Brummell recommends: Xier|XR

Ten courses of exquisite fine-dining fare can be discovered upstairs at chef Carlo Scotto’s first solo venture

Food and Drink 13 Jan 2020

Red Mullet at Xier
Xier's minimal and natural tone in the interior makes a delightful gastronomic journey
Organic beef fillet at Xier
Rose-cured salmon, foie gras, figs, hazelnuts, with apple reduction at Xier

The background

Xier/XR is two restaurants in one. On the ground floor XR serves a changing à-la-carte casual-dining menu of carefully prepared classics including sharing plates of beautifully cooked meat. On the first floor Xier serves a 10-course fine-dining tasting menu of exquisite and imaginative modern European cuisine with Asian influence. Both restaurants are lead by Italian chef Carlo Scotto, who trained under Angela Hartnett and whose menus are inspired both by his heritage and travels through Asia. Xier/XR is Scotto’s first solo venture and opened in April 2019 in the heart of Marylebone.

The space

Brummell reviewed the 10-course tasting menu at Xier, which can be found on the first floor and through a curtain above XR. Xier is intimate and cosy without being crowded and has minimal and clean décor of white and natural tones. It’s the ideal pared-back setting for a thrilling gastronomic experience.

The menu

Xier’s 10-course tasting menu is available in equally tempting versions for meat eaters and for vegetarians. Scotto is a chef who clearly cares about his vegetarian customers and has created a menu that is just as exciting, varied and delicious as its meaty counterpart.

A French Kiss starts the 10-course feast: a gathered bunch of fragrant herbs to use as a crudité for a delicious, vibrant vegetal carrot dip. This is served at the same time as the crispy pancake with ceps, truffle and chestnuts served on a bed of moss onto which liquid nitrogen is poured, releasing an earthy-smelling vapour across the table, the perfect accompaniment to the rich and umami flavours of the pancake.

For meat eaters this is followed by a complex and moreish Orkney scallop crudo with cured duck and a miso dashi, then fresh and complex rose-cured salmon with foie gras, mandarin, hazelnuts and apple, while vegetarians can look forward to a fresh beetroot tuile with ricotta, horseradish and mandarin followed by an irresistibly rich miso aubergine with stracciatella and spinach. All diners then get a delectable cep gyoza served in an aromatic hay tea followed by a perfectly tender and sticky black cod in caramel miso with celeriac mille-feuille for carnivores and a gorgeous dish of caramelised artichokes with muscat grapes, parsnip crisps and pistachios for non-meat eaters. Perfectly cooked British beef served with muscat grapes, artichoke and onion ash follows for omnivores, while vegetarians enjoy a seasonal and deeply flavoured celeriac mille-feuille with brandy snow and onion ash. All patrons then get to experience Scotto’s signature fizzy grapes, a treatment of the fruit that somehow lets it sizzle and pop in the mouth, alongside a selection of cheese. This is followed by an extraordinary selection of desserts named ‘Sweet Pleasure’ on the menu but consisting of a collection of desserts that includes a delicious caramel mousse encased in shining chocolate, a fruit carpaccio with accompanying foam and an irresistible mille-feuille with hazelnuts and topped with a see-through sugar sculpture that wouldn’t look out of place at the Tate Modern.

It’s an incredible culinary experience from start to finish, with each dish adding more complexity and flavour than the last.

To accompany the tasting menu the wine and cocktail pairing comes highly recommended. Xier suggests a selection of incredible wines or cocktails, each as well thought out and as interesting as the next. There is also a deluxe pairing for those who really want to take advantage of the restaurant’s expert sommeliers.

In summary

Xier is an incredible addition to the London restaurant map, with well-thought-out and unfussy but exceptional food. Each member of the team is as rightly passionate about the restaurant and what it serves its grateful customers as chef Scotto and this dedication comes through in every detail.

The bill

The tasting menu at Xier is £90 per person. The wine and cocktail pairing is an additional £85 per person, or £190 for the deluxe wine pairing per person.

Xier/XR, 13-14 Thayer St, Marylebone, W1U 3JR,