StreetXO is the new sister restaurant to the Madrid outpost by three-Michelin-star 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.
Street XO = Street Show
The restaurant’s name is in fact a play on words. Since X in Spanish is pronounced as S, StreetXO reads as ‘street show’. Another interesting fact is that there are no waiters, only chefs, working at StreetXO, a unique concept David carried from his DiverXO restaurant.
Before becoming the famous enfant terrible that he is today, David worked at top London restaurants such as Hakkasan and Nobu, where he was influenced to combine Asian flavours with his otherwise more Spanish and South American cooking style.
The New Circus XO Cocktail Bar
A year after opening, Muñoz launched an experimental cocktail bar inside the restaurant to take advantage of the unique cocktails he’s concocting. A popular cocktail is the Tom Kha Kai, which you’d be forgiven to think might be a twist on the Piña Colada. But here, nothing is predictable. Instead, the powdery white drink comes topped with flying fish roe.
The restaurant is downstairs in a dark and noisy Mayfair basement. Chefs wear straight-jacket uniforms in a large open-plan kitchen that serves as the centre stage, the counter seats are the front row. A huge neon fish lights up the room. A steady house beat sets the Saturday night mood. Ornaments include an octoskull and ‘thing’ from the Addams Family. It looks completely out of place in the stiff upper lip Mayfair, but down here, you could be anywhere.
The Tasting Menu
There are two tasting menus, one for £75 a head and a larger one for £100 as well as an a la carte option. We opted for the £75 menu since it covers all the menu highlights. A beautiful Spanish waiter/chef takes us through each dish, explaining each one at lightning speed. Each bite is an explosion of foreign flavours, as I can’t seem to pinpoint any of the combinations of ingredients, cuisine or cooking styles. My favourite dishes are the crunchy croquettes, the prawn suquet stew and the Korean lasagne XO style. Our meal finishes off with some fresh ice cream cheesecakes to clean and sweeten the palate.
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.
To answer the question, experiment or experience, its both. 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