Yauatcha Soho

During our last stay in London, and taking advantage of the time before a Musical, we went to Yauatcha (with a Michelin star), for a “light” meal of Dim Sum.

The restaurant, opened in 2004, by Alan Yau, also responsible for the Hakkasan – the first British Chinese restaurant to get a Michelin star – sets its philosophy, similarly to its older brother, in the traditional Chinese cuisine and a cosmopolitan environment.

Divided in two sections, tea room and pastry shop on the ground floor, in a presentation of some of the best teas in the world, combined with the best of the French pastry with Asian ingredients, and the restaurant, in the basement, where the most of the action takes action. The restaurant, with a decoration that transports us to a bar or a night club, with a dark environment yet with a well accomplished lighting, a bar that occupies the entire room and a giant aquarium, and of course the “packed” tables that almost make us eat in a community, to the style of a good bar.

Getting a table without reservation is not an easy task, but at the time of our arrival (the end of lunch) we were able to get a vacancy, to our delight.

香酥炸鴨卷, Crispy Duck Rolls (£7,80)

Thin and crunchy pastry, flawless frying and a filling of shredded duck, succulent and full of flavor. A beautiful start.

圍蝦滑燒賣, Shrimp and chicken Shui Mai (£7.20) 筍尖鮮蝦餃Har Gau – Shrimp Dumpling (£6,40)

Flawless Shui Mai, with chicken instead of the usual pork, thin pastry and shrimp on point. Delicate and tasty like the good dim Sum must be. The Har Gau itself presents a good quality shrimp and a great pastry. It’s delicious with the spicy sauce that Yauatcha puts on the table. That kind of food you feel like eating everyday!

Shanghai Dumplings, Chicken and rice pastry (£5.80)

Cooked like a gyoza, concerning its crispy cover, contrasting perfectly with the remaining pastry. On its turn, the filling was tasty and delicate, with a good seasoning that didn’t mask the subtlety of the chicken.

叉燒滑腸粉, Char Siu Cheung Fun – Pork and rice pastry (£7,20)

Cheung Fun, like a caneloni made with rice pastry, steam cooked and filled with pork meat to the style of a Char Siu (refering to a sweetish mix, with several ingredients, which is used to marinate the pork meat that after is usually roasted). Unctuous and delicate, with a meat and sauce full of flavor. A great ending to a meal.

Here, and given the festive environment, the best is to let yourselves get carried away by the wide cocktail menu, but there’s also a good wine list, here with options for every taste, also with Portuguese wines like the Cazas Novas, from the region of Green Wine or the Loios from Alentejo, served by the glass (£7,10).

The Service, similarly to the restaurant, flees the rules of the starred restaurants of the Michelin Guide, a good looking team and a relaxed work, quick and efficient in a more informal environment and bustle.

Final Remarks
It wasn’t for nothing that Alan Yau sold the Hakkasan group by large millions to an Investment group and that the Michein Guide keeps awarding his cuisine, like here at Yauatcha. It’s not only a place to see and be seen, it’s a place that incorporates the spirit of Soho in its atmosphere, but that continues to translate unmatched tradition and rigour in the kitchen. The presented dishes were a great showing of what this restaurant has to offer, so we promised to come back and get to know the rest of the menu, like the prawn Cheung fun, which was recommended to us, a posteriori, by the chef Leandro Carreira (now at the Climpson Arch), as well as the impressive desserts.

A good and accessible way to get to know the cuisine of the restaurant is the menu Tasting of Yauatcha (£28,88) for two, served between 2 and 6 pm, with a wide selection of Dim Sum being served. The Yauatcha is the best you can expect of a restaurant specialized in Dim Sum, in London.

15-17 Broadwick Street, Soho – London
+44 (0) 20 7494 8888

Versão Portuguesa

Text: João Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses 

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