Eneko at One Aldwych, London, UK

Eneko at One Aldwych, London, UK

The trend for casual dining continues apace, with the launch of Basque chef Eneko Atxa’s new restaurant in London’s One Aldwych hotel.

A departure from the precise creations at his three-Michelin star establishment Azurmendi, in Bilbao, the food here, is playful and casual, with a DNA that is a clear extension of the chef’s fine-dining Basque roots. As such, dishes such as the fish soup, which has been reduced to an intense, treacle-like consistency, are compact with powerful flavours, while the hake’s light tempura batter, provides a delicate steam casing, allowing the fish – rightly revered by the Spanish – to be delivered in perfect simplicity.

This is all served up in a space outfitted by London-based firm Casson Mann, who smartly addressed the challenges of the restaurant’s basement location with an intelligent design and a strong attention to detail; a palette of rich reds, neutrals and copper panelling emerges in a range of of fabrics across the banquettes and in furnishings such as the butterfly-jointed tables, which highlight artisanal quality.

The absence of a ceiling allows diners to look upwards where a mezzanine bar, suspended over the restaurant, is the perfect spot for a pre-prandial glass of wine from Atxa's own vineyards, pared with a selection of delicious Basque-inspired bar bites.