A Luxurious Mid-Autumn Feast at Mei Ume, Four Seasons Hotel London
October 5, 2017
With the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival falling on the fifteenth day of the eight month, Mei Ume within the Four Seasons Hotel London at 10 Trinity Square, is the perfect place to experience this luxurious feast in a five star setting.
The special lunch and dinner menu including eight courses and a cocktail is available until Saturday priced at £65pp. China’s Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the lunar calendar’s most important periods – marking the harvest season and making it a time to give thanks to friends and family. The delicious menu at Mei Ume certainly reflects that.
Having just launched in June, Mei Ume is an absolutely stunning restaurant. With high ceilings and decorative columns, beautiful silk screens and traditional artworks adorning the walls, it’s worth a visit just to marvel at the incredible design, although of course, you’ll be blown away by their amazing food too.
And so to the eight course feast, which began with a Lunar Elixir sharing cocktail – a smooth tropical blend of Umeshu sake, coconut rum, frangelico, creme de cacao, pineapple and yuzu juice. While drinking it, we were told the enchanting tale behind the Lunar Elixir, which made Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon. In a long ago past, an archer called Hou Yi was deemed a hero for shooting down 10 of the nine suns which were scorching earth. His reward, the elixir of life. But not wanting to be parted from his beloved wife Chang’e, he chose not to drink it, instead giving it to his wife to protect. When greedy Feng Meng tried to steal the elixir, Chang’e realised the only way to protect it would be to drink it. But the elixir made Chang’e immortal, and sent her soaring higher and higher, where she finally settled on the moon.
Whilst indulging in our cocktails, the first course arrived. A traditonal Yu Sheng Cantonese style salad made with chicken, ginger, carrot, white raddish, beetroot, cucumber and tiny rice paper crisps. A delicious plum and lemongrass dressing poured over the top gave this salad its zing, while the salad was traditionally tossed (lo hei) for good luck before eating.
Next came the dim sum – four beautifully coloured dumplings, all containing very different ingredients. My favourite was the green one stuffed with truffle and wild mushrooms although the scallop siu mai topped with orange caviar was a close second!
With two dishes down, the mains all arrived together. Tender slices of roasted Iberico char siu pork in Shauxing wine (traditional rice wine) and soy sauce; wok fried Hereford beef fillet in a Mongolian barbecue sauce; steamed halibut with pickled asparagus and wok fried pak choi with garlic and ginger, along with steamed lotus leaf fried rice. I loved the Hereford beef, smokey, but not too overpowering and beautifully cooked chunks of meat. I also, surprisingly loved the halibut – with its meaty texture and mild flavour balanced out by the pickled veg and the soy sauce. We enjoyed these courses with a French red – La Cote Sauvage Cairanne from the Cotes du Rhone – which was just perfect with the beef.
Rounding off dinner with another tradition, the serving of mooncakes – which represent the moon, we enjoyed classic fillings of bean paste, salted duck egg yolk and my favourite, coconut and custard. The mooncakes are also available to buy in a special gift box, should you want to take some away.
Suitably full, we headed back to the station, the Tower of London in the distance, perfectly illuminated by the moon. Visit Mei Ume until Saturday to take advantage of the gorgeous eight course Mid-Autumn Festival menu which has been specially created by Head Chef Tony Truong.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield