Review on XU
Enjoying plum position in the heart of London's theatreland, XU is the latest venture from Shing-Tat Chung, Wai-Ting Chung and Erchen Chang, the same team behind BAO in Fitzrovia. They have named this new venture after Erchen's late grandfather, who is depicted on the menu as "a free-spirited charismatic gentlemen, a journalist and a lover of tea and poetry".
A glamorous place laid out over two floors, the interiors have been created by designer Brady Williams to emulate the cinematic stage set of Taipei in the 1930's. Upon entering XU there's a lovely emerald green lacquered tea kiosk, where the tea master will prepare authentic Taiwanese tea such as High Jade Mountain Tea, as well as a hand-picked Assam Tea. There's also two Mahjong rooms on this floor hidden behind velvet curtains, which can be hired for dining, drinking or playing the popular tile-based game.
Showcasing rich dark wood grooved panelling throughout and murals depicting mountain scenes, there's atmospheric ceiling fans swirling overhead. The upstairs dining room has its own bar featuring a railway clock and pink leather stools set against the rose marbled counter. Further seating is available in cosy booths with green and pink leather banquettes set against dark wood polished tables.
The menu covers a lot of ground when it comes to Taiwanese classics but you might opt to start with Xian Bing, pan fried aged pork pancake, vinegar and chilli oil, Montgomery cheese and spring onion or Taro dumpling served with Kow choi chilli dressing, Taiwanese sausage, sweet potato and miso. Moving on there's cast iron black pepper beef, 40 day aged beef ribeye with honey black pepper sauce or from the sea enjoy grilled seabass fillet marinated in fermented beancurd, two colour pickled chilli, bone sauce and grilled bone vinegar. For a sweet-toothed finale there's Ma Lai cake, steamed brown sugar sponge cake with condensed milk and orange butterscotch or almond ice cream with black sesame sauce.
XU has a carefully thought out wine list to complement the dishes, together with Taiwanese influenced cocktails and sakes.
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.00 - 3.00pm Thu & Fri (12.00 - 4.00pm Sat & Sun)
Dinner: 5.00 - 11.00pm Mon-Sat (5.00 - 10.00pm Sun)
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express