There is nothing more exciting than a new luxury hotel opening, especially in London. When I heard that my favourite hotel chain Four Seasons were opening a new, second hotel in London, I simply couldn’t contain myself. Welcoming in the new Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square which opened back in January this year, therefore the hotel has been only been around for just over 6 months now. The hotel’s first restaurant which serves French cuisine, La Dame de Pic opened alongside the hotel. It was only a matter of time before the second restaurant, Mei Ume opened serving a lovely Asian cuisine.
Mei Ume opened 6 months after the hotel, on 9th June, bringing another addition and sense of buzz around Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square. After the restaurant had settled into practice, it was about time I popped in to see what the fuss was about.
The interiors of Mei Ume aren’t like your traditional Asian restaurant, except they are modern, simple with subtle hints through artwork and traditional Chinese lantern style lamps. The restaurant isn’t overly large either, quite intimate and small but it makes for the perfect location for a get together with a small group of friends or with family.
The great thing about Mei Ume is the dishes on the menu are from both the Chinese and Japanese cuisine, so you can get the best of both from sushi and sashimi to traditional Chinese Peking Duck.
We started off our meal with an ice-cold glass of champagne, served in beautiful slim flutes. We then went on to order a few starters that literally arrived within 5 minutes of us ordering.
The first dish to arrive was the edamame beans which were lightly seasoned with sea salt. Edamame is my favourite thing to order in oriental restaurants, it’s so simple yet so delicious. Not to mention that they are extremely good for you, massive win-win.
The crispy duck rolls were one of my favourite dishes of the night. I’ve had my fair share of duck rolls from Chinese restaurants, but these were by far the best. There were not greasy at all, the outer pastry casing with light and incredibly crispy with well seasoned duck filling. Absolutely divine!
The steamed vegetarian dim sum platter was a real treat. We opted to have 4 pieces instead of 8 as it was just meant to be a part our starter and we only wanted to try it. The dim sum served was pumpkin dumpling and truffle mushroom dumpling. My favourite was definitely the pumpkin one, which I wasn’t expecting but it had a lovely sweet filling and a wonderfully soft casing. The truffle mushroom dumpling was very aromatic, as soon as you picked it up you could smell the truffle which was lovely.
I always get FOMO (fear of missing out) at Japanese restaurants, especially as all my friends order different kinds of sushi rolls. Not being a seafood or raw fish eater, it often puts a little strain on what I can order when it comes to rolls. However, Mei Ume have a wonderful selection of vegetarian Uramaki and Temaki rolls, including cucumber, asparagus and avocado. Although the Temaki rolls sounding tempting, I was sold on the vegetarian Uramaki rolls. The rolls were filled with lettuce, asparagus, avocado, cucumber and chives with shiso samphire and finished with sesame seeds on the outside. I couldn’t quite believe there was so many different ingredients inside one roll, but it all tasted so good and fresh.
Moving on to our mains, there were so many dishes that caught our eye. However, we came down to a decision of picking three. The first one was wok fried Hereford beef fillet with black pepper sauce. The sauce was light and the meat was tender, with various seasonal vegetables mixed in. However, it wasn’t my favourite of the main dishes. I feel like there could have been a little more flavouring and more sauce to the dish. I would have preferred if it was served in a bowl and have more of a liquid black bean sauce as opposed to it burnt off and left just to flavour the meat.
The Szechuan corn fed chicken with macadamia nut and dried red chilli was definitely my favourite dish. It’s a dish I order frequently when I dine at Chinese restaurants but I don’t think it has ever been made this way. I much preferred the Mei Ume take on the dish, using fresh hot chilli instead of dry, flavourless chillies and the addition on macadamia nuts and all the added seasoning made it perfect. I would happily return to Mei Ume just for this dish – it was just outstanding!
The third dish we ordered was Pan fried Mongolian lamb cutlets with lemongrass sauce. The cutlets were marinated beautifully, with so many flavours come from it. Often enough I find cutlets can be dry, but these were the opposite and filled with moisture. The meat was also super tender and just melted in my mouth – just how I like it. The portion size was generous too, I would normally expect 3 cutlets to be served but it was a pleasant surprise to have 4 there, although we couldn’t finish them all.
We ordered some vegetable fried rice with ginger and sautéed green asparagus with samphire and ginger. Both of the side dishes complimented the main dishes really well and added some extra flavour along side them. The rice came in a porcelain dish that was sealed time with a lid to keep the heat in. Our waiter then served us up the rice into small bowls and refilled them on his routinely checks, which I thought was a lovely touch of excellent service.
Even with such an amazing spread of delicious food, we struggled to eat most of it. However, our waiter urged us to leave some space for dessert, which I already anticipated having after seeing the mochi on Mei Ume Instagram.
The mochi was everything I dreamed of and more, especially on a hot day. There were two coconut mochi served along with one yuzu and one matcha. I had the yuzu and Binny had the matcha one and we both just fell in love. I remember getting some mochi from whole foods during the short heatwave earlier this year and they were heavenly, but these were even better. Absolutely delectable!
To counteract all the naughtiness of our meal, we had a taste of the exotic fruit salad, but I hoped there would have been more exotic fruits in it. I was a bit disappointed by the many everyday fruits such as apple, grapes and pineapple. Although, the dragon fruit was a nice touch. I think I was expecting starfruit, passion fruit, papaya, mango, lychees, persimmon and pomegranate.
Overall, a smashing meal with great, super fast service. The food was flavoursome and well made but I think there are a few minor things to iron out in one or two of the dishes, but I have high hopes for this restaurant. I reckon it will give its competitors like Hakkasan a run for their money – you heard it here first!
Until next time…