Jason Allen 07/10/21
El Ta’Koy is a moody, subterranean Hawaiian tiki den whose culinary inspiration spans from Asia alllll the way across to Latin America.
It couldn’t really be any more Pacific.
It’s the project of Cuban-born chef Luis Pous, who already has a couple of other El Ta’Koy branches in New York & Miami. But now he’s landed in Covent Garden with a first international venue that forms one of the prongs in the 3 Henrietta Street trifecta, an elegant five-storey 18th century townhouse which is also home to Pivot (a modern British fine diner from chef Mark Greenaway) and Lilly’s, a bakery & brunch spot from ex- Claridges’ pastry chef Kimberly Lin.
You’ll find El Ta’Koy propping up the whole operation, underground in the cellar space. Make your way down, and you won’t be able to stop a slightly inadvertent, well, aloha… from escaping your lips when you step inside. The space is intimate, with room for just thirty people, and it’s all atmospherically lit by wicker-weaved light fixtures, with walls wrapped in evocative shades of tropical green.
On the ocean-vaulting menu, you’ll find the full Hawaiian melting pot of foods. In fact, you can kick the proceedings off with a traditional Pu Pu Platter, which you can fill with your own selection of light bites; Latin-inspired tuna & caviar taquitos with a rum-chilli mayo can sit comfortably alongside honey miso-glazed bao buns stuffed with pork chicharron, or Filipino lumpia (spring rolls, essentially) loaded with shredded ‘ropa vieja’ beef.
Then there are the tacos, which involve organic blue & yellow corn shells (made exclusively for the restaurant) heaped with the likes of lamb barbacoa with pineapple chutney & lime, or roasted wild mushrooms with kimchi & sweet Filipino BBQ sauce. And to cap it all? There are warm Hawaiian mini doughnuts, called malasadas, and filled with chocolate rum, or an ‘exotic fruit custard’.
Speaking of exotic, there’s also the colourful, tiki-inspired cocktail menu, which plays all the sunshine-evoking hits. In fact there are four types of daiquiri (everything from a spiced mango blend with a cinnamon rim, to a ‘Zingiber Lotus’ with ginger syrup & lychee), plus mai tai’s, piña coladas, and more. And of course, there are the house originals, including one which blends El Ta’Koy’s own four-rum grog with passion fruit, orange, guava, and just a touch of absinthe – it’s called the ‘P.O.G Zombie’.
And it should bring you back to life…
NOTE: El Ta’Koy is open for dinner daily, plus lunch Thurs-Sun. You can find out more, and book a table, right HERE.
El Ta’Koy | 3 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8LU
Want to make a night of it? You could drop into The Henrietta Hotel.
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3 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8LU
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