Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to be invited to the very special launch of the Mei Ume restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel, Ten Trinity Square. I cannot tell you how I excited I was about this event as it is not often that I get to spend an evening sampling Asian food and after growing up in Singapore, it is something I desperately miss. I invited my husband as my plus one and he too was keen to experience this intriguing launch party.
Arriving at the stunning Grade II listed building of the Four Seasons, we were whisked towards the restaurant and outside there were two smiling Geisha’s waiting to welcome us. Once inside, we were handed a glass of champagne and had a tour of the restaurant – a luxurious warm interior with hints of reds, browns and oranges with delicate paintings of cherry blossom, oriental trees and a banquet scene. Adding a personal and homely touch, there were classic antique figurines on display amongst the dark wood panelling and soft lighting. There was also an intimate private dining room, available for up to 14 persons.
There was a high level of sophisticated energy pulsating throughout the evening, with beautiful displays of food, cocktails and an impressive sake bar.
A personal highlight for me was Mei Ume’s signature dish, a whole Peking duck, which was carefully carved by one of the smartly dressed chef’s. The succulent duck was served with pancakes, cucumber, leeks (used instead of onion so it doesn’t overpower the duck) and a plum dressing which was mouth wateringly delicious, we had at least three servings, each. There were also perfect offerings of scallops, prawn and mushroom dim sum, every kind of sashimi and nigari, all wonderfully prepared – the sashimi on a bed of ice and the dim sum were tiny bites of deliciousness tucked into little bamboo baskets. It is no real wonder that the standard is so high when the team comprises of Head Chef Tony Truong, formerly of Royal China, supported by Sushi Chef Mun Seok Choi from Sake no Hana and Dim Sum Chef Derrick Chen from Yauatcha, all highly regarded Chines and Japanese restaurants in the UK.
It was great to speak with many of the staff and hear how excited they were about their new opening, in particular, Charlie Parker, the Four Seasons General Manager and Wine Director, Jan Konetzki who were both thrilled at the arrival of this new fusion restaurant and envision a prosperous future for it. Can I just point out that Wine Director might possibly be the best job title I've ever come across?
Our conversations were suddenly interrupted by the arrival of an enormous Chinese dragon which came storming through the restaurant, dancing and leaping and at one point jumping up to eat some lettuce hanging from the ceiling. This was symbolic of a Chinese tradition where eating the head of a lettuce brings good luck and wealth.
We were very fortunate to be at the launch of this amazing restaurant. The staff of Mei Ume, its delicious food and ornate decor exceeded every expectation. I am already looking forward to my next visit.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
10 Trinity Square