After a year in lockdown forced us away from family and friends – it feels even more special to be able to catch up with our favourite humans over dinner. Ahead of World paella Day we went along to Valencian restaurant Arros QD to sample the menu, share a dry-style paella and sip on sparkling wine.
The open-plan restaurant means you can also feel the heat from the wood-fired stoves, bask in the glow and watch the chefs in action as they prepare your feast. If sparkling wine is not your drink, the cocktail menu is plentiful with a variety of classics with a twist and original cocktails too. We sampled the Pera which as the name suggests features Grey Goose Pear Vodka, Patron Reposado Tequila, Bergamot Liqueur, Lime and Pear Cider. Yum.
The starters menu is divided into three sections: Soil, Sea and Land so we ordered one from each – the salty sweet miso aubergine topped with spring onion and a dash of chilly; the light and meaty grilled queen scallops and the charcoal presa Iberica. The latter stole the show like a flamenco dancer in a Valencian piazza. We loved everything about this dish from its show stopping table introduction through to the smoked flavours that were pleasantly complemented with the creamy artichoke puree and crisp. A real delight and big up to our waiter for the recommendation!
Now on to the main event. The paella. We ordered the black squidink rice with Basque cod and sugar snaps, served the traditional way with plenty of aioli (we went for black garlic). It was simply exquisite. The rich flavours are down to three-Michelin starred chef patron, Quinque Dacosta, whose seriously experienced hand prepares the robust stock for the Valencian paella-cooked rice. We started out by dishing it on to our plates but soon enough were eating straight from the pan.
For desert we enjoyed a deconstructed cheesecake with a raspberry sorbet – perfect combination of sweet, crumbly and creamy.
On the 23rd of September you can expect live flamenco guitar music to set the scene and a variety of welcome snacks and Valencian cocktails curated by Quinque Dacosta. Tickets are £80 per person and include a take-home gift from Arros QD and Quique – enabling guests to master the art of paella making at home! Tickets available here: https://www.sevenrooms.com/events/arrosqd
Can’t make it on the 23rd? Join Arros QD for another date and enjoy the best paella in town. Arros QD is located at 64 Eastcastle St, London W1W 8NQ more info and bookings via their website: www.arrosqd.com