Now for something completely different – and we really do mean different. Spanish chef David Muñoz has won three Michelin stars through his Madrid restaurant DiverXO, and now he brings his unique culinary stylings to Mayfair in the form of Street XO (pronounced ‘show’). The result is likely to bring the punters flocking, and leave culinary purists scratching their heads. One suspects Muñoz desires to do both.
Street XO isn’t so much a restaurant as an experience. The basement interior is a cacophony of bright colours: orange tables clash with yellow walls, a purple fish hangs above a neon-striped bar. You feel as though you’ve descended into a particularly bullish art gallery, more Shoreditch than Mayfair.
But that’s largely the point: Street XO is determined to give you an evening you’ll remember long after the bill has been paid. Take the cocktails. One is served in a replica human heart. Another comes in a glass the size of a fishbowl. My Smoker USA – made with aged rum – takes a literal interpretation to ‘letting off some steam’. It’s completely delicious, stiletto-sharp in the kick.
Don’t read too much into the ‘Street’ moniker: this is not the type of cuisine you would encounter down your local market. The Pekinese dumplings, lashed with strawberry hoisin, resemble a Jackson Pollack and taste like a dream. Even better is the steamed club sandwich, filled with ricotta and crab, topped with a quail’s egg. It makes one wonder how Muñoz might interpret, say, a ploughman’s lunch or the humble sausage roll.
Street XO is more than a little ridiculous, and knows it. But there is something rather joyous about the whole evening – from the extravagant decor to the mad-scientist cocktails, this is a restaurant with a real sense of fun. The open-minded will have a blast.
Street XO, 15 Old Burlington Street, W1S; 020 3096 7555; streetxo.com