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Street XO Madrid

Posted on Friday, 9th October 2015

STREET XO MADRID

Street XO in Madrid is the casual eatery by David Munoz, the chef of the highly acclaimed DiverXO, the only restaurant in Madrid with three Michelin stars. David Munoz has long tantalised diners far and wide with his extraordinary renegade approach to fine dining. When Anthony Bourdain visited DiverXO on his show No Reservations in 2010 (and I particularly loved the programme on Madrid and DiverXO), he declared that Munoz’s food was “something that should probably suck”, yet he ended up proclaiming his love for it. Back then in 2010, DiverXO only had one Michelin Star. Now DiverXO has three.

Munoz’s approach to food is designed to shock and delight, and with Street XO his approach to cooking is no less electrifying. Street XO is a temple to Asian fusion gastronomy, and draws upon an incredibly bold use of ingredients, seamlessly weaving together Western techniques with inspirations from across Asia to produce food that is colourful, delicious and different.

The décor of Street XO is no less daring. The grungy ‘street’ look of the restaurant is completed with ‘graffiti’ on the walls, neon signs and bright red colours. Diners can choose to sit on bar stools around the open kitchen or dine al fresco on the balcony, waited on by waiting staff dressed in straitjackets. This is clearly no run-of-the-mill restaurant.

One of the signatures at Street XO is the Pekingese ‘dumplings’ (€12.50) with pork, crunchy pig’s ear, strawberry hoisin sauce, togarashi aioli and gherkins. These did not resemble traditional Chinese dumplings, with the presentation representing a piece of modern art. Yet the dumplings thrilled with their exquisite flavours and arresting ingredient combinations. The meat was beautifully moist, the pig’s ear was lusciously crunchy and there was a nice touch of spiciness in the creamy aioli. The gorgeous dumplings were simultaneously creamy, fatty and crunchy, tempered by a touch of acidity from the gherkins.

Street XO - London Food Blog - Pekingese ‘dumplings’

Street XO – Pekingese ‘dumplings’

Korean lasagna with aged Galician beef (€15), shiitake mushrooms, spicy marinated tomatoes, crunchy wonton pastry and a goat’s milk cardamom béchamel was also heavenly. The meat was flavoursome, the tomatoes were rich and sweet, and I loved the cardamom running through the creamy béchamel as it provided a wonderful dimension to the dish. I would have liked more of the wonton pastry for greater crunchiness, but this was nevertheless a superb plate of food.

Street XO - London Food Blog - Korean lasagna

Street XO – Korean lasagna

A steamed club sandwich (€11) consisted of a Chinese bun (‘bao’) topped with minced pork, ricotta cheese, fried quail egg, grilled spring onions shichimi-togarashi mayonnaise and a lovely gathering of herbs including coriander, mint and basil. The club sandwich was amazing, with the pork being deliciously fatty and moist. The mayonnaise was wonderfully spiced and the herbs added a lovely fresh dimension to the sandwich. Interestingly, the ricotta also worked in this fabulous concoction as it provided a nice balance to the richness of the sandwich. And the runny egg – this was lovely too. Our waiter recommended this dish to us and it certainly produced the wow factor.

Street XO - London Food Blog - Club sandwich

Street XO – Club sandwich

Grilled Iberian pork belly “saam” with marinated mussel (€14.50) was also very enjoyable. The ‘saam’ was eaten rolled in lettuce leaves with pickled shiitake mushrooms, sriracha, tartar “XO” sauce and fresh herbs. The pork was really tender and the accompaniments provided a lovely contrast. The soft, juicy mussel was also an interesting touch.

Street XO - London Food Blog - Pork belly “saam”

Street XO – Pork belly “saam”

Smokey razor clams with olive oil and charcoal, shiso ponzu sauce and coconut cream (€8) was also extremely interesting. The razor clams were beautifully tender with a lovely hint of smokiness. And the shiso ponzu sauce with the coconut cream, this was tangy and delicious. However the balance in the dish wasn’t quite right, with there being too much sauce on the plate. This had the effect of slightly overpowering the delicate flavour of the clams.

Street XO - London Food Blog - Razor clams

Street XO – Razor clams

The food at Street XO was, in a nutshell, incredible. Tantalisingly delicious, the dishes were sensationally creative, blending together unconventional flavour combinations to produce a wow factor. Fun, different and original, Street XO is a highlight of any visit to Madrid. Incredibly, the average price per head is about €30. Good service too.

SUMMARY INFORMATION:

Likes:
1. My three favourite dishes were the dumplings, steamed buns and the Korean lasagne. I would happily order these dishes again.
2. The originality and the inspired creativity of the food.

Dislikes:
1. I didn’t have any particular dislikes, but thought there was too much sauce in the razor clam dish.

Food rating: 4.5/5
Service rating: 3.75/5

Prices: About €32 a head, excludes drinks and service.

Address:
Street XO – Calle de Serrano, 52, 28001 Madrid, Spain
The restaurant has a no reservations policy.

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