Avant garde tapas
|Foie Gras Stuffed Quail|
Spain provides some of the very best restaurants in the world, which makes Spanish cuisine have the highest number of chefs injecting imaginative elements and standing inspirational to others around the globe. I have tasted some widely creative tapas from my trips to Spain so I was pleased to find a restaurant taking on a similar concept in the name of Duende in Covent Garden. Victor Garvey's latest restaurant is in a rather competitive area surrounded by restaurants of all kind. The decor of Duende is dark and edgy, this tiny 20 seated restaurant has a slick looking open bar and kitchen, with artwork of wires spreading across the ceiling. The menu is tapas style with our waiter suggesting us to order 3 dishes per person to share.
|stuff olives, pepper, blue cheese and anchovies|
|Galician Seaweed Salad|
|Aubergine & Goat's Cheese Croquetas|
|Semi-Cured Galician Beef Filet|
The semi-cured Galician beef fillet is one of those dishes that I would consider as a "knock out" dish. The combination of pickled mushroom and truffle really took the richness of the fillet to the next level, it is perhaps the best cured meat dishes I have had in London. The Galician seaweed salad is another triumph, it is wrapped with masterfully sliced avocado and topped with an Oriental styled vinaigrette, this shows innovative approach from the kitchen executed in a pretty speculator way. Foie Gras stuffed Quail wrapped with Iberian pancetta have an unusual presentation, the intense flavours from the pancetta married nicely with the boldness of the tender fried quail.
|Crispy Tiger Prawns|
|Smoked Sardine “Bocadillos”|
|Turron de Gijona Ice Cream Sandwiches|
It was a pretty eye opening meal at Duende, some very avant garde and out of the box elements. It was good to see such a creative restaurant, where no one else in London is doing what they are doing right now, making it very exciting. The only places that I can think in the world doing similar stuff is Tapas 24 and Bodega 1900 in Barcelona. The only downside from my evening was that the dessert dishes were far less accomplished but then again that was reflected in the price (£5) comparing to the savoury dishes. Keep in mind due to nature of a tapas restaurant, the seats are not the most comfortable and your dishes arrive none in orders and at a pretty fast pace.
What I paid:
£35 per head
Average cost without drinks and services:
16 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NJ