Superb contemporary Spanish cuisine is headlined by summer specialties including jet-fresh seasonal tuna and giant ‘botan’ prawns at its newly relocated venue at Nali Patio in fashionable Sanlitun.
Chef Valles is personally recommending the succulent jumbo ‘botan’ prawns priced at RMB 50 each – “but only if you eat the head”, which he insists is the tastiest bit.
Mediterranean-style tuna belly is also on the new menu. Comparable to Japan’s prized ‘toro’, it is presented slightly torch-flamed with vinegary shallots or seared and served with mushrooms, balsamic and ‘dashi’, juicy rice at RMB 280.
Also recommended are two traditional Spanish summer specialties, smoked eggplant with basil creamy rice (RMB 98) and lamb loin with eggplant and roasted tomato (RMB 220).
Tapas platters designed for sharing and starting from just RMB 25 range from homemade sausages and chorizo – a unique specialty of the chic restaurant – to aged Iberico ham, swordfish belly carpaccio, fresh shrimps, cold Spanish piquillo peppers stuffed with tuna, Manchego cheese, pork and duck terrine and simple toasted tomato bread.
Main courses for two or four to share include the restaurant’s signature dish, half a traditional-style crispy suckling pig (RMB 380), 1kg of rib eye on the bone (RMB 628), and juicy lobster rice (RMB 598).
As well as market fresh ‘Fish of the Day’ (RMB 188), slowly cooked Wagyu veal cheek with marinated plums and beetroot salad (RMB 188) is a melt-in-your-mouth summer specialty, along with oxtail stuffed with Rougié duck liver, served with pumpkin purée and glazed parsnip (RMB 220).
Authentic Spanish desserts priced from RMB 48-58 feature traditional Spanish Torrija, served with a catalan cream and almonds scented with Havana Club rum, apple tart & ice cream, coulant of chocolate and basil served with coconut toffee, chocolate truffle tart with hazelnut ice cream and spiced, caramelised fresh pineapple, served with vanilla bourbon ice cream and cocoa biscuit.
Since moving to the 4th floor of Nali Patio, home to a unique courtyard of Spanish restaurants, cafes, delicatessens and designers, Agua Beijing has again been voted Beijing’s 2011 Best Spanish Restaurant of the Year by lifestyle magazines, The Beijinger and City Weekend – with Executive Chef Valles voted ‘Best Chef’.
The remarkable achievement mirrors the same awards collected two years ago at its previous venue.
Agua’s wine list also features 70 of the finest wines available in Beijing with 30 exclusive to Agua including less common grape varietals, boutique growers (Olga Raffault, Federico, San Roman) and upcoming wine regions (Ribera Del Duero, Toro, Montsant).
Agua is managed and operated by Hong Kong based Aqua Restaurant Group.
Source = Agua Beijing / Aqua Restaurant Group