Flavour of the Week: Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
Basque cuisine's renowned for its artful creativity, and that's exactly what you'll find at Belgravia's Michelin-starred Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
What's the draw
Basque cuisine might be having a moment, but Ametsa's been there since before it was cool. The Michelin-starred resident restaurant at the Halkin hotel (part of the Como stable) serves up exciting, inventive takes on Basque flavours, and features input from the vaunted Arzak in San Sebastián.
What to drink
Have a cocktail at the hotel bar if you've got time before the meal – we enjoyed a bone-dry martini, and our guest had one of its many twisted G&T options. For the dinner, you're in the safe hands of the sommeliers, especially if you're checking out the pairing menu. Which we thought it'd be rude not to.
What to eat
If the number of courses didn't give it away, the dazzling presentation will: this is a menu that demands time and attention. We could recount each course of the ten we had, but we'll limit ourselves to the showstoppers: scallops with plankton and a rich daub of passionfruit purée; tuna brilliantly tempered with fiery cinnamon and apple sauce; and dark pork with 'embers' – a dense gravel of coarsely textured but lightly flavoured coconut: each one in its own way epitomised the fact that this is a menu never to be second-guessed.
Cocktails, tasting menu and service for two: around £360. Halkin Hotel London, Halkin Street, SW1X 7DJ; comohotels.com.