One of the things I love about London is the food, and particularly the variety of International fare you can find in this city. Whatever cuisine you're after, London probably has it.
Since moving to the big smoke I find myself frequenting Oriental Asian restaurants during the weekend. This time we visited Mei Ume in the Four Seasons Hotel London, who specialise in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Residing within a Grade-II listed heritage building, formerly the office for Port of London Authority, the interiors of Mei Ume were inspired by both the east and the west. Upon arrival, I was immediately greeted by the plum blossom glass panel. This is representative of the restaurant's name, which combines the Japanese and Chinese language words for plum blossom. The bar was decorated with lamps in the style of lanterns, wooden and marble tabletops, as well as leather bar stools. In the larger dining room, the unique three-layer gilded triptych on both ends of the room tell the story of a Chinese garden banquet.
As it was our first time at Mei Ume, we decided to go with the Signature Tasting Menu which comes with 10 dishes, paired with 3 different wines.
Amongst the starter dishes, my favourite was the Yellowtail carpaccio with truffle ponzu dressing. The smell of the truffle was very noticeable when the dish was first served, and the taste was very well balanced with subtle hints of spicy, sour and sweet. Within the selection of sashimi and nigiri, my favourite was the mackerel nigiri, so perfectly smoked and it really complements the freshness of the sashimi. What a perfect way to be introduced to what Mei Ume has to offer.
For main course, we were served dishes with both Chinese and Japanese influence. All the mains were brilliant and they remind me very much of the tastes I grew up with. I was particularly impressed with the Wok fried Hereford beef fillet in spicy black pepper sauce; the beef was so tender and every bit of the dish was coated with the well-balanced black pepper sauce.
Finally, the dessert. We've ordered both options on the tasting menu to try them out. The Chocolate moelleux with matcha ice cream was lovely, and I couldn't fault it at all. However as someone who always leans towards the more refreshing and fruity dessert options, I preferred the Mango pudding, coconut crumble, pistachio sponge and kalamansi sorbet. The texture was perfect, and every single element of the dish had a reason to be included. It's probably up there in my top 3 best dessert ever tasted.
Mei Ume was a culinary experience like nothing I've ever had before. The service was impeccable, the food was absolutely amazing and I'm truly grateful to have discovered it. If you'd like to have a look at Mei Ume's menu and their story, visit their website here.
Thank you to Mei Ume for the food. All words, images and opinions are my own.
10 Trinity Square
London EC3N 4AJ