Harden's survey result
Notable for its associations with San Sebastian superstar chef Arzak, this hotel dining room, a chic-but-austere space near Belgrave Square, suffers from a “disappointing lack of atmosphere” (just like its predecessor, Nahm, long RIP). Opened with great fanfare five years ago, its highly ambitious Basque-inspired cuisine has never really won it the reputation anticipated for it on opening, but gradually improving ratings year-by-year suggest that it shouldn’t be written off, and that the tyre men were wrong to deprive Ruben Briones of his star last October. “Having been with different friends, we realise it is not to everyone’s taste, but we love offbeat elements throughout the menu, and everything looks so beautiful. They lost their Michelin star but we think the food is better than ever”.
“Very experimental”, “highly creative and fun tasting menus” win high praise for this “high-end Basque eatery”, and although one or two reporters “expected more given its association with the fabulous Arzak in San Sebastian”, most are dazzled by its “skilful and dramatic” cuisine. The very ‘boutique-hotel-y’ dining room is “clinical”, but “what the space lacks in ambience is more than made up for by the terrific attitude of the staff!”
“It was like having a magician as a waiter”, say fans of the Arzac family’s Belgravia outpost, extolling “course after course of treats, from mouthfuls to more substantial dishes, all exploring new tastes”. The room itself can seem “as dull as ditchwater” however, and critics are disappointed by food they find “more startling to the eye than agreeable to the palette”.
“The strange taste combinations always work better than you expect” – “incredible” – and come with “very good wine pairings” (“interesting Spanish wines never seen or heard of before”) at this Belgravia outpost of star Basque chef, Juan Mari Arzak. A disgruntled minority of reporters deliver the opposite verdict however, and the setting is “rather dull”.
Ametsa brings the flavours of the Basque Country to the heart of Belgravia at COMO The Halkin. Ametsa’s approach is rooted in the traditions of Basque cuisine, pairing the techniques of Spain’s Basque Country with British seasonal ingredients to create a selection of light tapas-style dishes and heartier sharing plates. The result is a relaxed neighbourhood dining experience for everyone to enjoy, lunch or dinner.
|Wine per bottle||£16.95|
Ametsa’s Private Dining Room can be reserved separately for a gathering of up to 24 guests, or in conjunction with the restaurant for a larger function accommodating up to 68.
Ametsa at COMO The Halkin Restaurant Diner Reviews
"The Arzak instruction has gone and the menu is now very good, near excellent, classic Basque food. The price is more reasonable too, especially if you pick up one of the frequent deal offers."
"Fine hotel restaurant in a very upscale off Hyde Park location. Excellent staff - on bar service and restaurant. Food that was less than the sum of its parts - clever in concept, superbly executed, but ultimately lacking in the big flavours associated with gutsy Spanish (or Basque) cooking. Cocina nueva with a noughties vibe. Looked amazing, subtle in texture, but no lingering taste or memory to speak of."
5 Halkin St, London, SW1X 7DJ
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm-2 pm, 6:30 pm-9:30 pm|