The newly-opened Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square has delivered an Asian restaurant that has the potential to rival the very best on the London dining scene: Mei Ume. Their main focus is on Chinese and Japanese cuisine and they have recruited from the very best with head chef Tony Truong hailing from the Royal China Group to put his expertise on the Cantonese dishes, whilst sushi chef, Mun Seok Choi from Sake No Hana brings his knife skills to their sushi bar and finally master dim sum chef, Derrick Chen delivers the mini-parcels of delight having worked at Hakkasan and Yauatcha.
The decor at Mei Ume makes fine use of the Beaux Arts structure of the building designed by Sir Edwin Cooper, which was formerly the headquarters of Port of London Authority. This is a no-expenses-spared experience with antique paintings on the walls, bamboo-print glass partitions and rich claret-coloured seating.
This is the dream menu for all Sinophiles and Nipponophiles and dishes vary from the simplest edamame to the extravagant whole Peking duck served over two courses. We started off with the former and some salt and pepper tempura vegetables; it was shallow-fried just to the right degree for added crunch without dripping in greasy oil.
Steamed dim sum platter was an assemblage of colourful dumplings, some topped with goji berries or edible gold leaf. They were all perfectly shaped and using top-quality ingredients like truffle wild mushrooms.
The sushi offerings were equally impressive; we tried spicy tuna and BBQ Wagyu beef uramaki rolls. The former combined oily tuna meat with an unusual combination of truffle karashi and Parmesan flake, which I have not seen anywhere else before. It had a pleasing mixture of spiciness from the mustard and fruitiness and nuttiness from the Parmesan. The Wagyu beef meanwhile was gently grilled so as to retain the fresh flavours of the meat.
Main courses involved one of their signature dishes: stir-fried native lobster with ginger and spring onion and served on a bed of crispy noodles. This is a de rigueur dish for Chinese celebrations and surprisingly the best part of the dish is the noodles, which have soaked up all the indulgent flavours from the lobster.
A dish that is gorgeous to taste and relatively simple to make if you have time is slow braised Dongpo pork belly. The version here is melt-in-your-mouth soft and you have to suspect, apart from the traditional ingredients of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, ginger and scallions, they must have a secret mixture of Chinese herbs to make this dish stand out from the crowd.
They have signature cocktails that match the four seasons and our favourite was the white tiger of the west, especially if you are a fan of bitter, fizzy tasting creations. It has an elegant mixture of Ketel One, umeshu sake, ginger beer and grapefruit juice.
If you have a sweet tooth, but struggle to find space then I recommend trying their iced mochi selection. They are only petite in size, but pack an explosive burst of flavours depending on which one you try: matcha, coconut, mango and yuzu.
Book in at Mei Ume here.
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