Yauatcha Soho has become a dim sum destination. Just moments away from China Town it offers a high quality of Oriental food, dim sum and larger dishes. The colourful restaurant has been satisfying the Chinese cravings of Londoners for over 10 years, and proudly holds a Michelin star for its fine cuisine. I loved both the experience and the food at the original Yauatcha so was itching to try the second London branch when it opened last month.
Yauatcha City is found in the newly redeveloped Broadgate Circle complex. Nearby to Liverpool Street this area is a hub during the week for city workers and business meetings. Alongside Yauatcha, a host of popular eateries have set up shop including my favourites Jose Pizarro, Botanist and Franca Manca pizzeria. This new shiny branch of Yauatcha has many of the same design elements and characteristics of the flagship restaurant, with smart black furniture and stylish lighting.
On a Saturday evening the restaurant was busy but calm, I imagine it is a different story mid-week. We settled into a lovely window table and excitedly looked through the menu of dim sum delights. The service here is slick and professional, and our waiter, James, was exemplary, friendly and personal, helping us choose all the best dishes. After a round of strong expertly mixed cocktails we were very excited to move onto a feast of Chinese treats. We picked a few dim sum recipes to start, continuing with crispy duck pancakes and a few main dishes. Wagyu Beef Puff arrived at our table first, delightful little mouthfuls of rich tasty meat encased in perfect pastry.
Amongst my favourites was the Char siu cheung fun (BBQ pork steamed rice noodle roll) the slimy glutenous recipe did not look very appetising, and yet it was utterly, addictively delicious. The meat inside had a salty crispy charm and the rolls were served in a pool of indulgent sauce, deepening the flavour further. I rarely get the chance to eat Crispy aromatic duck so I relished the opportunity to order it at Yauatcha City. Unsurprisingly this rendition of the classic Chinese DIY dish, was faultless. The finest duck with ample crisped skin, sweet and thick plum sauce and a side plate of cucumber and spring onion. I greedily grabbed the best pieces of meat for my rolls, which were absolutely divine… and I made a mental note to eat Crispy Duck more often.
The main courses are ideal for a longer leisurely meal. Stir-fry rib eye beef in black bean sauce was a dish I remembered well from the Soho branch, I loved it so much that we had to have it again! It did not disappoint, chunks of grilled beef coated in a sticky aromatic sauce and mixed with still-crunchy onion and pepper. Every element was cooked perfectly to create a texturally exciting dish. Seafood fans should try the Fried chilli squid with oatmeal and curry leaf. The soft squid pieces are coated in a delectable light topping not dissimilar to cornflakes!
Egg fried rice is an essential side dish, and there are a range of vegetable recipes to choose from. We tried the Spicy aubergine with sato bean, okra and French bean with peanut. The aubergine was soft and sweet though I found the sato bean bitter and overpowering. Perhaps these unusual vegetables are an acquired taste.
Yauatcha City has its own on-site patisserie, with a cabinet of jewel coloured macaroons tempting you as you walk in the door. I umm-ed and ahh-ed over which flavours to choose, classic or curious. The violet and rose varieties were lovely, though it is the Pandan Leaf (known as the vanilla of the East) that I would recommend. Despite its bright green colour the macaroon had a subtle and unique taste, a pleasant final flavour for the palate.
For something decadent opt for the Chocolate Pebble. This cake is a work of art and I noticed the surrounding guests shuffle in their seats to get a glimpse as the beautiful plate was placed down onto our table. The chocolate brownie is wrapped in a dark chocolate coat and topped with an artistic and complex chocolate ornament. I found it too rich after the indulgent meal but my guest loved every second he spent demolishing it. It illustrates the skill and precision that is exercised in the Yauatcha kitchen.
Yauatcha City builds on the success of the original restaurant, and serves a feast of the finest Chinese delicacies in the most stylish of settings.
More information on Yauatcha City, see the menu and book a table here.