Yauatcha - London
Lunch in London can mean only one thing; reserving a table in the heart of Soho, on Broadwick Street to be a bit more exact, and, at the Michelin starred 'Chinese dim sum teahouse,' (hakkasangroup.com) Yauatcha, to be spot on! Although the name may be a little tricky to pronounce, or, jot down for that matter, the dim sum here is exceptionally good. The food served up is mouth-wateringly delicious, authentic, moreish, beautifully presented, and, if our dining experience is anything to go by, you just can't get enough of it! Let me show you what I mean...
To begin, Scott and I were shown to our table downstairs; seated on low, leather seats and sandwiched between other hungry diners. To the left of us, the theatre and drama took place in the busy, professional kitchen, with food being fashioned up into artistic masterpieces. Above us, twinkling fairy lights shined from the ceiling, and battery operated LED candles flickered from within custom made alcoves in the walls. We were sat close to the stylish cocktail bar, complete with a built-in fish tank that housed lots of pretty, tropical fish. As we waited for our menus, we marveled at the dishes making their way out of the kitchen in hot pursuit! Our hungry tummies didn't have to wait for long because soon after we had taken in the atmospheric venue, we were presented with the menus. There was so much to choose from that we ended up opting for the 'Yauatcha Signature Dim Sum Menu' (£40 per guest). Whilst we waited for the banquet to begin, a small offering of fresh, cold cucumber parcels accompanied by sweet, spicy chili dips were placed in front of us...
Once we had ordered our food, we selected our drinks. I chose the most delicious 'Tokyo Cooler;' lemongrass, raspberry, elderflower, peach and guava juices. I actually didn't take a photo of Scott's, but I think from memory, he opted for an Asian beer.
It wasn't long before we could snap open our chop sticks, roll up our sleeves and get stuck into the good stuff! The dishes, we were forewarned, would arrive in quite quick succession, and, depending on when they were ready from the kitchen. So, should you be prefer to take your time during courses, I'd suggest ordering a few dishes off the A La Carte menu to begin with. If you are still feeling peckish, then add extra courses to your meal as you go along. The food comes when it's ready, like at most dim sum restaurants, and I assume this is because it is all freshly prepared - some dishes take just a matter of minutes to assemble. We started with the 'Blue Swimmer Crab Salad with Peanut Sesame Dressing.'
Followed by the 'Venison Puff's' which tasted as good as they look! Buttery, flaky pastry concealing a sticky, rich sweet gravy and succulent chunks of venison.
Then came the 'Poached Peking Chicken Dumpling;' a freshly prepared, sticky sweet mouthful of dim sum.
Then onto the 2 tier bamboo steamer basket which showcased (on the top level) 'Har Gau,' which were delicate, melt-in-the-mouth shrimp dumplings. Packed full of flavour and seasoning, they were gone in an instant!
Then the 'Pork and Prawn Shui Mai' which was still steaming from its basket.
Next, onto the 'Seafood Dumpling Soup...'
Then the last of the steamed dishes, the 'Striploin Beef and Enoki Mushroom Cheung Fun.' A tasty pairing of tender beef strips and enoki mushrooms, which are typically used in East Asian cuisine, encased in jelly-like rice pastry. Simply divine!
And now to the showstopper, in my opinion, the MOST delicious 'Crispy Aromatic Duck 1/4' I think I have ever had the pleasure of eating!
Accompanied by freshly prepared, piping hot pancakes...
Rivaling the duck pancakes, comes the 'Fried Chilli Squid with Oatmeal and Curry Leaf,' just when we thought it literally couldn't get any better...!
We finally arrived at the end of our meal, the last few bites we just about managed to find room for... The 'Chinese Vegetable;' quite simply pak choi cooked to perfection. Still crunchy and sweet but coated in a garlicky dressing.
I would highly recommend a trip to Yauathca if you are in the area and dim sum is what you fancy! We can't wait to come back again soon and relive the delicious crispy duck pancakes and sweet, sticky dim sum! You should definitely go, go, go!!!