Chef Fernando Arévalo interprets this abstract notion by drawing on his personal experiences. This new chapter sheds light on noteworthy moments, processes, and his own journey as a Colombian-born chef who has worked in French, Italian, and Mediterranean kitchens. His intriguing ethos of ‘Author’s Cuisine’ — dishes reflecting individual experiences, experimentation, and the seasonality of ingredients rather than their country of origin — continues to shine through in the establishment’s many unforgettable offerings.
Tones of grey, beige, and brown permeate the elegant space, while time-related centrepieces, such as hourglasses and structures crafted out of gears, sit pretty on each wooden table. The centre dining hall seats 44 people, but the well-spaced layout imparts a sense of privacy and makes each party feel as if they were in their own bubble.
Served on a striking deep blue tray, one of the first things that confronts you is a mysterious noise akin to the ticking of a clock. Lean in closer and discover that the sound comes from ‘2 minutes,’ a single spiked Brittany oyster topped with pop candy and granita that’s infused with tomato water, cayenne pepper and white wine vinegar. Its name refers to the amount of time taken to shuck and plate the bivalve. The whimsical addition recalls memories of childhood and adds a touch of sweetness to the creamy, briny morsel.
‘6 months’ features a half-moon-shaped portion of marinated squash anointed with anchovies from Biscay, chia seeds, and salted vanilla cream. Its name alludes to the time taken for the fish to rest after being filleted, salted, and pressed — processes that Chef Arévalo had the opportunity to watch while visiting the producer in Spain. Marinated in olive oil and lemon, the anchovies add a profound depth to the otherwise delicately flavoured root vegetable.
Out of Time
A decadent cod liver sauce adorns stalks of French white asparagus in ‘Out of Time.’ The crystalline vegetable is confit in butter and a touch of sherry vinegar. Each bite imparts a light sweetness, a satisfying crunch, and proves to be the perfect vessel for the potent (but never overwhelming) fish-based sauce. The addition of black winter truffle slices only emphasises the dish’s rich, earthy flavours while ruby red baubles of sour cherry jelly add a kiss of acidity, although the arrangement would’ve been equally impressive without.
Dish of a Lifetime
Iberico pork presa from the Spanish province of Salamanca and obsiblue prawns form the backbone of the ‘Dish of a Lifetime.’ The dish alludes to Chef Fernando Arévalo’s life journey as he has been cooking it prior to his culinary career. Here, the crustacean is cut into paper-thin sheets and envelops a slab of oven-cooked pig shoulder that’s been marinated in spices for 12 hours. The meat is incredibly juicy and bears a brilliant shade of red while the prawn provides an unbridled taste of the ocean. Enjoy with a generous smear of creamy white carrot purée and piquant relish made from Roma and Datterini tomatoes.
Three-week dry-aged duck from the French poultry farm Mieral stars in this dish. Duck legs are confit in pork and duck fat, before being torn apart and mixed with butter and plum. This mixture is then stuffed into three ravioli-like parcels, topped with a smattering of pork crackling, and accompanied by a refreshing purée of Jerusalem artichoke. Each mouthful is sublime and bursts with flavour, only ever punctuated by the crunchiness of the crackling and a swipe of the tangy agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce on the side. A personal favourite.
The dessert ‘Amona’ takes its name from the Basque word for grandmother. Pastry Chef Elena Pérez de Carrasco draws inspiration from her childhood, where her grandmother would spread chocolate over traditional bread for an after-school snack. A scoop of house-made fougasse bread ice cream sits atop biscuit crumbs and glistening orbs of olive oil. Delicate layers of Jivara chocolate feuilletine (thin crêpe layers) and hazelnut dacquoise (a cake with almond, meringue, and cream) accompany the aromatic ensemble.