Arzak heading for London?
- PhilD Nov 25, 2012 11:28 PM
I hear Nahm is closing and if press reports are true its space at the Halkin Hotel is set to see a branch of San Sebastians Arzak open. Very interesting.
It's a shame about Nahm, the Bangkok branch was an absolutely fantastic meal when I ate there.
I've seen the reports on Elena Arzak coming over and it would be fascinating if true but I am always a bit dubious about such openings - when you look at how the San Sebastian restaurant has been handed down through the generations you can't really hope to outsource and replicate that. Unless of course Elena fancies coming over here full-time in which case it would be incredible.
Thompson cites the impossibility of sourcing good Thai ingredients in London and thus a constant compromise in quality. My assumption is that he stuck at it for so long because he was tied into a hotel contract. I was always luke warm about the London Nahm, and although the food is better at the Bangkok restaurant the room and service left me a bit cold.
Agree about transplants - living in Asia we get a lot - the last I tried was Atherton's 22 Ships in HK - a rather mediocre tapas bar with a full on London attitude - hopefully it will have mellowed when I try again. I suspect Arzak is owes much to its sense of place (I loved the dining room and service) so if it comes to London it will be interesting.
We chose to go to Mugaritz and Akelare last year so have never tried Arzak. I'm really keen to but I'd probably save it for the next trip to SS even if they opened in London. I'm sure the food would be excellent though.
I saw what David Thompson said, it's a real shame and you'd have thought nowadays you'd be able to fly many of the non-fresh stuff in from Thailand. That said I never went to the Halkin myself. We loved Nahm Bangkok and were served really well there, but then it was the first night of a holiday so you're always going to be in a good frame of mind.
Does Jason Atherton have some serious HK or Singaporean backers or is it just because his wife is from out there?
Don't know about HK, but Atherton's financial backer here in Singapore is local hotelier, Loh Lik Peng:
Loh's quite well-known for a slew of hip hotels and eateries. Now, he's got Atherton in to lend his name on at least 3 eateries thus far: Pollen, Esquina and Keong Saik Snacks.