Upscale South American fusion cuisine with bar, club and DJ
Category : Bar, Restaurant
| Cuisine : South American
Opening Times : Mon-Wed: 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-1.30am; Thurs-Sat: 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-3.30am
Closest Tube : Green Park
MNKY HSE really shook things up when it arrived on Dover Street, breathing new life into London‘s clubland by offering a different format for partying in W1. Rather than hitting up a bar then a restaurant and a club, MNKY HSE instead invites you for the one-stop destination, packing in all three to the site that formerly housed the infamous Dover Street Wine Bar. Set up over two floors, it offers an exceptional evening out with a stunning crowd and a trendy yet accomplished South American cuisine.
On the top floor you‘ll find a laidback lounge area that boasts all of the hallmarks of a Mayfair hideout, with low-slung chairs, simple wooden chairs, a DJ booth and, of course, a plenitude of mirrored services (and guests furtively checking each other out). The vibe gets more plush as you descend to the lower level, where table hopping and throwing shapes is encouraged with long, adaptable tables. There‘s an open plan kitchen helmed by Pablo Peñalosa Nájera, erstwhile executive chef at the Four Seasons and Morimoto in Mexico City.
He‘s brought his talents with Latin American flavours to bear in Mayfair, combining traditional elements of various cuisines with seasonal British ingredients. We kicked our meal off with a trio of guacamoles, which was really quite incredible: it came smoked or spiked with chilli or wasabi. Compared to many of the taquerias opening up, the menu is quite extensive. Guests can choose from shishito peppers, aguachiles, salads, soft tacos, tostadas, carnes (meat), pescados (fish), verduras (veg) and arroces (rice).
Of all the dishes sampled, our favourites were the Wagyu tostada - the sumptuous Japanese breed beef was sliced razor thin then dusted with a spicy, astringent pico de gallo. The yellowtail aguachiles were also notable, cured with orange, ginger, passionfruit and jicama. Nájera nods towards Nobu with his rock shrimp tempura and spicy mayo, but also with the black cod citrico, marinated with miso and citric peels.
A lot of the real magic of MNKY HSE centres on its exciting dancefloor. In the evenings on the weekends it doubles as a nightclub, with live performances and excellent, globally recognised DJs. If you want to check out the new breed of Mayfair entertainment, tuck in here.