Jason Allen 12/05/23
Abajo | 10-seater chef’s table underneath HUMO
Abajo is a Spanish word that means ‘below’, and you’ll find it appropriately below one of the best new restaurants in Mayfair, HUMO.
Despite the name, however, everything here is very much a cut above.
Walking in, you’ll be whipped through the restaurant upstairs, past the roaring open-fire grill, the bustling staff, and the chattering customers, and down a cast iron spiral staircase into Abajo. There you’ll find a small countertop with just ten comfortable seats lining it on one side, and a petite little kitchen on the other, all surrounded by fridges & air dryers, with enough stunning wine, meat and fish variously aeging and infusing in their transparent chambers to make you start salivating.
To kick off the proceedings, you’ll have a cocktail mixed by the resident barkeep, and once everyone has arrived, you’ll then be introduced to the rest of the team, headed up by chef Giacomo Tranquilli. Throughout the evening, he’ll be preparing five ‘steps’, each with multiple courses, each with its own distinct theme, and each explained & introduced by Giacomo. Which, as you may have discerned, means you don’t get a menu.
What follows is a parade of creativity, invention, and good old fashioned flavour. The dishes change weekly, but you can expect the likes of a surprising seaweed consomme with vanilla; luxuriant otoro fatty tune with an elderflower salad; comforting apsaragus cacio e pepe with Scottish langoustines; crispy red mullet tempura with courgette flowers and sea fennel; rich lamb saddle with smoked eel; and lively espresso martini choux buns, to name but a small portion of the seemingly endless series of servings that you’ll get.
Pairing all of this up, the resident sommelier Merlin Ramos will skilfully match everything up with a suitable bottle pulled from the cellar (or indeed the cases surrounding you), and true to his name, he really is something of a wine wizard.
When it’s all wrapped up, there’ll be more chatting, more drinks, and a goodbye from the team…
…and then you get the menu.
NOTE: Abajo is open now, Thursday to Saturday. Each sitting costs £130pp. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.
HUMO | 12 St. George Street, W1S 2FB
Dining in Mayfair…need more tips? Have a scroll through the best Mayfair restaurants, handpicked by The Nudge.
12 St. George Street, Mayfair, Central London, W1S 2FB
9.0 | Amazing
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