XU — Eater London’s readers’ choice for restaurant and restaurant design of 2017 — will add a teahouse to its restaurant on the borders of Soho and Chinatown. The Taiwanese-inspired restaurant already uses tea extensively during service, creating cold brewed tea cocktails as well as serving the drink in its own right.
The new, dedicated teahouse is founded on the guiding principles of Taiwanese tea service, with hand thrown pots and a tea tray designed bespoke by Anna Hodgson. Already offering a ceremony that allows the diner and/or drinker to control subsequent brews at the table, this will be paired with an afternoon tea service showcasing small dishes — jian dui, hei tang cake — alongside the sweet and savoury teas. Rice bowls will be served at lunchtime along with traditional Taiwanese sweets, including pineapple cake and fried mochi.
Opened by the founders of Bao — sister and brother Wai Ting Chung and Shing Tat Chung, and Shing’s wife Erchen Chang in May 2017, XU enjoyed the highs and endured the lows of a critical rollercoaster in its first few months; it has since settled confidently into a widely, if quietly-acclaimed restaurant. As well as using tea throughout service, the restaurant has a dedicated tea kiosk and tea master.
XU Teahouse will open on 16 July and run a 50 percent off soft launch until the end of this month.