It had been some while (like a couple of years) since I had last dined at Aqua Nueva, but I still held strong memories of how much I enjoyed my meal when I recently accepted an invitation to return for a visit after the soft launch of this Spanish restaurant that’s just reopened after a long hiatus for refurbishment.
In all honesty, I couldn’t tell how much of an updating had taken place – it still looked and felt like the same ultra-swish dining space co-sharing with Japanese eatery, Aqua Kyoto. But what you’ll experience when you visit include sumptuous leather seating, ornate metal fretwork, bronze paneling and mosaic floors.
If my recollections were a little unreliable when it comes to noting interior design, it’s still on point when we’re talking food. And I’m pleased to say Chef Alberto Herdandez’s new menu offers plenty of unforgettable flavour.
I loved – and have been craving to have again since my visit – the secreto con patatas ali-oli (a special cut of grilled Iberian pork with aioli potatoes, £9.50). Among the other highlights were chilled, roasted and marinated aubergines served “almagro” style (£6); grilled cuttlefish with cod brandade and potato “violette,” £8.50); marinated crab salad with green apple (£10.50); and a sensational lemongrass rice pudding with blackberries (£6.50).
The wine list was a tasty read and, as you might expect, largely in Spanish. I was happy with a glass each of Picpoul de Pinet, Domaine de Belle Mare, 2014 (£8 for a glass, £30 for a bottle) and Rioja Reserva, Marques de Murrieta, 2009 (£12.50 for a glass, £50 for a bottle).
Service was prompt, informative and friendly.
Aqua Nueva is located on the fifth floor of 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR with its entrance around the block at 30 Argyll Street. Find out more info at aqua.com.hk.