london: ametsa with arzak instruction restaurant opening

© the halkin by como - the entrance to a culinary haven

london is one of the planet's truly global hubs and has boasted a level of urban sophistication that's been around for as long as we can remember, and which is rivalled by only a handful of cities across the planet. the latest boom in luxury hospitality started well before the 2012 olympics and proves to be an ongoing thing, spawning a growing number of exciting new establishments in central london. the halkin by como opened in 2004, and is a contemporary luxury hotel housed in a row of georgian-style brick houses just south of hyde park. last week the property opened a striking new basque restaurant on the premises, and very much a destination in its own right.

quirkily named ametsa with arzak instruction - ametsa means 'dream' in basque - it's helmed by no less than five top chefs. there's elena arzak and her father juan mari arzak, who also own a highly acclaimed eatery in san sebastián, along with mikel sorazu, igor zalakain and xabier gutierrez. ametsa with arzak instruction boasts a sleek, modern and elegant interior, created by london-based practice ab rogers that both reflects basque heritage and embracing como hotels’ tradition of contemporary design. the seemingly ondulating ceiling - created from thousands of glass receptacles filled with coloured spices that are a strong presence in the arzak’s cooking - clearly is the focal point.

mirrors are placed along one side of the dining space, engraved with illustrations of the encased spices. massive perforated doors partially screen the restaurant from the entrance lobby. the floor is lined with oak that's laid at a 30 degree angle, adding up to the subtle visual splendour. so, what's cookin' at ametsa with arzak instruction? as the culinary approach here is rooted in the traditions of new basque cuisine, earthy flavours and techniques of the basque region are creatively paired with modern and surprising twists. fresh, locally-sourced and organic produce from land and sea are the restaurant`s building blocks, and are served in delicately structured dishes. ametsa with arzak instruction serves both lunch and dinner. location: the halkin by como, 5 halkin street, ground floor [knightsbridge].

© the halkin - the stunning dining area, one of ametsa's dishes and the five top chefs [top to bottom]