Sharing isn’t a concept that comes naturally to most siblings, but my brother and I are happy to give it a go when it comes to eating out. Particularly when the food in question comes from a three Michelin-starred chef.
Arros QD in Fitzrovia is Quique Dacosta’s first restaurant outside his home country of Spain. Specialising in rice, the basic staple often bemoaned by the contestants on I’m a Celebrity…, it doesn’t sound exciting, but we’ve been assured that this place is far from ordinary.
Dacosta’s mission is to share his passion for seasonal dishes by reinterpreting traditional Mediterranean favourites. The centrally located kitchen brings a real sense of theatre, with flaming wood fires, on which the food is cooked, creating a dynamic and dramatic atmosphere to enjoy whilst you dine.
Our knowledgeable waitress recommends we choose three dishes to share for starters. First up we are presented with what look like four black pebbles, but are in fact cheese stones. A hard shell of cocoa butter gives way to a rich and creamy combination of Parmesan and manchego. The seasonal cherry tomatoes, with tomato snow and sundried tomato emulsion that follow are refreshing and packed full of flavour. But the stand out dish is the prawn skewers topped with tomato salsa. They are absolutely delicious! So much so that one each left us wanting more.
Fortunately we save ourselves for the main event, Iberian presa paella for two. You needn’t worry about meagre portion sizes here, there is certainly plenty to go around. The meat, a prized rare cut, melts in the mouth and we scrape the caramelised edges of the giant pan until it is clean.
There’s still space for dessert, though. I plump for the pistachio sponge, while my brother tries the cheesecake. Both prove to be light, flavourful endings to the meal. Managing to taste both truly authentic but modern at the same time is no mean feat, but Dacosta has successfully managed to evolve the traditional Spanish favourite, losing none of what makes it a classic in the first place.
64 Eastcastle Street, W1W (020 3883 3525; arrosqd.com)
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