Taiwanese restaurant and bar XU to open in Soho this spring

The founders behind the BAO restaurants in Soho and Fitzrovia have announced that they will be bringing a Taiwanese restaurant and cocktail bar to Soho specialising in Taiwanese food and tea.

Shing Tat Chung, Wai Ting Chung and Erchen Chang say XU will be set across two floors and offer a cocktail bar, Taiwanese tea bar and private dining space, as well as a 76-cover restaurant.

A completely new concept and direction for the trio, XU has been inspired by the team’s travels across China and is named after Erchen’s late grandfather.

The menu includea Xiao Tsai or “bar snacks” such as Century quails egg and Smoked Taiwanese sausage. Classic dishes will also feature such as Crab with chilli egg drop sauce and Sho Pa chicken – a dish often served in the mountainous regions of Taiwan, involving a whole bird stuffed with Chinese spices and herbs.

Served whole, with the chicken head still on, Sho Pa will make for a dramatic dining experience and signature serve at XU. Braised meats, including goose and pork, will also be on offer served in typical Taiwanese Lu Wei style in a master sauce. Taiwanese street food has also inspired many of the dishes, from pan-fried dumplings to pancakes filled with 40-day aged beef shortrib, marrow and pickles.

Alongside the food menu, Taiwanese tea – inspired by Erchen’s grandfather’s love of the elegant loose leaf teas commonly drunk in his native Taiwan – will take centre stage at the new restaurant. Situated on the ground floor will be a dedicated tea bar, housing teas from across Taiwan, giving Londoners a rare glimpse into the art of traditional Taiwanese tea ceremonies.

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