StreetXO

David Muñoz no longer needs introductions, since in 2010 he ripped apart Madrid’s gastronomic scene, winning the first Michelin star with his DiverXO  (nowadays the only three-starred restaurant in the city), in a creative fusion, radical and even theatrical of the Mediterranean cuisine, with Asian flavors and ingredients.

But don’t be fooled if you think Muñoz is the fruit of the Basque avant-garde school, which so many names have brought to the spotlight; Muñoz started his career a bit through the good taste of his parents that took him, frequently, to the Madrid classic Viridiana, of the chef Abraham García, where he ended up working when he finished his studies, and to which he still pays an homage nowadays in his menus. Later he headed up to London where he worked for several years in Asian restaurants like Nobu and Hakkasan.

A training that worked up as the base for his creations, where technique and genius combine to create an experience of shocks, flavors, and even feelings, that in many cases you love and others you hate.

This said, his arrival in London to the opening of StreetXO – an informal space, inspired by Asian street food that had open in 2012 in Madrid, and which success made it one of the most wanted in town – made a lot of ink run, among newspapers, critics and opinion makers.

So we couldn’t miss a visit in our last trip to London. Located in the elitist neighborhood of Mayfair, the decoration was in charge of the visionary Lázaro Ros-Violàn, whose works leave no one indifferent. This StreetXO is not the exception, with an ambiance recreating the crazy imaginary of Muñoz combined with a strip club and a sci-fi movie like Blade Runner.

You just can’t stay indifferent!

Already installed we are quickly and joyfully accompanied throughout the menu, while the team takes the time to show us their knowledge of the menu and try some suggestions that meet our taste. The menu is divided in small moments of finger food and dishes to share, like good street food.

Our meal started with the arrival of cocktails, like good Londoners, and the Liquid Kitchen (aka the bar) of the StreetXO is also bold and creative, combining with the menu.

Excellent Dry, sweet and Sour!!! and the Pineapple slow roasted over coals, which, in the first case, combined vodka, cranberries, balsamic and petazetas and the other one an old mix of rum and pineapple, lime and tonka infusion.

Dry, sweet and Sour!!!

Pequinese Dumpling… 
The first dish is also a visual shock at the table, a bold combination of a gyoza with crunchy pork ear (unfortunately not crunchy in all the pieces), alioli with yuzu, pickles, and strawberry hoisin sauce. Well accomplished flavors, with the sweetness and the salty and fruity notes of the hoisin enhanced in a combination that had everything to go wrong, but didn’t! Just a miss in one of the pieces where the ear was not as crunchy as intended.

Steamed Club Sandwich
A small bao, steamed and filled with piglet, ricotta, chili mayo and quail egg. Spicy enough, lickerish and greasy in the mouth, with the ricotta bringing freshness to the combination, although there could’ve been less of it. Very good!

Korean Lasagne XO Style
One of the tastiest and comfiest dishes of our lunch, with a great combination of flavors and textures, a fruit of the combination of the Galician meat with the Korean gochujang spicy sauce, and the richness of the bechamel. High score to the contrast of the crunchy pasta, that is broken up over the dish after served.

Prawn5
When there’s scarlet shrimp at the table, I’m almost happy, when I taste it and it’s well worked then it’s party time! And so it happened with this dish, flawless in presentation and in the combination of elements. Perfect the scarlet shrimp with the right sweetness and moist and full of flavor head. Combining with several textures of prawn, from dim sum, dry prawn chips and a thin and crunchy baby prawn cracker. Rich and tasty sauce, with saffron aioli, almond, and edamame. A great dish!

At this point, we went for the second round of drinks and decided for the boldest combinations of the list, a Tokyo-Jerez Montril’s, in a bold combination of the smoked notes of the lapsang tea, with shiso, miso, yuzu, sake and sherry accompanied by a grilled prawn and its head. The other one was the Yellow Curry, an homage of flavors and cultures that quickly traveled between Europe, Bangkok, and India.

The team behind the “liquid cuisine”

 Yellow Curry

Tuna, Green Mango, and satay, coconut, tamarind and bergamot sauces
Looking like meat, it’s in reality a tuna cut from the neck of the fish, cooked in the robata and served with interesting contrasts of freshness and textures, given by the green mango and the sauces, taking us in a trip to the Asian skewers. Flawless!

“La Pedroche” croquettes…
Spain meets Japan in this dish, with the croquettes being part of the shari (sushi rice) to assemble a toro nigiri. Crunchy croquettes, filled with kimchi, goat milk and elevated by the smoked notes of the black tea LapSang SouChong. High score to the quality of the tuna and the combination, if they were perfectly fried, it would’ve been a great, great ending!

To finish, there are no desserts on the menu, but it was suggested to us a kind of dessert/cocktail, served in the famous cup of the pink panther (a part of the DiverXO’s universe), made with white chocolate, guava, rhubarb, strawberry and curry with a touch of petazetas to make this ending of meal even more fun.

Dessert 

The service was joyful, with the dishes coming at a good rythm, the team showing knowledge of the menu, giving good suggestions and with general environment of satisfaction, that while as clients is pleasing and motivates us to embrace the spirit of the restaurant, yes you have to enter with an open soul and receptive to the shock.

Manuel Villalba is the right hand of Muñoz in this bold project in the English capital 

Final Remarks
David Muñoz is a creative genius, loved by many and hated by so many others, but the truth is that behind all that image of enfant terrible, Muñoz is a cook, in its purest essence, it’s easier to see him behind the stoves of his restaurants (including this Londoner StreetXO) than in a magazine, TV show or even in the room being a celebrity.

His “dementia”, kindly speaking, is demonstrated in the theatrical environment he creates around a meal and in the unpredictable combinations of ingredients and flavors he uses in his dishes, you may not like it and for sure there are dishes that work better than others, but truth is you can’t stay indifferent to his cuisine.

One of the IT places these days in London!

StreetXO Londres
Average price: £70 per person, without wine or fees 
15 Old Burlington Street, Mayfair – London
+44 020 3096 7555
reservations@streetxo.co.uk

Versão Portuguesa

Photos: Flavors & Senses

Disclaimer
We were at StreetXO by invitation, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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