When I hear the words ‘free flowing’, I immediately picture a magical setting, unicorns and delicious food and the like, but most importantly, featuring a dazzling beaut of a champagne fountain. Now sadly I’ve never actually seen a fountain of fizz (but my birthday IS coming up…), but I can dream and an email from Bookatable telling me about their free flowing bubbles deals sends a delicious shiver up my spine and one step closer to one day this bubbly fountain actually materialising.
Bookatable do a pretty awesome job on their deals, I checked out the divine 3 Michelin starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester for a steal and every time I pop over to the site, their booking functionality gets better and better so it was really easy to book in for a special bubbly date for myself and the hubby, our first outing since the sprog arrived on the scene.
We’ve chosen Aqua Nueva, a Spanish joint from the Aqua family of restaurants featuring a setting overlooking Regent’s Street and on warm days, an enviable rooftop bar. Our deal is for 4 dishes with an unlimited supply of Cava for £45 per person or you can choose the same offer sans bubbles for £29pp and simply order your own drinks when you get there. But why would you not want the bubbles I ask you!
The staff waste no time in getting down to business and setting us up with our delicious bubbles, which makes for a great start while we decide what to order. With some help from Luila, our lovely waitress, we order up a wide selection, choosing from all parts of the menu. We start off with some warm bread and olive oil, which we need as the cava is sliding down at an alarmingly happy rate.
The smoked vegetables with crispy bread is a restaurant speciality, but we couldn’t actually distinguish between the vegetables as they all had the same smoky flavour, tasty though it was! The tomatoes were a stand-out though, the whole plate could have happily been grilled tomatoes and we would have been happy!
More success came with the seafood courses, we opted for lime and coriander marinated scallops, crab salad and red mullet served with squid ink pastry parcels and aioli. The scallops were fresh and zingy and they seemed a bit more in line with Asian flavours than Spanish, but they were so light and tasty, we didn’t care to challenge where those flavours were really coming from. The crab salad came with an apple vinaigrette and while again fitting in with the light and fresh tastes, couldn’t compete with the stand out red mullet.
I’ve never seen black squid ink rice cooked into pastry parcels and these were utterly delectable when combined with the garlicky aioli and I’m so glad this is a fairly large portion as things could have come to a sticky end had there not been enough of this to go around!
The seafood dishes have only whetted the appetite and the eagerly awaited meat courses do not let us down. We’ve gone with all the restaurant’s recommendations and we’re served up a soft poached egg with chorizo, pancetta and fried potato, grilled Iberian crispy pork, braised lamb and mature rib-eye.
The chorizo, pancetta and fried potato is a crispy sort of finely chopped hash brown and I could have eaten this by the plateful – and luckily since this wasn’t the husband’s favourite dish, I pretty much did get to polish it all off. The grilled crispy pork came complete with more of the garlicky aioli and the lamb and rib eye were beautifully perfectly cooked.
All the while through our meal, the cava is free flowing and we’re soon full with a heady delicious feeling of all that is right with the world.
If I had to offer one complaint, it would be that the restaurant remains resolutely quiet, no more than 3 other tables are occupied and in such a large space, it does lack a bit of atmosphere which is a shame. Hopefully when you’ve all read this, you’ll take to Bookatable in your hordes to make a booking and lend them some much needed buzz. This deal is only going till the 30th September, so get booking soon, this is the only way to celebrate a Sunday.
Aqua Nueva can be found at 5th Floor, 240 Regent St, London W1B 3BR. To take advantage of this deal, you’ll need to book here.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Bookatable and asked to review their free flowing deals that they offer on their site. The restaurant was not aware that I was a blogger.