Oops, I just re-found this blog posting – which I had forgotten to publish – about my recent, brilliantly wheelchair accessible, visit to Ametsa at The Halkin Hotel in Knightsbridge.
I have been to eat a few times at The Halkin when Nahm, the wonderful Thai restaurant overseen by David Thompson, occupied the space in which Ametsa now resides so I knew just how accessible it was.
And, really, wheelchair access couldn’t be easier. We pulled up outside, I rolled from ramp to restaurant on level ground all the way. Spacious restaurant: I settled at the table whilst D parked up on single yellow’s a few yards down the road (The Halkin is in the relatively quiet back-space of Knightsbridge). Getting out: just as easy.
Honestly, I could just weep with relief when access is as simple as this. Would it were always so.
And the foodie experience?
If you don’t know of Ametsa, it’s linked to Arzak, one of the great Basque restaurants that came to the fore some years ago, along with El Bulli and Mugaritz. The Halkin describe it as their:
… new Basque restaurant, Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, serv[ing] spanish gastronomy from acclaimed three Michein stars chefs.
And, it was … well, it didn’t blow me away but it was excellent.
Well prepared and presented food with a few fun surprises in taste and style, friendly people and a comfortable, if slightly chilly – in decor, environment.
A week and a half on, I remember as highlights the dainty mouthfuls of light crunchy appetisers, including a yummy black pudding and seedy cracker explosion in the mouth; the sweetness of succulent langoustines; a gorgeously dark slab of seared Black Mojo tune, an unrecognisably deconstructed banana tart tatin and a dessert called Fractal de Hidromiel – ‘mead fractal’ – which sounded unappetising yet was an amazing creation of porridge looking stuff with a red liquid dressing that exploded across it like a blood tinged snowflake. So unexpected and it tasted divine.
Of course, it’s another central London expensive foodie treat – we paid about £300 per couple for the evening tasting menu with a fair amount of alcohol but, for quality, accessibility and interest, I may be back to try the a la carte or lunchtime options.
Ametsa at The Halkin Hotel: definitely recommended to anyone who likes to expand their culinary boundaries whilst socialising.