Street XO = Street Show
StreetXO is the new sister restaurant to three-time-Michelin-star DiverXO in Madrid brought to us by Spanish Chef David Muñoz. It’s easy to see why his food gets so much attention. Red sauce splashed across the plate like a mafia massacre of blood and bone. Crunchy pigs ears and cocktail concoctions served inside human hearts and giant fishbowls. A strange potpourri of surgery, food, art and theatre.
The XO part of the restaurant’s name is, in fact, a play on words. Since X in Spanish is pronounced as S, DiverXO reads as diverso, meaning diverse and StreetXO reads as street show. Interestingly, there are no waiters, only chefs, working at DiverXO, a unique concept carried through to StreetXO. Before finding fame, David worked at top London restaurants such as Hakkasan and Nobu, explaining the Asian influence in his otherwise more Spanish and South American cooking. An experience he now seeks to give his own chefs.
I order the Tom Kha Kai cocktail, expecting a twist on the Piña Colada. Instead, I study the strange, powdery white drink topped with flying fish roe. Do I eat or drink this?
I recall my first impressions walking down the stairs to the basement restaurant. Chefs wear straight-jacket uniforms. A huge neon fish lights up the dark room. A steady house beat sets the Saturday night mood. Ornaments include an octoskull and ‘thing’ from the Addams Family. A large open-plan kitchen is the stage, where the counter seats are the first row. If the food is the star, the chefs are the performance.
The Tasting Menu
There are two tasting menus, we order the smaller one for £75 a head since it covers most of the menu items and all of the highlights. A beautiful Spanish waiter takes us through each dish, explaining each one at lightning speed.
David calls his cuisine the ‘Cirque du Soleil of Gastronomy’. Everything is a performance, delivering lights, action and drama onto your plate and inside your mouth. David is an experimental cook, unbound by the rules of classic cooking. I imagine he is the kind of guy who, if you tell him that parmesan cheese absolutely does not go over seafood pasta (which is true for most Italians), he will cook up the best seafood pasta you’ve ever tasted, and what you’ll love most about it is how good the parmesan tasted with it.
It’s no secret that David is a rebel. His mohawk hair and piercings hint that he is not one to conform. He is not here to give you what you already know, or to cook you a dish you’ve already tried. David’s drive is to push the boundaries. The point is originality, new creations, and a new experience. None of which you’ll get from the most perfectly cooked, parmesan-less seafood pasta.
StreetXO is at 15 Old Burlington Street, London, W1S 2JR
+44 020 3096 7555