Typing the word Eneko into the search engine links you to a Wikipedia page, where it says Eneko is a Basque masculine given name meaning my little dear. The Eneko I’m writing about is, of course, the acclaimed three Michelin star chef Eneko Axto. His restaurant Azrmendi is currently placed at No 16 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Eneko Axto has opened a new venture in the UK, and how lucky am I to receive a voucher from my MD to have lunch at Eneko at One Aldwych. Eneko at One is more informal but still serving up unique traditional Basque cuisine.
From the moment you walk through those automatic doors, you are blown away by the interior design and friendly service. Once passed the automatic doors you go down a flight of stairs to be greeted by the front desk, you need to go down again for the dining area. The area is big and spacious with 100 seats, and a 35-seater wine bar area.
The brunch menu may seem like a small selection, but if you order enough dishes it should be ok. The two-course meal not advertised on the website but on site menu is £25 per person which includes a glass of wine or juice. We opted for fresh green juice.
To start we had a selection of slices of bread served in a pretty mesh bowl and mortar of soft butter and herbs.
Starters, I opted for the suckling pig brioche £9, from the Euskal Azoka section they may seem tiny, but it is bold with flavours. Bitesize buns served on a sliced trunk of wood. Brioche buns are extremely crusty, you’ll end up making loud crunching noise from eating, and the pork, of course, is full-bodied in flavour.
Next up a suggestion from our server, a traditional talo £10 is beautifully presented full of colour and edible flowers. Although the dish itself is made up of heritage tomatoes, it’s a refreshingly light dish to enjoy with that corn talo crisp underneath it all.
Picking something from the Txoko classics, the mussels £10 served up in a clay pot with the almost puree like tomato sauce wasn’t too overly rich and paired the seafood very well.
From the Asador grill section, we got the duck and monkfish to share, both comes with fried potatoes. You get asked how you like your duck £18 done, and I opted for the suggested way of halving it medium rare. The dish is sliced up perfection, with pinkish red throughout; so simple yet bold and it only just needed a touch of sea salt to enhance the natural flavour. It also came with piping hot green gernika peppers.
Although the monkfish £20 was cooked perfectly, I thought there wasn’t much flavour to it.
We ordered another of chips to fill us up. Chips cooked until golden yellow, crisp on the outside, and fluffy inside. They made the perfect company to eat between dishes.
Eneko at One Aldwych
London WC2B 4BZ