The 60 seater has outgrown the talents of the chef, and an additional venue in the West End is being urgently sought as you read this. The décor is slightly unusual with giant alligators on the wall and broken tiles and plaster whorls with an open kitchen on the ground floor helping create a bustling atmosphere. I could have done with some light background music however-a touch of Paco Pena would have gone down well and would have improved the atmosphere even more. I started out with nicely chilled Gazpacho soup with steamed lobster, croutons and virgin olive oil (£10). Very pleasant flavour, not too rich and the croutons were just how I like them, nice and crispy. My dining companion was an old friend who now teaches at Nottingham University .He has been to Seville a few times rating it as one of the best cities in the world, and he also found Nacho's cooking highly imaginative and different to what he had experienced there. We also had to try one of chefs signature dishes, the elaborately named Pimientos de Piquillo Rellenos de Brandada de Bacalao, Salsa de Tinta (Roasted Spanish Pepper stuffed with Cod Mousse, Leek and Courgette Nest with Squid ink sauce). Highly unusual dish but not something I would order again, as I found the sauce tasteless and rather bitter.
Further specialities followed such as a delicious pork fillet with spanish peppers and paprika on a bed of sauteed potatoes and fried baby calamari stuffed with prawns and spinach in a hot saffron sauce. Detailed reports were unfortunately misplaced following the second bottle of Spanish wine selected from the wine list which is of course, all Spanish. Dessert wines are also a speciality at Gaudi's and should be tried along with the desserts if you have any room left. The 1972 Pedro Ximenez red is one well worth trying. Try The Gaudi experience for yourself maybe originally for lunch to see if the style of food is up your street, as it is a dining event slightly out of the ordinary with plenty of challenges for the taste buds.
Michael Hepworth-September 99.
Average price for two w/wine £80
Open for lunch-Set price £12.50 TO £15
Nearest tube-Farringdon home page