It's just about a month old when Aqua opened in London. And yes, it's the same Aqua as the one on No 1 Peking Road. Well, the entrance on Argyll Street makes a bit of a statement - crimson velvet decor with a sleekly dressed receptionist guiding you to the lift. When you get to the top floor, it opens out into a series of bar and dining areas.
My destination was Aqua Nueva - the Spanish part of this drinking-dining complex. That meant I was guided along an atmospherically lit corridor before I got to the the restaurant. It's well lit with a terrace looking out to a roof top terrace. Unlike Aqua in Hong Kong where it has the spectacular harbour view, the London one only looks out to a roof-top view.
Rather than wading through the tapas and a la carte menus, I just asked the maitre d' to bring a selection of their tapas. I was pleasant surprised by the delicate croquette of mushrooms, lightly cooked octopus, braised pork, San Pietro fillets, Manchengo topped tortilla and flavourful Salamanca jamon. All was very well prepared and justly presented (after all it was tapas so there was no need for elaborate dressing). Though we had little room left, we still managed to squeeze in a dessert of pastry roll filled with orange cream.
Given it's centrally located (one street off Oxford Circus), bright open space, roof top terrace, and half decent food, I think Aqua London may have a bright future. Let's see how it will do over the upcoming festive period.