Had a wonderful meal at The Montagu (in Hyatt hotel London). We were on the Chef’s Table, right in front of the impressive open kitchen.
First, we had champagne and iberico cured ham (two of my favourite things in the world). Then, superb tapas was followed by half a lobster on saffron rice. After that, we had some outstanding roast iberico pork – vaguely pink, fragrant and extremely juicy – and a platter of five mini desserts.
The photos below don't do the tapas justice. They look very pretty but this is misleading, because they maintained real gritty authenticity, and were full of punchy Spanish flavours.
Between courses we had wine tasting with the lovely Trindad Villegas, Export Manager of Bodegas LAN wines . She talked us through the wines that we had with each course, including a fascinating white rioja - Santiago Ruiz - that smelled exactly like a rich, honeyed dessert wine, but tasted fresh, crisp and clean.
And apart from the food and wine tasting, we also of course had the pleasure of the Head Chef's surprisingly relaxed company - which he managed to fit in, between bouts of catering for us and the rest of the restaurant. Carlos Machado might make thoroughly authentic tapas, but he is actually Portuguese, and chats passionately about the cuisine of his own country. Carlos is the ideal asset for a chef’s table, as he’s completely down-to-earth and personable - despite his obvious talent and rapid professional progress.
Spanish black pudding with poached quails' eggs
Rioja with Trinidad in the background
Spicy Octopus - another of my favourites. It was served in the most fantastic olive oil
Carlos Machado, Head Chef
Themes for the Chef's Table at The Montagu vary, so check you're getting a cuisine you love before you book.