Locappy Review Upscale dim sum at its best, Yauatcha is a meditation on balance, harmony and restraint. This Soho restaurant is pure elegance, with food as artfully composed as fine calligraphy. From the moment you step inside, you get the feeling that you are participating in something special, and that each mouthful has been carefully created. Naturally, a meal at Yauatcha is a splurge and the kind of thing saved for a special date night or celebration. Prices are definitely on the high end but seem well worth it considering the quality and authenticity of the ingredients. Portions are small and presented with flair, and the atmosphere is relaxed yet somehow ceremonial. Included are wontons, steamed and fried dumplings, wraps, the obligatory buns, tofu dishes and a heavenly congee. Classics include a chicken pot with shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and sticky rice, but once in a while an ordinary dish liked braised sea bass is served with bamboo and surprising wolfberries, or pork belly comes garnished with turnips as you’ve never seen them before. Their popular dim sum and tea pairing option allows the uninitiated to navigate their way through a frankly bewildering menu, as is often the case with dim sum. By balancing out traditional Asian flavours and notes, guests get to see a surprising and unexpected side to common ingredients. Though obvious pains have been taken to ensure the overall presentation is genuine, there are plenty of playful fusion attempts and spirited reworkings of the usual chicken, beef and pork into creations with wagyu, venison, scallops and crab. Think jasmine tea smoked ribs, venison puffs and liberal use of ginger, soy and red pepper - just in completely novel places. Booking is essential and service is swift and unobtrusive. Expect clean, pared down decor with just enough warmth to remind you that you are not, in fact, in some clinical Japanese food chain.
Google If you want nice Chinese food, particularly a good selection of tasty dim sums and tea, this is the place! Nice modern deco and attentive service. The food is just incredible and the prices aren't too steep.
Google The whole experience is essentially dim sum with a really fancy price slapped on. It might have been purely psychological but I found the food to be less oily than usual. Certain things, in particular the siu mai, reminded me of Hakkasan and I suppose it wasn't at all peculiar seeing that I later learned that Yauatcha was opened by Alan Yau, owner of Hakkasan. Both places serve delightful chinese food but if you're a food picture-taking junkie like me, it'd probably be best to go with Yauatcha seeing that the latter supposedly doesn't permit it. At least from the last time I was there. The desserts were very pretty but I wasn't too impressed by the taste, having ordered the Coffee Chocolate and Jasmine Honey but there were other choices I felt I probably should have made that looked more tempting. An assortment of handmade macarons can also be bought at the patisserie counter.
Google Probably the best chinese restaurant I've been in London! A little bit expensive but it's definitely worth visiting, just for the experience. *Try dimsum with prawns!
Google A contemporary dim sum teahouse. That's how Yauatcha describes itself on its website and how could that fail to sound like a really fun idea? Lots of small dishes to graze upon, laid back chatter in between comforting sips of tea. It's perfect for catching up with friends or a casual date. Add a Michelin star to its credentials, however, and my former student self begins to get nervous. Visions of minuscule morsels and a monstrous bill begin to rise in front of my eyes. That's why I couldn't quite believe it when I saw an eight-dish tasting menu for two for the very specific amount of £28.88. It may only be available Mondays to Thursday between 2 and 6pm, but £14.44 a head just didn't seem credible. A Michelin-star restaurant that is actually affordable?! Yauatcha is a creation from Alan Yau, who previously developed the Wagamama and Busaba Eathai restaurant chains, so perhaps affordability shouldn't be that unexpected. Except from that fact that he also created the high class Hakkasan, also with Michelin star and where prices are a casual £58 for a Sunday dim sum menu. The catch had to be in the portions. The dim sum had to be so small that they might be accidentally inhaled whilst sneezing. One sharp intake of breath and the food would vanish forever, never once grazing the tongue. These, however, proved to be wild fantasies. I left Yauatcha comfortably full and desperate to throw my money at them again: the food, in case you haven't guessed, was beyond excellent. Quite frankly, I have no idea why Yauatcha has escaped my radar, and if it's not been on your map either, sound the alarms, get out your GPS and cancel your weekend plans – dining here should be an imperative for any foodie. Behind a front of dark blue glass lies a sleek, modern interior with dark wood-topped tables, padded chairs and cakes. That's right – beautiful, colourful and extravagant cakes lining a bar near the front window. The temptation is so blatant that it should be illegal. We settled in, placed our orders and awaited the goods, fortunately with the desserts out of our line of sight. They were, however, soon forgotten as a myriad of delights decorated our table. The first dish to come was sticky rice with chicken and shrimp wrapped in a lotus leaf. Simple though this was, it was one of the highlights of the meal. It was beautifully flavoured that I would have happily been served it as an entire meal and eaten a giant bowlful without getting bored. It was so delicious that I found myself trying to save some until last. We were then presented with a variety of dumplings which banished unfortunate past memories of stodginess and really highlighted the subtlety that is so often lost in Chinese cuisine. Each dish was a delight and devoured with pleasure, and perhaps a little sorrow: they tasted so good that they inspired extreme greed and cravings for more. Particularly worth noting was the venison puff that carefully balanced sweetness against the rich flavour of the meat. The prawn and beancurd cheung fun (steamed rice roll), whilst not the most aesthetic piece to Western eyes – indeed it is sometimes called 'pig intestine' due to its appearance – was firm but light, and again disappeared all too quickly. Even though we were embarking on an extraordinary tasting journey, we were aware of the high quality service we received: our waitress had exactly the right approach – that perfect balance between professionalism, genuine interest and pride in what was being served. And, of course, why wouldn't the waiting staff be proud? They're serving excellent food. Yauatcha is in a class of its own.
Google Impressive tea selection, delicious sweets and perfectly prepared dumplings. The decor and layout upstairs were a bit sterile. Ask to be seated downstairs where it's a bit more welcoming.
Yauatcha is a casual-dining dim sum tea-house offering an all day grazing experience, launched in 2004 in the centre of Soho, London.