New Cantonese restaurant XU promises its diners an escape from the ordinary

A brand new creative concept that blurs the lines between a culinary destination and a secretive dining experience

Half hidden away in the Kempinski hotel lies Dubai’s newest and most enigmatic restaurant is now open. In a setting adorned with lanterns, neon lights, crimson-tiled walls and mirrored ceilings, XU will be serving exceptional Cantonese-inspired cuisine with additional Southeast Asian flavours.

Diners will take the elevator to the second floor and head to the soft red glow at end of the walkway. Once welcomed at the door, they can either lounge by the open kitchen and bar on animal-print velvet banquettes or eat at more intimate tables, including those out on the secluded terrace. A place of opposites and intrigue, shadows and light, XU is both a place to be seen as well as an escape from prying eyes.

This intimacy is reflected in the sharing plate menu, with appetizers such as crispy lemongrass chicken, Asian-style buttermilk prawn, and charcoal grilled Wagyu beef ribeye with spicy peanut sauce. A dim sum selection includes har gow (with tiger prawn) and chicken shumai (with truffle and foie gras). Mains feature an osmanthus plum baked Chilean seabass, a seafood clay pot with tamarind chilli sauce and a grilled rack of lamb with oriental gravy and chilli sauce. Both diver caught scallops and Canadian lobster are also available on request. Desserts are satisfyingly indulgent and influenced by western flavours and techniques.

An extensive wine list is complemented by signature cocktails inspired by Chinese pop culture. Favourites include the Bruce Lee inspired Be Water with a gunpowder infused vermouth, the tequila-paloma Year of the Dragon, and the Hungry Ghost with the traditional Chinese spirit, baijiu.

Serving dinner only, XU promises diners a late night escape far from the ordinary and the mundane.

Rizwan Kassim, co-founder of RIKAS Hospitality Group, says: “We set out to create a truly unique restaurant with XU. Somewhere to escape to and leave the rest of the city behind, in an intriguing, intimate, sophisticated space, but with a sense of humour too.

I’m not just proud of the menu we’ve put together here, I also think there are so many stunning design details to take in: you could come back time and time again and notice something new each night. In fact, I challenge people to do so!

Located in the Kempinski Hotel,Mall of the Emirates, 2nd Floor. XU is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am and from Thursday to Saturday from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am.

To find out more or to make a reservation, please call +971 4 394 6252 or email [email protected]. More information can be found via Instagram @xurestaurantdubai.

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