London & South East

Basque in the Iberian flavours of Ametsa

Arzak Restaurant- Halkin Hotel, the Ametsa restaurant- London

Soon to open in the Halkin Hotel, the Ametsa restaurant will be headed by a critically acclaimed team of five, known as Arzak Instruction.

Arzak Instruction was established to deliver the philosophies of a unique cooking style – the approach is rooted in the traditions of ‘New Basque Cuisine’, pairing the earthly flavours and techniques of Spain’s Basque region with modern, surprising twists. Fresh, locally-sourced and organic produce from land and sea are Ametsa’s building blocks.

The five include, Juan Mari Arzak, Elena Arzak, Mikel Sorazu, Igor Zalakain and Xabier Gutierrez. Visitors can expect Michelin stared cuisine as between Elena Arzak, who was voted World’s Best Female Chef by Restaurant magazine in 2012, and her father Juan Mari Arzak, three Michelin stars have been awarded.

The new restaurant will open its doors in February 2013 and will replace the award-winning Nahm London, which has been at the Halkin Hotel since 2000. Nahm was run by the celebrated Australian chef David Thompson and was the first Thai restaurant outside Thailand to win a Michelin star.

Speaking about Amesta, Elena said:

“Ametsa means ‘dream’ in our language – the dream of a kitchen beyond our frontiers, in the middle of London, in the heart of Halkin Hotel.”

Juan Mari Arzak added: “It is a very exciting development for us.”

The interiors of the restaurant were designed by the London-based studio AB Rogers Design and will reflect its Basque heritage.

Creative Director of the firm, Ab Rogers said:

“The interior design takes a lot of inspiration from San Sebastian and the Arzak restaurant, influenced by their passion and unique craft. We’ve used grey iridescent walls and also fitted a double fumed oak floor, but the big design feature is the ceiling.

“We have installed 7,500 glass receptacles – each filled with different spices so that diners are immersed in a rich spectrum of flavours and colour through both their food and their environment.

“Within those 7500 receptacles there are 1,000 lights, so the restaurant will feel quite magical and alive. We wanted it to be full of narrative.”

Ab added:

“To have the opportunity to create an interior for one of the world’s greatest chefs is an enormous privilege and very exciting. We’ve got an excellent building team and a great client. At AB Rogers we are really excited about finding ways to create stimulating spaces for people to eat incredible food. ”

COMO Hotels and Resorts own the Halkin Hotel and as with all COMO Hotels and Resorts, cuisine is a key element of the experience, hence the investment in the Amesta – which will pay homage to Basque heritage whilst also embracing COMO’s tradition of contemporary design.

COMO was founded by Christina Ong and manages handpicked and individually curated properties, including The Halkin, two further Metropolitan hotels in London and Bangkok, Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos, Cocoa Island in the Maldives and three Uma experience resorts in Bali and Bhutan.

Accurate and intuitive service, sympathetic and elegant design befitting each location and outstanding cuisine are hallmarks of the COMO experience.


Built upon the combined experience of its three operating subsidiaries, the C3S Group is a solutions company that offers its clients a range of services- the acronym, C3S, reflects the Group’s purpose, namely- “Corporate Safety and Security Systems

The main aim of the company is to protect people in the workplace and in public buildings, by providing products and systems which make those environments safe and secure against a wide range of threats both accidental and deliberate.

Within the field of people protection, C3S can supply the components for others to install or take the responsibility for the design and installation of complete turnkey projects within the physical safety and security sector.

Most recently the company manufactured and installed all the fixtures and fittings for the Ametsa Restaurant in the Halkin Hotel.

Speaking about the work carried out on the Ametsa, Operation Director, Grahm Ross said: “We have been working to a very tight deadline on the restaurant, but things a moving along smoothly and we will be ready for the handover next week.”

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Roma Publications

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