Curating luxury for the discerning traveller

A TASTE OF TAIWAN

XU Restaurant

As famous for its lengthy queue as its doughy delights, steamed-bun outlet Bao certainly caught the city’s culinary zeitgeist when it launched in 2014. Now, with three successful branches across London, co-founders (and husband and wife) Shing Tat Chung and Erchen Chang, together with Chung’s sister Wai Ting, have graduated from street food to a fully-edged restaurant.

Named after Chang’s late grandfather, XU takes inspiration from a childhood spent feasting on Taiwanese cuisine (where Chang lived until the age of 14). Colonisation by the Spanish, Dutch and Japanese has left the island with a legacy of diverse culinary influences, blending  flavours as varied as fresh seafood and soft dumplings to ferments and pickles. XU’s interior evokes the island’s capital city in the 1930s – a Wes Anderson-esque affair with a marble cocktail bar encircled by pink leather seats, wooden ceiling fans and a green lacquered tea kiosk, manned by a white-coated tea master serving steaming cups of rare loose-leaf teas. Also available to book are private Mahjong rooms, inspired by the siblings’ memories of their parents playing the puzzle game into the night, where guests can feast on soft taro dumplings and slices of inky cuttle sh toast.

Inside the main area, diners can mix and match from the menu. For starters, the jerkies (bak kwa) of lamb, beef and pork arrive as thick, sticky slices, making for a heavenly mouthful when dipped in pickled ginger, fresh mint relish and pepper sauce. The xian bing pan-fried dumplings are equally irresistible, especially the Montgomery cheese variety – a particularly gooey indulgence.The enduring classic, Peking duck, is also given a twist, this time in the form of slow-cooked short rib mixed with its marrow and served in a hollowed-out bone, topped with crispy potato crumb. Diners can wrap the mix in pancakes and garnish with chilli-pickled daikon for a tangy, crunchy mouthful of heaven.

For mains, the shou pa chicken is hard to beat – sliced into succulent chunks and immersed in the bird’s ‘drippings’, then topped with chicken skin and ginger for a  nal punch. Wash it down with some Kavalan single malt whisky (from Taiwan’s only family-owned distillery), infused with 10-year-old oolong tea syrup, for the perfect  finish.

30 Rupert Street, W1D 6DL. | 020 3319 8147 
www.xulondon.com

Feb 19th 2018
Lois B-E
Dining
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DUDDELL’S
Having built a prestigious reputation in Hong Kong, Duddell’s’ Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine has landed in London. Housed within a Grade II-listed church, the interiors alone are worth the visit, featuring a rotating display of modern art. The food is equally grand, ranging from a ‘dim sum symphony’ of handcrafted delicacies such as gold sh-shaped prawn dumplings, jade-leaf king crab dumplings and truffle-roasted black cod with nameko mushroom.

9a St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY | 020 3957 9932 |
www.duddells.co/london
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INDIAN ACCENT
Already a hit in NewYork and New Delhi, Manish Mehrotra’s Indian Accent has come to the capital with its contemporary Indian cuisine. Expect innovative twists on traditional dishes, such as soy keema (inspired by the popular lamb dish), garnished with a quail’s egg and accompanied by balls of soft pao. Don’t miss the puchkas – hollow shells that can be  filled with fruity liquids to release an explosion of  flavour.

16 Albemarle Street, W1S 4HW | 020 7629 9802 |
www.indianaccent.com/london
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MORTIMER HOUSE KITCHEN
Access to Mortimer House’s stunning Art Deco building is usually reserved for members, but a new health-focused restaurant with an open kitchen provides a chance for the public to enter. The menu has Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences; try grilled octopus with saffron mashed potato, Sicilian red prawn ceviche or chicken with Amalfi lemon and rosemary.

37-41 Mortimer Street, W1T 3JH | 020 7139 4401 |
www.mortimerhouse.com
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PARSONS
Following the popularity of The 10 Cases, founders Will Palmer and Ian Campbell have launched a new outpost, inspired by their mothers’ maiden names – which happen to be the same. The cosy restaurant serves up a daily changing menu of fresh seafood and an impressive range of wines sourced from across Europe and beyond. Expect bread smeared with seaweed butter, lobster mash and potted-shrimp croquettes coated in panko crumbs.

39 Endell Street, WC2H 9BA | 020 3422 0221 |
www.parsonslondon.co.uk
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