Brand new boujie restaurant review coming at you mes amies! It’s been a while since I last talked wining and dining on La Petite Anglaise (which definitely doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing more than my fair share of just that) so Street XO London is a more than fittingly fabulous venue to comeback with. As per usual, I do use the term “review” loosely because I’m definitely no seasoned food critic. But I do know a think or three about having a good time and we most certainly did at this brand, spanking new Mayfair hotspot…
Street XO London is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef David Muñoz, a man renowned as “the enfant terrible of Spanish gastronomy” and whose Madrid restaurant, Diver XO, boasts a year long wait list. I suspect it won’t be long until its Mayfair counterpart is similarly impossible to get into. Why the acclaim, the stars and the wait list? Muñoz’ unique talent for experimental and often seemingly bizarre gastronomical concoctions. Think Pekinese dumplings created from crunchy pig’s ear and slathered in strawberry hoi sin, aioli and gherkins or a Steamed club sandwich involving ricotta cheese, fried quail egg and shichimi-togarashi, both of which we sampled at Street XO London. I’m often inclined to be a pretty boring orderer, sticking to what I know and love but even I had to admit that Muñoz’ madcap, slightly terrifying fare was delicious.
As you definitely know, when it comes to bars and restaurants I’m all about the ambiance. And that “ambiance” is ideally OTT, luxe AF and feels like a fiesta. Street XO London nails that from the second you walk through its fittingly dark and extravagant door. After trotting down a corrigated iron staircase you emerge into a space that manages to be both eye poppingly bright and also dimly lit, moody and nightclub like. Servers clad in what appear to be straight jackets lead you through a maze of neon signs and red lacquer before offering up an array of cocktails that are every bit as experimental as the food. The ‘Japo, Jerez’, for example, has smoked pea soda, shiso, miso, yuzu, sake and palo cortado in it, and is served with flamed street shrimp. Given that I’m boring and love wine I went straight for champagne followed by Sancerre, but was assumed by my less dull fellow guests that their significantly less basic beverages were spectacular.
What to wear to a particular bar or restaurant is, as far as I’m concerned, a pretty bloody important part of the whole experience. I went for dark floral chiffon situation by my beloved Markus Lupfer which turned out to be right on the money. Not just because of it’s ready-to-salsa vibe but also due to the fact underground restaurants packed with patrons and full of flames – both in the open kitchen and on the tables – tend to be rather toasty. Low heeled 3.1 Phillip Lim mules were perfect for tackling the stairs after more Sancerre than anyone should really drink in one sitting (or probably one week if I’m honest) and a bit of Bulgari by way of my handbag was a suitably lured up touch for such a venue.