We should have known that the next restaurant from the BAO team would also be Taiwanese.
There were plenty of red flags.
Only this time, instead of focussing on the island’s famed steamed buns, they’ve taken a broader approach to its cuisine; there’s a considerably longer menu, a more elegant ’30s-style space, and yes – you can book.
In contrast to BAO’s clean minimalist interiors, XU boasts sleek, dark wood-panelled walls stretching over two floors. Downstairs, there’s a fairly hard-to-miss emerald green tea counter, where you can sip on expertly prepared, competition-grade tea in hot and cold brews (more on that later), which is mirrored upstairs by a more petite, blush pink marble dining bar. From that bar you can get into,
You’ll find dishes like Shengjian 40-day short-rib pancakes; braised goose; pan-fried Taiwanese dumplings; diced Mangalitza pork ribs mixed into a blend of rice & spices – and even a herb-stuffed chicken served whole, with the head still attached, which you’ll get special gloves with which to tear it apart. Then, you’ll be in the mood for,
They’ve got a big-time focus on tea here, with all of it imported from Taiwan, including high Jade Mountain tea, hand-picked Assam tea, cold-brew sparkling Hong Yu tea… the list goes on. And you can get some leaves to go if you want. But if you’re in the market for something a little stronger, they’ve got seasonal cocktails which are available ‘omakase’ style at the bar, meaning you bartender will simply mix drink after drink until you say when. Finally there are,
THE MAHJONG ROOMS
There are two – both on the ground floor. They seat 4 each, and they’re filled with mahogany panelling, hand painted murals, and marble chandeliers.
Just a little light decoration.
NOTE: XU is open now. You can book a table at their website right HERE.
XU | 30 Rupert Street, W1D 1DL
Why not whet your appetite over at BAO in Soho and Fitzrovia…