Who doesn’t love January, eh? Miserable weather, maxed-out credit cards and clothes which have magically tightened in conjunction with recent festive excess. London was gripped by a dry Jan juice cleanse frenzy but Mrs Flavour and I were on a mission of indulgence. After all, we were celebrating her birthday! We love the winter months, especially as many of London’s top restaurants offer deliciously affordable set menus to tempt gourmands back to their tables. We opted to check out Belgravia's Ametsa with Arzak Instruction for a spot of lunchtime Basque brilliance.
Housed in COMO The Halkin Hotel, this Michelin-starred restaurant serves exceptional Basque region fine cuisine. Seated under a canopy of multi coloured sand, we toasted our decision to take the afternoon off work with a crisp glass of Cava. The staff were funny, well mannered and highly attentive. The host even guided me on the long and complex route to the opulent bathroom. Upon return, the beautiful birthday girl and I negotiated set menu choices, each promising to share our selection equally, which seldom happens as agreed!
This was our first fancy meal of 2018 and I’m pleased to report we got off to a strong start. First up came a selection of Tapas: Flax seed crackers with vegetables, a fresh and healthy opener which gave us some of our 5 a day. A rich chunk of red Pork on a bamboo leaf and tasty nibble of Prawn with lichens offered the fine dining extravagance we craved.
For the mains, Mrs Flavour picked an interestingly presented Chicken dressed in a crispy jacket and flanked with miniature seed mountains. I found the chocolate sauce unusually placed, but that didn’t stop me stealing a few forkfuls. I had a lovely fillet of Hake, softly seared and drizzled with a rich Sea Urchin sauce. It was so good that I reneged on our earlier pact, shovelling it in so quickly that Mrs Flavour barely tasted a mouthful.
We have a similar eye for desserts and each selected the Chocolate Emeralds with Anise Flysch. These had a glittery sheen and a subtle hint of aniseed which paired nicely with the decadent bitter chocolate. The staff again demonstrated their awesomeness by bringing a decorated plate of birthday treats to Mrs Flavour’s table. This was a classy touch and just the right amount of sugar to make us feel naughty. We bade our farewells to the staff and set off to continue our sinning at the local Casino, where we won a less than impressive £10. I guess we’ll be putting that towards our next set lunch. Roll on February!