Street XO is an imaginative Asian -European small plates and cocktails restaurant in off-beat surroundings to match….read this interesting experience at Street XO.
Having apparently fallen down a Mayfair rabbit hole and emerged – wooooah! – inside a restaurant-cum experiential dining concept wherein the waiting staff wear straitjackets and gently foodsplain every single ingredient over a soundtrack of thumping house music, as if to – well, a 52-year-old, size-16 mother-of-two from the provinces, wearing reading specs and cashmere, it is clear that I am at least 20 years/three dress sizes/a postcode all wrong for this week’s destination, Street XO.
This is the new “casual dining” (you can theoretically walk in off the street and grab a stool at the bar or the pass) Asian-fusion-tapas outpost from “superstar” Spaniard David Muñoz – he of Diver XO, the only Madrid restaurant with tres Michelin stars.
I don’t know precisely who is meant to feel at home inside Street XO – Blade Runner-meets-Hooters-via-Bedlam; my first impressions are that it costs a lot to look this cheap, though the interior hasn’t been so much “designed” as thrown up. Even the sensible precaution of accessorising myself with my most fashionable friend, Georgina – an actual designer of fashion – as a kind of style beard doesn’t quite pan out: she is stuck in traffic (“Just go ahead and order anything vegetarian for me” – easier said than done) and arrives 45 minutes late, apologising profusely but fashionably.
This leaves us just an hour and a quarter before we have to relinquish our table. Mind you, I suspect an hour will do. Street XO is less about the dining, more about the Instagramming; I ask for something non-alcoholic and a trough of (apparently) ginger beer-and-violets arrives in a glass the size, literally, of a goldfish bowl. It is very delicious, nonetheless, “Just throw in some crushed Parma Violets –” (I hear the waiting staff cry in my head) “– for the old lady over there on Table Death”.
Later, I throw caution to the leveche and order a something-with-vodka that arrives in what appears to be a colostomy bag. George (a skilled Instagrammer) has researched our venue: “I want one of those cocktails that come in a heart,” she announces as I attempt to bathe my face in my fishbowl of ginger beer and violets. I’m expecting a nice (big!) heart-shaped glass – but no, George’s bevy arrives in a ceramic organ, replete with aorta and ventricles, plus straw and, conceivably, stents.
I’ve already ordered – having been informed that six or so plates will do for sharing, and that they will turn up, naturally, whenever the chefs (there are a lot, one of whom may even be Muñoz) feel like it. So this, for the record, is what I ordered:
1) “Zucchini flower salad with green olives emulsion, oranges, poppy seeds and spicy chlorophyll acidulated oil” (It’s pretty… and it’s for George).
2) ‘’’La Pedroche’ croquettes, kimchi, sheep milk, toro tuna, XO sauce and lapasang souchong tea” (Guess what? It’s just as horrible as it sounds).
3) “Almost a carbonara XO style” White civet of wild boar and coconut, wok-fried udon, extra smoky bacon, fried egg and black olives. Calling to mind the (more successful) fauxbonara I had earlier this year at nearby Park Chinois, this one arrives tepid and feels like two separate meals: the boar works, and the udon noodles work – but together it tastes like roadkill eaten on the run midway through a zombie apocalypse.
4) “Prawn Suquet stew, robata carabinero, prawn dumpling, dried shrimp powder and baby shrimp cracker… saffron ali-oli and edamame beans”. This is another pretty dish ripe for the Gramming, and I eat it in nanoseconds while talking (tut). Sixty seconds later I try to remember what it looked and tasted like, but then something else arrives so I lose interest and metaphorically swipe right on my metaphorical speedy dining-dating app, Prawndr™.
5) “Canton-Galicia-Mexico… Galician grilled octopus, tomatillo and green apple mole with enoki ‘fake’ Chinese wok noodles!!! [sic]” This is a success; green apple mole turns out to be better than chocomole-mole (and I like Mexican chocomole-mole), while the octopus and tomatillo combo is zingy and fresh. I like.
6) A dessert. I forgot to find out what it was but arriving in something Seuss-esque – tall, pink and curly with a small tail, but not a pig – it could have been a truffula tree by-product.
By telegraph uk
Watch smoky scallops ready to go at Street XO London
Opening hours: 12am to 12pm
Location: 15 Old Burlington Street Mayfair London W1S UK
To reserve: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44 203 096 7555.
Walk ins are welcome here.