If anyone know me well, I am a proper food snob and only like to spend my calories on good quality food. I like KFC too, but I’m only keen on their infamous hot wings. I’m very selective I should say. Anyway, my hubby and I had a date on Saturday, one of highlights of the day was going to see Cat, the musical. We planned to have lunch beforehand, so Stephen asked where I like to have lunch. I performed a Google search using the keywords “London michelin star restaurants 2015” and a restaurant called Ametsa caught my attention, particularly their 2-course tapas set lunch with tea, coffee and petit fours for £27.50… ka-ching!! I struggle badly to convince myself to splash out £60 for a main course, so I always look out for set lunch deals in new michelin starred restaurants.
Entering upon Ametsa through their wooden looking entrance, I noticed the environment is quite dull and the contemporary interior design was rather cold, metalic tone and white; it basically felt too much like a hospital. Maybe our waiter Issac had a hangover because the service was a bit slow and he kept touching the edge our glasses while making sure they are fully charged with water. I am not trying to be annoyingly demandingly, but it is not hygienic at all, especially for a starred Michelin restaurant . Despite the services, the quality of the food was definitely worth the star.. For our first course, we were served with three tapas to share amongst us.
The first tapas is Jamón Ibérico sobre Almohadas de Pan con Tomate (Ibérico Ham over Bread Pillow). On the board, they served the crunchy pillow biscuit wrapping with tomato powder and Ibérico ham. This is an enhanced version of the tradition Ibérico ham toast I had in Madrid last time. Instead of using fresh chopped tomato with olive oil to sog the bread, the tomato powder gave it a magical touch.
The second tapas is Chipirones en su Tinta (Black Ink Squid). I never had squid ink anywhere else apart with paella or risotto. These squids were stuffed with chunks of tiny squid legs and cooked with squid ink; like a triple squid power. Despite the weird colours, it tasted really good. The chives oil gave the squid ink another layer of silky texture on top of its fragrance.
The third tapas was Mazorca de Foie (Foie Corn Cob). At a glance, I thought they put the corn one by one on the foie gras, but when I was cutting through the corn, I noticed it wasn’t actually corn, itwas some sort of oil / butter in shaped like a corn. I found different surprises from each of these tapas. I am more than convinced that I found my new favourite restaurant.
For our main, Stephen picked Carrilleras con Corchos (Ox with corks), and I had Merluza con Mejillones (Hake with Mussels). Again, the presentation was amazing. Guess what is the red looking marshmallow on Stephen’s plate? It’s mash potato and some slow-cooked ox meat hidden in the green leaves.
Initially, I thought the metallic copper paint was part of the plate design, but they are actually cameral. I guess this is a similar concept to the steak with chocolate sauce. While I wondered why my mussels were not opened and whether it was safe to, I poked it with my knife and accidentally cut through it. OMG it’s a mussel pâté/cake with copper salt on top.
As I mentioned earlier, the service was not one of their strongest points in this restaurant. It took them awhile to bring our bill and they totally forgot to offer us the complimentary tea/coffee that come with the set menu. Our bill arrived 10 minutes later because they had to serve our petits four. I shouldn’t complain because we are being served with more food, but they should at least let us know what we were waiting for considering we were in a rush!
Yummy chocolate presented as grapes on vine to finished off our lunch. Overall I think this is the best Spanish I had in London, the modern touch and creativities on the food made light up this restaurant and the quality of the food alone deserves a shinny one Michelin star. 🙂
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
The Halkin by Como, London SW1X 7DJ