Eneko at One Aldwych

This is a long over due review of Eneko at One Aldwych, located near Covent Garden. The restaurant is brought to you from Chef Eneko Atxa who is known for his three Michelin restaurant in Spain.

Eneko

We started our meal with bread with herb butter.

Eneko

Starters are categorised from the sea, from the land and from the garden. From the sea we tried Memories of the Bay of Biscay (£15) – Oyster, crab and wild prawn tartare. This was the highlight of the meal. It was not just the taste and the presentation, but the experience of this dish with sight and smell. I could sense a bay with dish, with the smell of the salty sea and the taste of fresh seafood.

Eneko

We also tried the Squid Marmitake (£12) which is made up of squid stew with courgette ribbons. It was on the spicy side and had a distinct flavour that did not favour my tastbuds.

Eneko

From the land: Txerri Boda Pork Festival (£13) – Chorizo on milk bread, glazed sweetbread and suckling pig brioche. The presentation of the dish in a wooden box with a pig face was the winner than the actual food in the box.

Eneko

Mains include a selection of fish, meat and vegetarian. I ordered the seared duck breast served with julienne of king oyster mushrooms and pickled red onion (£25). It was a dish I was disappointed as the duck was over-cooked. Otherwise the presentation of this dish was beautiful and skills in the combination of all the different ingredients.

Eneko

The other mains that was ordered I felt was better executed than the duck.

Slow-cooked oxtail, mushroom emulsion (£20)

Eneko

Roasted iberico presa served with wheat in chickpea sauce and garlic cream (£24).

Eneko

Along with our mains we also ordered a range of sides. The mash potato (£4) was a smooth puree and I could not find a single lumps.

Eneko

Piperrak (green gernika peppers) (£6)

Eneko

The Sauteed garden vegetable (£5/£7) was beautiful with all the colour and truly reminded of a colourful garden.

Eneko

There was a dessert trolley with a selection to choose and each one £9 each which are all served with traditional Basque ice cream.

Dark chocolate with biscuit crumble base.

Eneko

The only dessert that was not found on the dessert trolley is Torrija which is a Basque vanilla sponge.

Eneko

Overall every dish was beautifully presented but the dessert was the one course where I felt was the least exciting.

I was dining there during their soft launch period where the price of the starters and mains were tagged at almost double of the price then on their current menu. Even with 50% off food we felt it was expensive and I would not consider it as an everyday dining.

Eneko

(Price and menu are correct at the time of dining. Not sponsored)

Eneko at One Aldwych
London,
WC2B 4BZ

http://www.eneko.london

Frenchie Covent Garden

Frenchie opened its first London branch in the heart of Covent Garden at the beginning of 2016. Ever since this Paris originated restaurant opened its doors in London, it has not been easy to book a table due to its popularity. After my first visit for lunch I can see why, because even I am hoping to return, but I just need to find an opportunity.

Frenchie

Frenchie’s menu is simple whereby the lunch menu is offered in either a 2 course for £22, or 3 course for £28.

I started with the Lincolnshire smoked eel served with roasted cabbage, buckwheat and kale. The combinations of all the ingredients went well, with the green balancing well with the lovely smokey flavour of the eel. My only criticism is there was not enough eel compared to the greens.

Frenchie

I thought my smokey eel was the best starter compare to the Spring Leek with pickled shittake and rancio vinaigrette that a friend ordered. But it was intriguing to see how you can turn a spring leek to an interesting dish.

Frenchie

For main course I had the lamb ragu papdelle with kalamata olives and espelette. Seeing pasta your probably wouldn’t link it to be a French dish. Nevertheless the dish was nicely cooked with the papdelle cooked to al dente.

Frenchie

A main dish that I would had liked to had as my own was the Linconshire chicken with Jerusalem artichoke and meyer lemon. This dish really took a love with my tastebuds. The chicken was really moist and the flavour of this dish reminded me of trips in France.

Frenchie

Overall I was really impressed with food and the service at Frenchie. Each dish was beautifully presented. I thought the portion size for two courses was just about right for lunch. Although I could had a dessert if I had more time. This will just mean I will now have more of an excuse to return.

(Not Sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Frenchie Covent Garden
16 Henrietta Street
Covent Garden
WC2E 8QH
London

http://www.frenchiecoventgarden.com

Native

Native restaurant is a new neighbour to Neal Yard in Covent Garden. It is a small restaurant with the kitchen located upstairs and the dining area downstairs which is accessed walking down a metal spiral staircases. Ladies, I don’t recommend stiletto heels down these stairs.

Native

I started with the Rabbit dumplings, smoked bacon dashi and pickled walnut (£8.50).  The taste had a hint of Asia to it. I found the broth was on the salty side and it needed less salt. Otherwise this light dish made a nice first course.

Native

This was followed by my second course which was the Pan Fried Hake, split Pea Dahl, Cauliflour Leaf Pakora (£13.50). I thought the combination of the hake with the split pea dahl and the cauliflour leaf pakora went well together. The Hake was a piece of beautifully cooked fish, with a cripsy skin and moist meat. The only thing that let the dish down that day was the seasoning of the Cauliflour leaf pakora. It was not mixed throughly, so one side tasted very salty.

Native

Apart from the seasoning being a let down that day, overall I thought the combination of the dishes at Native were interesting. With the two dishes I tasted I thought each component on the plate worked well together.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Native
3 Neal’s Yard,
Covent Garden,
London,
WC2H 9DP

http://www.eatnative.co.uk

Native  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Opera Tavern

Opera Tavern is a tapas bar and restaurant located in Covent Garden. It is spread over two floors and is suitable place for tapas with a small group of friends.

We sat upstairs on a table for four people where most of the main seatIngs. The restaurant was buzzing with people having dinner. While waiting for a friend we ordered a portion of the Grilled flat bread served with Olive Oil (£4.50). The flat bread was nice but I was not sure about the price tag for bread.

Opera Tavern

Classic Tortilla (£5)

Opera Tavern

Confit of Old Spot Pork Belly with Rosemary Scented Cannellini Beans (£9)

Opera Tavern

Charcoal grilled lamb gigot with roasted pumpkin, watercress, goat curd and chill (£8.50)

Opera Tavern

Chargrilled Octopus with Chickpea Fritter, Red Pepper and Mojo Verde (£9)

Opera Tavern

Brasied oxtail with bone marrow, truffle mash and parmensan crumb (£8.50)

Opera Tavern

Overall I thought each tapas was nicely cooked and presented. My favourite tapas of the evening had to be the braised oxtail which made a good comfort food.

Tapas is not really a cuisine that is cheap to eat in London, especially if you are really hungry and need to go through many plates of tapas to fill full. The price of the tapas in Opera Tavern is average and comparable to other London tapas bar and restaurant.

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices correct at the time of dining)

Opera Tavern
23 Catherine Street,
London,
WC2B 5JS

http://www.operatavern.co.uk

Homeslice Pizza (Neal Yard)

If you want a massive big and tasty pizza then consider Homeslice Pizza. They serves pizza 20 inch (£20) in size, but if that’s too big then they also offer pizza by slices (£4 per slice). 

There is a variety of pre-combined toppings to choose including the basic margherita and if you order the 20 inch pizza you can opt to have 50/50. 

We ordered one 20 inch pizza to share and selected one half with Goat Shoulder, savoy cabbage and summac yoghurt (left of photo). Then the other half with Salami, rocket and parmesan (right of photo).

Homeslice Pizza (Goat Shoulder, Savoy Cabbage & Sumac Yoghurt / Salami, Rocket & Parmesan)

The Goat Shoulder and savoy cabbage was nice in flavour but although it was drizzle with summac yoghurt, I thought it was on the dry side compared to the tomato base pizza. 

Whereas the salami, rocket and parmesan pizza was the complete opposite being tomato base. The tomato sauce was still moist which meant the pizza was less dry to eat. The two toppings made a good combination as 50/50.

The pizza at Homslice are soft in texture which might not take every one fancy, if you are one of those who like their pizza crispy. I am the person who likes their soft base pizza and with lots of toppings. Comparing to other popular pizza restaurants in London, the topping at Homeslice is generous and spread equally around the pizza. 

My favourite way of eating them at Homeslice pizza is roll each slice in to a wrap. How do you like to eat yours?

At the time of writing this, there are three branches in London. I visited the branch in Neal Yard which offers both eat in and takeaway. The place was buzzing with people on a weekday lunch time. Its not a huge place but there are tables that are large enough to come with a few friends to share a whole 20 inch pizza.

Homeslice Pizza (Neal Yard)
13 Neal’s Yard,
Covent Garden,
London,
WC2H 9DP

http://www.homeslicepizza.co.uk

Murakami London

Murakami is a sushi and robato grill restaurant in Covent Garden. A friend hosted a dinner evening here and ordered a range of sushi and grills.

We had a mixture of sushi and robato grills. The sushi had a mixture of maki and nigiri, providing a mixture of tradition and modern sushi. It reminds me a bit of the sushi you will find at Stick n Sushi. But I would not consider the quality of sushi at Murakami to be the best in London.

Murakami
Murakami
Murakami

The robato grills consist of a range of meat and fish sticks, chicken wings along with vegetables.

Murakami
Murakami

To complete the meal we tried Murakami’s green tea cheesecake.

Murakami

(Not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)

Murakami London
63-66 St Martin’s Lane,
London
WC2N 4JS,
UK

http://murakami.london

Pan de Vie

Green tea fans will need to keep reading because a new bakery, Pan de Vie has opened in Covent Garden. You will find matcha (green tea) bread, matcha cakes and matcha cookies.

The bakery is spread over two floors with some bar seats upstairs that looks out to the narrow street of New Row. Downstairs is a small seating area for you to indulge in one of Pan de Vie beautiful cake.

Pan De Vie

It is green tea madness at Pan de Vie. There are a variety of green tea choices that you will be spoilt for choice. I found it difficult to choose one, especially for some one like me who wanted to have a bite of every thing on the counter.

Pan De Vie

The Matcha & Lychee Mousse cake was the one that attracted me the most at my first visit. It brings two popular Asian flavours, green tea and lychee together. The cake has different layers consisting of green tea mousse, green tea sponge and lychee jelly. The layering reminded me of Kueh Lapis (of course it is not exactly the same!) which is a type of layer cake found in Singapore and Indonesia.

Pan De Vie

For those with a sweet tooth, the Matcha tart has a sticky and sweet centre. Out of all the green tea pastry we tried this was the sweetest. I didn’t find it sweet with the first bite but after a few more bites the sweetness become more obvious.

Pan De Vie

I was impress with the Matcha muffin, as you can taste the flavour of green tea and that is what I call a proper green tea muffin! The muffin was soft and the sweetness was just right.

Pan De Vie

Matcha is usually considered with Japanese cuisines but Pan de Vie is opened by Hong Kong entrepreneurs, which bring Asian influenced. As well as matcha being a theme at the bakery, black sesame seem to be another theme flavour at Pan de Vie.

The Black sesame mousse cake was a dessert heaven which was soft, light and fluffy. It was not sweet at all and has a light subtle flavour of black sesame. Don’t let all the green tea take the limelight from this black sesame mousse cake. It has definitely won me over by that first bite.

Pan De Vie

The Matcha & Sesame Mousse Cake has a mixture of texture to it. A soft matcha mousse dome top, with a hard and crispy black sesame cracker base.

Pan De Vie

Although there is various matcha flavour cakes, Pan de Vie has a selection of other flavours if you have not yet warm to the flavour of green tea. I have not yet had the opportunity to try the other cakes, but they all look attractive.

I would not consider the cakes at Pan de Vie to be cheap to eat, as takeaway will cost £4.20 and eat in £5. But then Yauatcha’s cakes are just expensive for takeaway.

Pan De Vie

Pan de Vie also has a small selection flavour of macarons which look nicely baked. But I have not yet had the opportunity to try out the texture and flavour. However, with all the flavour available, I did not see green tea or black sesame.

Pan De Vie

Japanese cheesecake are also available and are served in mini size as well in 5inch. They come in original or green tea flavour.

Pan De Vie

I tried the original flavour Japanese cheesecake and although they were nice, the texture does not compare with many of the popular Japanese brands found in Asia.

In Hong Kong, there is a current high wave with Japanese cheesecake and Japanese cream cheese pie. I wonder if we might be able to see them available in London soon. Although London’s palette has widen, will there be a market for it the UK?

Pan De Vie

Being a bakery there has to be breads and Pan de Vie offer a range of different bread. Some green tea and a large variety of non-green tea. The different flavour of bread reminded me of the modern Hong Kong bakery which take influence from Japan.

Pan De Vie

Pan de Vie also serves cold and hot drinks including Matcha latte and my favourite Yuza tea. If you want the full green tea package then you can enjoy a Matcha cake with a Matcha latte. You will be feeling green by the end of it.

Pan De Vie

(This was not sponsored. Menu and prices are correct at the time of dining)

Pan de Vie
5 New Row,
Covent Garden,
London,
WC2N 4LH

http://www.pandevie.com