Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square 10 Trinity Square , EC3N 4AJ
WLC Rank : 36
Glass from : £ 8.50 (125 ml)
BEST FORSoaring ceilings and intricate decor
Classic Peking duck and pristine sushi and sashimi
Cocktails inspired by ancient Chinese astrology
Punchy wine list and expanded, clearly defined sake selection
Mei Ume is a chic Oriental mosaic of a restaurant, bar and private dining room, with a learned drinks selection.
Mei Ume (meaning “plum blossom” in Chinese and Japanese) combines the culinary talents of Cantonese head chef, Tony Truong (formerly of Royal China) and South Korean sushi chef, Mun Seok Choi (Zuma and Sake no Hana).
Masterly, Jan Konetzki, who oversees wine operations across all outlets at 10 Trinity Square, has authored a confident wine selection to suit most wallets, including a friendly-of-price, German Auxerrois (Dengler), exuberant Australian Pinot Gris (Beurrot, Kooyong), and sprightly Corbières (Domaine Ollieux Romanis), ranging to the half bottle of heatwave “brother” to the Grand Vin, Forts de Latour. Alongside, the sake list has notable clarity in its explanations, hence in Akashi-Tai Genmai Yamadanishiki Aged brew, which is available as part of a flight, “…we find walnut, forest floor, stewed meat and leather, slightly reminiscent of an Oloroso Sherry.”
Food and drinks matching can be problematic when sharing dishes, family-style, Konetzki realises. “Sushi is a celebration and elevation of a raw product, while Cantonese is about how many things can you put into a dish while still achieving harmony,” he observes. “People drink very differently at Mei Ume compared to how they might next-door at La Dame de Pic. Whatever you choose to do, you’re always right and a bit wrong, because the food has so many aspects to it.”
There are some outstanding matches if you pay attention, however. Hence, with whole Peking duck served across two courses, first with pancakes, leeks and cucumber, then as a crispy duck salad with cherry tomatoes and juicy tonkatsu dressing, Konetzki recommends Bruno Paillard’s “Premiere Rosé” (first pressing) Extra-Brut Champagne, or the terroir-inspired, iodine, lemon and pear scented sparkling sake, Keigetsu ‘John’ from Kochi, originally made for owner, Mr. Matsumoto’s good friend and wine aficionado, John. “A sip of that with a duck sandwich is a super happy combination.”
Meanwhile, Pinot Noir, be it the mini Gevrey-esque Fixin (Frédéric Magnien) or Grand Cru Chambertin, Clos de Béze (Pierre Damoy) “sleeps with everybody”, muses Konetzki.
By Douglas Blyde.