Chef Dabiz Muñoz has been creating magic for the past decade! In his native Spain, his restaurant DiverXO, has three michelin stars, he also has a StreetXO in Madrid that we are told is more casual than the London one. He opened Street XO, an innovative and high-octane restaurant and bar on Old Burlington Street, his first UK venture last year. Thought it seems a little out of place in Mayfair, we think it is a very welcome ‘disruptive’ addition – long overdue.
Dabiz’s punk rock approach to fine dining is apparent as soon as you walk in, the neon art work, staff uniforms, the goth sculptures – everything is just the right amount of crazy and we haven’t even sat down for our food yet! When we do, we’re not disappointed! The long counter is the place to be, it’s the prime position to watch all the chefs in action and there are a fair few to keep everyone happy and entertained.
We spot food masquerading as art and are instantly intrigued! Our host Michael (who also happens to be the Assistant Manager) talks us about the concept and Dabiz’s influences, we’re told inspiration comes from European, Asian and South American cuisines however, most of his dishes have either a Mediterranean or East Asian back bones.
We’re here to try their new lunch special – Dabiz has created exclusive lunch specials inspired by some of the world’s most famous street food, with his signature StreetXO flair. There’s an express lunch menu for £30, and a lunch menu at £25 an absolute bargain when you consider the cost of the dishes if you order a la carte. The menus are designed as small dishes samplers followed by one main event. There’ also am indulgent 150g of Josper Vine smoked Ribeye of Wagyu Beef with Canary Island & Nikkei dressing served alongside tempura of Spanish potato omelette with egg yolk sabayon for £75 (this one we earmark for another day).
We’d been eyeing up some very instagramable looking cocktails and are persuaded to try the popular Liquid Madrizzzzz’s Diver XO (which arrives in the biggest balloon glass we’ve ever seen) and a Dry, sweet and sour!! We also let Michael order the food for us, as we couldn’t decide between the lunch options – he opted for the StreetXO lunch menu and went off piste, meaning that we end up sampling the entire menu.
First to arrive were one of the most famous dishes from Madrid, Pekinese dumplings served with crispy pigs’ ears, these are presented in the style of Pollock (on a sheet of greaseproof (the canvas) dribbled and dotted with strawberry hoi sin sauce). We’re told by Javier who is part of the Chefs crew to “scoop the dumplings up in your hands and eat with everything” which we duly do and are impressed by the numerous taste sensations that take place in our mouths, crunchy soft, salty, sweet – this dish is a dream! It’s fun watching the chefs working impressively behind the counter and we quickly learn their knowledge and insight of the food and how best to consume is as much a part of the experience as tasting the food and drink is. Next to follow is another popular choice, WopperXO Korean Style (Saam Style), a slow roasted free-range chicken burger in StreetXO’s unique style, then delicious Hot Smoked Scallops, and Steamed Club Sandwich. We then move onto the mains and order another round of equally intagrammable cocktails, XO Blood arrives in a ceramic heart and What do the red clouds of Goa taste of? in a cloud shaped vessel complete with cotton candy. Michael told us that the team take the same gastronomic approach to cocktails and that, The Liquid Cuisine menu at StreetXO was designed by Dabiz using the same techniques, ingredients and inspiration as his kitchen.
We have to say the attention to detail in both the food and drink presentation is meticulous. Camera ready we are snapping away when the main arrives a delicious (our personal favourite) Korean lasagne XO style and a diving Prawn Suquet stew (a close second).
As they have recently introduced a selection of tasty desserts for the Summer months, we make room and try the intriguing Tokyo Tiramisu, with matcha tea, pannacotta, yuzu, coffee cream and “black garlic-sesame” sponge and the Guava Cheesecake both like the rest of our meal are scrummy and true to the StreetXO style, presented in their own unique ways, these arrived in polystyrene take away boxes.
The whole experience is not for the faint hearted, Dabiz’s playful menu aims to shock, surprise and delight guests with bold and gutsy flavours from visually arresting creations. We left content and feel we got a good feel for what StreetXO is about. This place doesn’t do anything by halves and we love it for it!
Street XO, 15 Old Burlington, London, W1S 2JL
+44 20 3096 7555