"Aside from feeling like a wannabe 80s yuppie the food really is rather good"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
Aqua Nueva has the kind of swanky décor that makes you expect to see investment bankers, the girls from Sex and the City and the odd supermodel dining here.
This new offering from the Hong Kong-based Aqua Group gives Regent Street the Aqua Spirit Bar, the bustling Japanese eatery Aqua Kyoto, and the Spanish Aqua Nueva, all under one roof. The latter specialises in cuisine from Northern Spain, with a tapas menu for the day as well as a more experimental a la carte selection overseen by the highly acclaimed Alberto Hernandez of El Bulli fame.
Aqua Nueva also boasts a 5th floor terrace with views over London, which conveniently doubles as a smoking area on chilly days.
Aqua Nueva is not cheap. However this is to be expected of a menu that contains starters like truffled consommé with egg yolk in jelly. Does the food live up to the price? Scottish mussels, cockles, crab and clams in seawater jelly (£7.50) is a refreshing, if slightly unusual starter. The seafood is tender and contained within three jelly parcels seasoned with a hint of dill and chopped peppers.
Roast foie gras, mango confit, herb salad, melon and black tea sauce (£10.50) is phenomenal, complemented by a 2005 Muga Rioja oaky, rich and smooth.
Mains are duck breast with confit pear and quince jam (£16.00) and parsley‐crusted loin of roe deer with autumn berry sauce (£22.50), both good meats that are are still tender.
Raspberry coulis and fresh cheese ice cream with a raspberry caramel shard (£6.50) is small yet perfectly formed, rich cream counteracted by tangy raspberry. A deliciously indulgent platter of chocolate ice cream, cake, mousse, flan and caramel (£7.00) is surprisingly light.
Everything about Aqua Nueva is shiny and appealing, a highly ambitious venture for the current economic climate. Aside from feeling like a wannabe 80s yuppie the food really is rather good, it's a restaurant for those more self-indulgent moments.
Leila reviewed Aqua Nueva on Wed 28 Oct 2009