionable central london hangout with lots of sponsored tables. That is not to say it a bad place, in fact it's great fun for a crowd looking for an ‘inclusive’ experience of bar, dinner and dancing – but the food suffers. Cold Tapas was great as expected but I had to fight with the grilled Octopus for some time, this was followed by a bar of Oxtail which was also a bit of a disappointment. Fortunately the service was good, we had plenty to drink and a fun night, but not a great meal.

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Room for 16 people
Capacity: 16
Secluded Area
Capacity: 40