I popped by Aqua Neuva on Saturday for lunch and it was much quieter than Aqua Kyoto. Nevertheless, the staff were fantastic as was the food!
We tried the £25 for three course lunch menu, which came with a glass of cava. As we had no allergies and eat pretty much everything, we let the chef loose and he impressed! Each course was perfectly presented and bursting with flavour. Though small in size, we finished the meal with full bellies. I've seen reviews which talked about the chef's inflexibility but it didn't seem the case today.
The first course was a delicate potato and chorizo dish, followed by a chickpea and octopus dish, rounded out by the tenderest pork dish. I'm not doing these dishes justice at all! For the price, I thought the meal was great value as everything was of top quality.
On a nice day, everyone must visit the terraces. There aren't many places in that area where you can enjoy a nice glass of cava while the streets bustle below!
I love the Aqua restaurants. I need to say that among the Japanese (Kyoto), the british (Shard) and the spanish (Nueva) my favourite is the last one
I have been here with my family las weekend and enjoyed some nice tapas as starters (the croquetas are amazing) and a very good fillet of beef in spanish sauce.
My mom also tried the chocolate dessert and was really good apparently.
they also have a good wine list with normal prices, mostly comprised of spanish wines.
The tables are well spaced and the restaurant is elegant and not noisy.
The only issue that makes me give 4 starts is that they always make you wait for 10ish minutes before giving you the table: is that an attempt to sell you drinks at the bar?
Would Never so back!!!!
Staff could not explain the wine (acted like they were brand new) and the chef is not flexible at all with their menu! Tried to order a dish without mushrooms and the waiter just said "no". Incredibly rude. When the manager happened to stop by and deliver one of our dishes I mentioned to her what happened and she too said no the chef is not flexible. No response in trying to help come up with a solution.
Portions of what we ordered were tiny but beautifully presented. They are trying to go for unique flavors. The restaurant was empty on a Friday night at 8 pm. It looks like they are really struggling.
The outside Terrance was lovely however still not worth a visit.
The manager did come back at the end of the night to try to offer me a free drink. I think she realized that she also could have handled the situation better. I declined as I was not looking for anything free. I just wanted good and polite service.
Not only would I not go back but I will make sure to tell others to stay away from this place including our hotel concierge. A chef that is not flexible?! I don't expect them to stay in business much longer unless they change their attitude.
What a disaster. This place is overpriced and not even good.
While waiting for our table, we sat at the bar to order drinks and ended up waiting 15 minutes before the bartenders even took our order. We then waited another 5 minutes for drinks, which were okay but nothing special. We then walked to the "view" at the terrace, which, again, was not much of a view.
As for dinner, we ordered 8 dishes to share - a mix of tapas and main courses and none were impressive aside from a crunchy potato and egg type of dish. The only thing I really enjoyed was the dessert wine at the end. I really wish I had not dined here. Such a waste.
Very very pricy, not worth the money at all.
I can tell that they are using quality ingredients, but all the food we had were too plain and too small. We regretted going there once we tasted the food.
The service was good and they had some nice cocktails as well.
In short, over-priced and pretty - but terrible, TERRIBLE service with not much to say of the food.
Just got back from lunch here. We sat for a good 15 minutes before even being given menus - then we clocked up half hour before being brought our drinks. This is not only irritating, but with staff milling about all over the place looking bored and doing nothing, you start to get annoyed.
The two stars here are for the bread, and my dessert. My starter was luke warm and the scallops weren't very well cooked (served with potato puree with very little taste, I left most of mine). My main was a seriously overcooked piece of duck breast (such a waste) with four individual pieces of vegetable and a bed of sickly sweet apricot chutney.
My chocolate and hazelnut cake with ice cream was a little piece of heaven though, and we had great wine (though Nueva can't take credit for that!). As I said before, very good bread and oil, but I can rock up to Princi on Wardour Street and pick up a bag of ciabatta rolls for a couple of quid if that's all I want from a lunch.
The general consensus from the table was similar, with some nice parts to everyone's meals, but not enough to make us want to return. Silly expensive when you take that into consideration as well.
I've been here once previously, and honestly, I can only imagine that I'd just had too much bubbly to work out how disappointing it was.
Agree with the other two reviews, I definitely wouldn't go here again if I had the choice.
It's unfortunate that there are such poor reviews of this place. The atmosphere is trendy and dark with sophisticated decor. The service is not poor as described by other reviewers. Good for nice corporate dinners.
It's definitely pricey for the average Joe so if you have a corporate expense account, you may want to pay a visit to this place. Aqua Nueva has a nice selection of Spanish tapas. Check out the photos for a feel of what the portions/dishes look like.
The 2006 Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva wine is very nice. Cocktails are just OK (nothing too memorable and some are a little watered down for the price you pay).
The bread is served warm, which is a pleasant surprise. :)
Some tasty dishes include: seared foie gras, hand carved Iberian ham, Spanish salt cod with pig's trotter, and Iberian pork "Secreto"
If you like raw oysters and want to eat them with a twist, order the freshly shucked rock oysters on ice with seawater jelly and salmon roe.
The cheesecake is nicely presented and tastes very cheesy. So if you like cheesecake with an intense cheese flavor, you should order this dessert.
Ladies, put on those nice heels of yours and gentlemen, don't be afraid to wear that fashionable dress shirt with the cool trendy prints and nice jeans.
Lastly, don't get lost finding the place. The entrance is like an entrance of a nightclub. After you walk in, take the elevators to the 5th floor. It shares the same entrance as Aqua Kyoto. Upon arriving on the 5th floor, you will walk into the central bar of Aqua Kyoto so you'll need to turn left and walk down the dark corridor towards the bullhead to get to Aqua Nuevo.
Hum, well... This was overpriced but not as much as I thought.
The food was OK but the service wasn't. Too many waiters going everywhere. For sure, you, don't feel confortable there.
The atmosphere was not relaxed and I was expecting much more.
I will not go there again.
I'll be joining the bad reviews here, and hopefully bringing this place down from a TWO star, to the ONE it deserves! I have dined at AN three times now, and EVERY time, the service has been the same.
Aqua Neuva has one of the best layouts and decor I have seen in a restaurant. It's cool, sharp and smacks of 'awesomeness'
However. This is all it's really good for, and here's why.
1. The waiting staff.
Never in my ten years of eating at almost every restaurant in London have I come across such shoddy, ignorant and rude service. Im not sure whether it's a language barrier, but every waiter I have come into contact with at this place fails to deliver, they are unpleasant with zero social skills. I came here today, ordered drinks....20 minutes later, I had to get up and ask the manager where they were. There seemed enough staff to cover everyone, but they are all walking around like they have just joined the company and have been thrown in at the deep end. Their knowledge of how to wait on tables is ridiculous, non attentive, and rude. They tell you what ISN'T available on the menu when they come to take the order, they take forever to keep drinks coming, and scoul at you when you suggest things be hurried up.
2. The Food.
Please. Just because it looks weird, doesn't make it great. Sometimes simple is best, and this place fails badly. It's too inventive!! So much so that it just looks and tastes bad. £50 for two main courses and one side dish. Niiiiiice!
Never, will I be going back.
Swanky and pricey. This is London.
Come here for drinks, up on the 5th floor; there's no entrance fee. Cocktails, though, easily run around £10 each and even beers £6. But there's a nice terrace to stand outside on and enjoy your drink with a pretty view.
I was hesitant about booking Aqua Kyoto for a family party having had mediocre reports of its soft opening from a knowledgeable friend, but I should not have worried.
You enter through a dark cavern of an entrance opposite the Palladium and take a lift to the top of the old Dickins & Jones building where you are greeted by name - as the result of giving it to the doorman at the entrance - setting the scene for a seriously impressive experience. True, the decor is more Hong Kong nightclub than Japanese, but we were immediately taken with the space and lack of crowding - though the room was full. We sat at a comfortable banquette table where talk was eminently possible and were served by a Japanese waitress who explained the dishes to us carefully, Zuma-style, but also managed to impress my wife, who is herself Japanese, with her knowledge.
We had a dazzling array of dishes; so many that I can't recall exactly which they were, though the dobin-mushi (fish soup in a kettle) stood out as entirely authentic and delicious and the crab and other sushi dishes were uniformly excellent. The black cod was every bit as good as Nobu and twice the size and the beef was succulent melting perfection. The most important ingredient - the rice and tofu (about which we agree with sherlocksteel) were impeccable, causing us to recall similar great meals taken in Kyoto and Hong Kong. Importantly too, we were able to chose a good dry sake from the short list that was exactly what we wanted and wasn't impossibly priced. An unexpectedly fine experience; and not at all expensive for this quality at £280 for five.
Aqua Kyoto belongs to the asian high-end restaurant chain aqua. It opened just recently a branch in London with 2 separate restaurants and a bar: aqua kyoto (japanese/asian cuisine), aqua nueva (spanish), and aqua spirit (bar).
The venue is located in a former department store (hence the impressive large entrance), the setting is very spacious and stylish, with the bar and kyoto restaurant (haven't visited the nueva yet) entirely kept in red velvet and black lacquer with sophisticated dim lighting, which is directed at the table (i.e., the food) and not at people's faces.
There is a great variety of starters, open sushi, sashimi, and entrées, as well as desserts.
The professional and friendly staff recommends to order several starters to share, which we did. From tofu to tempura shrimp to sashimi, everything was absolutely delicious. Tofu for me is usually a good indicator for the quality of the kitchen: this one was crispy from the outside and velvety soft on the inside, just as it has to be, absolutely perfect. As a main course, among other things, we shared one of the sushi platters (the "innovation" platter), which was one of the best sushi I ever had, and definitely the most innovative one. Especially the crab meat sushi was totally mouthwatering.
For a group of 7 people, with 4 cocktails, a bottle of wine and lots of food, the bill was GBP320. For a posh place like this we found the pricing ok.
I will come here again and would recommend the place for a date and for dinner with friends.
Aqua has transformed the old Dickens and Jones tea terrace into a sundeck for events one of which I attended last night.
We didn`t have use of both sundecks as Bernie Ecclestone had commandeered one for his daughter`s 26th birthday. Oh Dad!
But one was enough.
Not much room to move around, mind, and I kept getting kicked by people who tried to pass in the narrow spaces...still it was fun.
Great views. Friendly staff. Good booze. Not crazy about the canapes though.
What really sticks in my mind is the Kubrick-style entrance to the arena. You have to walk quite a way in pitch dark (and are escorted by a staff member) It seems like something out of `Eyes Wide Shut`......very weird.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel....
Gourmet Belly had the joy of celebrating a Hen Night at Aqua on the weekend, and have to say, the second time around dining at Aqua Kyoto, the place still impressed!
The food was lovely and gorgeously presented, and special mention has to go out to our waiter Jimmy, who exceeded our expectations ten-fold in looking after us and the 'bride to be', with some light entertainment and laughs with the staff. Even He-Man made a guest appearance!!
Not overly expensive at about £60 per head given that we had the private dining room, suffient food and drinks flowing.
I would definitely recommend this venue for a fun night out. The staff in particular are wonderful - even allowing lots of fancy dressed groups into the venue in the spirit of Halloween. A rare find in London for a fancier bar.
So glad I found this place! I went there for drinks with some friends and was impressed by the decor and the roof terraces. The clientele was good earlier in the evening, then it took a dive. Luckily there were 3 roof terraces to choose from and it was better once we moved.
The cocktails were a bit pricey - £10 and upwards, but the staff was nice.
I had difficulty not laughing at the ludicrous pretentiousness of this restaurant. Even my host had to laugh when the "Scallops in corn soup" turned out to be one small scallop cut in half sitting in a dollop of orange goop in the middle of a saucer the size of a large dinner plate. The only thing that resembled normal Spanish food were the fried potatoes which were good, but then, it's not exactly a reference.
The service was either chaotic or disdainful, as if we were not sufficiently beau monde to receive any attention. Dishes arrived without any noticeable cadence, and it took 20 minutes for two coffees to arrive.
The decor was impressive and the whole fit out must have cost a fortune, as no doubt did our meal. Maybe this serves as a place for suits to show off the size of their wad to gullible young ladies who mistake expensive for good.
Beautiful bar area. Amazing corridor leading to the restaurant. Disappointing once inside-- large, awkward room. Horrible service-- Asked for salt, never came. Had to wave frantically every time we wanted to order. Server asked why I didn't eat the salmon, told him it wasn't cooked right, told me he would go ask the chef about it...NEVER came back to tell me anything! Bad, BAD food. Scallop starter- scallops were nice, "potato mash" tasted like flour and water...absolutely NO seasoning and the mushrooms tasted like they'd been boiled, with no seasoning either. Also was luke warm, which led me to believe it was originally supposed to be actually warm. Salmon main-- first off, the 7 other people at the table had their entrees a good 5 minutes before mine finally came, with absolutely no word from the waiter about what was going on. When it finally came the first bite was really nice...then I realized with the second bite that only the outside had been cooked, I love my salmon rare in the middle, but it couldn't have been cooked for more than 30 seconds per side, like maybe they forgot to make it and tried to rush it. Chocolate cake dessert was nothing special...I made chocolate cake from scratch for the first time a few weeks ago and it was miles above this cake...and it was my FIRST TRY! Now they did take some wine off our bill, so it wasn't a total loss, and very nice of them to do (even it was was absolutely called for!).
This place is new-ish, so maybe they just haven't gotten it together....but they seriously need to figure it out. Maybe they should have spent less time trying to make this place SEEM exclusive and more time actually making it a place that so many people wanted to come, that it actually became exclusive?
OH, and to top off the night.....the coat girls lost our ticket after we handed it to them and acted like we were somehow at fault....we waited for 15 minutes while 4 of them searched, then we eventually had to go in the room and find them OURSELVES! Wow.
Las Vegas is wonderful for many things, among them a real sense of pomp and circumstance around the art of eating. Sure, you can grab a burger, or queue up at the trough of an all you can eat buffet to feed your face with the best of them, but there are plenty of places where flair is key. I was reminded of this as I entered the slightly schizophrenic entrance of Aqua, two restaurants for one, in the old Dickens and Jones store on Argyll Street. Heavy red drapes, suited flunkys and confusing mirrors remind you more of the circus house in Twin Peaks than luxe dining. A lift to the loft disgorges you into another welcome annex, with yet more floating staff, and by the time you enter the main bar you feel thoroughly confused.
The main bar is decorated in a generic international style. Chinoise fabrics, opulent drapes and tall banquette tables surround the semi-circular bar - occupied by skinny pretty girls and the braying suits who pay for them flood the space. From the main bar, the space leads off to a Japanese restaurant on one side and a Spanglish restaurant with its own bar on the other end of a long corridor. It's owned by a consortium of Chinese businessmen and seems determined to pick and pinch from every cultural influence it can.
The Spanish side of the space is very separate and feels lighter in style, like eating in the lobby of a Four Seasons hotel rather than chowing down in the nightclub. The international feel carries on, with French and Polish staff treading their way carefully round the menu. Our stumped 'sommelier' finally recommended a Rioja as being the most Spanish, desperate as he was to veer towards the upper reaches of the list. Tap water wasn't offered.
The menu has a Spanish twist, but in the loosest sense of the phrase. We tried to do tapas, but you'll fare just as well going for starters, main course and desserts. The plate of Iberico ham was thickly and badly carved, chewier than it should be against the grain, and a stretch at £18 for around 125 grams of the rich, gamey meat - even in Borough Market you'd be pushing it to pay more than a fiver for that quantity. Other starters of octopus, sliced sausages and croquettes were acceptable, but not exactly memorable, though they did have a grassy and tart extra virgin olive oil I could have almost drunk neat.
The mains followed a similar vein. Monkfish 'adobo' was a pleasant piece of fish, but bore no trace of the titular marinade, a spicy Latin American base of peppers, oregano and cumin. Of the other mains, a beef tenderloin was a well cooked yet dainty slab, served simply with pimentos de padron, a simple if incongruous side to the dish. The boiled 'confit' tomatoes were left untouched. We'd attempted to order the peppers as a tapas plate and had initially been told that they weren't in season. To be fair to the restaurant, when we pointed out that they were the side of one of the main dishes, they did offer to cook an extra portion as a side, though charged us prettily for the pleasure of the simple salted peppers.
For a Wednesday night in November, pre party season and a year after opening, both sides of the restaurant and the two large bars were buzzy and busy. It's an impressive state of affairs considering the punchy prices and determinedly inauthentic concepts. But this place doesn't appeal to or aim at the determined foodie. If you want to eat authentic Japanese and / or Spanish, there are a dozen better within walking distance. But if you're entertaining clients, models or proving to friends that you are in the know prior to a night jousting with AMEX Black cards in nearby Movida, then you may just have found your new go to destination of choice.
This place is really swanky and nice. You enter and basically strut down a catwalk to the reception, where you can choose one side for tapas, or the other for sushi. Really fun place to go for drinks and a small bit. We chose tapas and sat at the bar since the dining hall is a multiple course meal requirement. The food was great, but the service was pretty horrible. It took forever just to get water, and they added gratuity for a party of 2. I found that weird. The patio is nice, it's a lovely view of London. I'd probably give this another try and hope the service is a bit better.
Went here for a work dinner last week. Good ambience and felt like I was entering a club rather than a restaurant - red carpets, dim lighting. We went to the Spanish restaurant and the food was ordinary. Not good not bad. The quality of the mojitos I was drinking steadily got worse over the course of the evening (or was I getting drunk?). Am I going back? NO
The tapas were lovely. We sat at the bar and had fantastic service after we chatted up the waitstaff. Pricey and too "posh" but we had a good time.. Id recommend to have a new experience but I won't be returning myself
Visited Aqua for an after work drink. Only one of the rooftop bars was open so needless to say it was absolutely packed outside, both at the bar and in the standing area. Needless to say we only stayed for one drink. The cocktail I had was delicious but pricey.
Loved the decoration, the ambiance, the stile, the music, THE FOOD, I love Japanese food anyway. The service...hum! Can be improved. I will definitely go there again.
I went to Aqua for my birthday in late October. We went on the Japanese side as opposed to the Spanish side as the restaurant offers two types of cuisine. The restaurant is gorgeous and it is the perfect place for a date. We had a nice cocktail by the bar and then headed to our table. The service was horrible. It took 15 minutes to be acknowledged and have the menus on our table. Once we placed the order, it took for ever to get our food. We could tell that the whole staff was disorganised. We spent 3 hours in this restaurant and could not wait to get out. We complained to the waitress who was apologizing and mentioned that they just opened etc. We had to pay full price ( and believe me it is not cheap) for good food in a complete chaotic service. I am not ready to go back for food. I will though have a drink and enjoy their superb terrace in the summer time.
This place is a showy expensive place but WELL worth the visit. I somtimes bring first dates here (whoops, cat's out the bag). The trick is to take them through the corridor and out to the second roof terrace it's very cool.
great venue. fantastic during summer time. prices are ok for central London.
Went here last friday after watching a show across the road, was a little unsure of the place at first because it has a high end appearence. but my girlfreind insisted we should go in because she had heard of the place when researching roof top bars in London which she enjoys going to because of the views. so we went up in the lift and was greated by very attaractive but also helpful hosts who took our coats and pointed us in the direction of the bar. I really like bars that have a great cocktail list and this place does one slight downer was it was abit too busy but it was a friday night in the city so I suppose that goes without saying. so we waited for aroung 15 mins for our drinks which I had a manhatten unfortunatly there was abit too much rosso in it but I drank it never the less and my girlfreind had a nice girly cocktail which she loved, we drank them outside on the rooftop bar which was very impressive and had some great views of city although the drinks were quite abit I would say it was worth it.
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