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Rock or roll?

To get a booking at the 3-star DiverXo at the Madrilène NH flagship hotel in Madrid, be prepared to wait — on average six months.

So instead, we decided to “make do” with Chef David Munoz’s Street Xo on the top of El Corte Ingles Callao. I have to admit we got more than we bargained for — simply put, a new way to rock!

When they want to develop their know-how and expand their business, most 3-star Michelin chefs decide to be on the safe side. They might develop a chic bistro, elegant brasserie, more affordable version of their fine dining, consulting business, bakery or steakhouse, et cetera, et cetera.

Very few celebrity chefs really try to innovate, to integrate themselves into the new and vibrating world of the urban jungle, to try and touch the largest and youngest crowd, to offer new global experiences, to challenge the “right-thinking” people or “narrow-minds” who are always ready to remind us how much better it was before, how classic the gastronomy should be or, more simply put, who are closed off to changes and new experiences. Even fewer chefs are ready to accept the risk, overcome their own fears and oppose the advice of their marketing advisor or PR agency, to jeopardize their “fine dining” image, just to please us.

David Munoz and his Street Xo concept is the rare exception to that rule.

A plastic chicken head sits under a glass cloche above the Street Xo counter.
A plastic chicken head sits under a glass cloche above the Street Xo counter.
I love the uniform and interaction with the chef, but even better was the fantastic Singapore Laksa revisited, with so much taste and passion from the chef who served us that night.
I love the uniform and interaction with the chef, but even better was the fantastic Singapore Laksa revisited, with so much taste and passion from the chef who served us that night.
Pekinese dumplings, crunchy pig’s ear and … strawberry hoisin sauce! A Pollock look combined with fabulous taste.
Pekinese dumplings, crunchy pig’s ear and … strawberry hoisin sauce! A Pollock look combined with fabulous taste.
In Tokyo? No, Madrid!
In Tokyo? No, Madrid!

This restaurant was simply what I would call “a Generation Y version of Atelier Joël Robuchon”! It was stimulating, vibrating, inspiring and, most of all, tasty.

It is so refreshing to work with chefs who, 3-star or not, dare to innovate, experiment, live with their local community and rock. They are much like the city of Madrid, which is now embracing a strong modernity through its culinary experiences and benefiting from fantastic product sourcing but also great influences from all over Spain and the world.

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