After a shambles of a meal at Aqua Kyoto my dining companion and I decided to salvage something of the lunch by eating at the adjoining Aqua Nueva. There is a large dining room with a roof terrace, and a long tapas bar with a further terrace at the end. Tapas dishes range from £4 to £9.50, with pata negra at £18. The wine list is common to the two Aqua restaurants. D’Arenberg Viognier was listed at £25.50 for a wine that will set you back around £9, Louis Roederer non-vintage champagne was priced at a remarkably fair £45 given that it costs around £25 or so retail, and Madfish pinot noir 2007 £21.50 for wine that costs about £10 in the shops. At the upper end of the list, Vian el Pison 1999 was £180 for a wine that costs £95 retail.
The kitchen rustled up pleasant croquettes, a mix of ham and mushroom, that were properly seasoned (2/10). The chef is from Salamanca, as was the pata negra in this case, cut by hand and to a good thickness; I never really know how to score pata negra, as it is a lovely thing but essentially is shopping rather than cooking, but this was certainly very pleasant.
A tortilla (Spanish omelette) had a slightly odd texture, the potatoes not cooked quite correctly (1/10). Sardines with tomatoes were pleasant, though the tomatoes did not have a lot of flavour (1/10). Better were prawns cooked in their shells and served with a tomato salsa; these were good quality prawns, cooked carefully (4/10). Braised Iberian pork was fairly tender, though was merely pleasant as a dish (1/10). A chocolate dessert had a fairly rich sauce and was a nice enough way to finish (2/10).
Aqua Nueva certainly produced some respectable tapas, though prices are scarcely cheap, but the dining room is very smart and you do have the roof terrace in nice weather. It is at present a long, long way ahead of sister restaurant next door.