Last month saw the opening of the much-anticipated modern Spanish restaurant, known as Duende, located in the historic Covent Garden. At the heart of the restaurant is chef-patron Victor Garvey, serving food that he loves to eat in the kind of restaurant he likes to eat in. The dishes on the menu are inspired by Victor’s global travels and experiences, as well as his Spanish roots.
Featuring 22 covers, Duende is an intimate restaurant with a refined menu encompassing a stunning selection of dishes. Diners are usually served two or three tapas-style plates, offering the chance to taste a small variety of the mouth-watering Spanish delights.
Laid out on one level, the restaurant also has a basement for storage. The design of the interior reflects a sultry, almost sepia-based design, with the integration of bronze mirrors on the walls, copper tones and lots of cork.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Victor Garvey, chef-patron of Duende, who commented:
“The restaurant opened on Friday 4th March, and it has been incredible; the restaurant has been full every night since we opened! It has been magical.
“As guests walk in through the doors, to the right is a contemporary copper-hued bar, with seven seats, and toward the back of the bar is the kitchen.
“Immediately on the left from walking in there is a seating area with two banquette tables and high seating, and along the wall there is more stylish counter seating.
“In terms of the design, it is quite different – it’s a little bit dark and dusky. Our main motif is cork, so we have cork tiles all over the walls and in front of the bar. All of the counter tops are coated in copper.
“Unfortunately because the building is a Grade 2 listed building within a conservation area, we weren’t permitted to have a false ceiling, so in the end we just decided to create a network of black cables that now hang across the ceiling to disguise the electrical wires!”
Diners are able to observe a range of delicious foods being prepared, including cured salmon rulada, crispy sweet potato, red onion escabeche and wasabi aioli; pancetta-wrapped quail with Pedro Ximenez jus; and oyster fritura, toasted almonds and Riofrio caviar, in the open kitchen. The exciting menu is complemented by an all-Spanish wine list.
When asked how important this project was to him, Victor responded:
“It’s great – this is my first solo project, and every time I’ve done something like this halfway through I have had second thoughts and doubted myself, and it is the same with this case – but in the end it worked out and I realised it was the right decision!
“It is significant to me because it is proof of concept – it has proved to me that I can do it, which is a nice feeling.”