I don’t know what it is about dim sum that I love so much…maybe it’s because it reminds me of pic ‘n mix when I was a kid. You get to try a bit of everything, sampling lots of tasty morsels all at once and without feel too full. Yauatcha Soho has been my favourite dim sum place in London for years but today was the first time I’d be checking out the latest branch, Yauatcha City in Broadgate Circle.
Yauatcha is part of the Hakkasan Group, which encompasses some of my favourite restaurants, and it’s every bit as good the two fabulous Hakkasan restaurants and Japanese, Sake No Hana.
There’s a reason why dim sum means ‘touch the heart in Chinese’, these bites are like little pockets of happiness, steamed dumplings just bursting with a tasty filling. These wild mushroom parcels were my absolute favourite with the delicious umami flavours and the slight earthiness of the mushrooms.
The menu is expansive and there’s so much to choose from; dim sum that’s steamed, fried, baked or grilled and there’s soups, salads, meat, fish and vegetable dishes. We decided to stick with the dim sum menu so we could have lots of variety.
The scallop shui mai is based on a classic dim sum, inside the case is a succulent pork filling but the chefs at Yauatcha City elevated the dish with a delicate topping of sweet scallop and tobiko.
Another classic is the har gau, one of the most popular dim sum dishes; the pleated skin is stuffed with shrimp, and a little pork and packaged into this perfect parcel. The delicate dish has been nicknamed, shrimp bonnets owing to the shape, it’s so intricate that a chef’s skill is often measured by his ability to make it.
King crab Shanghai siew long bun with pork need to be eaten very carefully and you are provided with an extra bowl to help. If you haven’t had them before they’re actually very delicate cases and as you bite them, they burst open with the most delicious hot and slightly sour soup. I actually recently tried long buns for the first time in Hong Kong and these were every bit as good as the local ones. Chef Tong Chee Hwee, the executive Head Chef across the Hakkasan Group, grew up in China but due to his Hakka culture, he had little experience of Cantonese food and had never tried dim sim until he worked in Singapore aged 18. However, he finely honed his skills in Cantonese cuisine under Chef Chen in Hong Kong and has created the incredible Michelin-starred menus at the Hakkasan group restaurants.
The char siu bun had the perfect fluffy texture of the outside, though I found the sticky pork filling a little too sweet, but I think people would a sweet tooth would absolutely love it!
I love the tasty spicy flavours of the of the Pork Szechuan which came in a very light peanut oil sauce giving it slightly smoky flavour.
Prawn and bean curd cheung fun is a very popular item on the menu and we loved the silky wrapping incasing a delicious crispy pastry and the plump prawn filling. Chef Tong Chee Hwee is keen to keep the food authentic whilst adding a modern twist as he does here, updating the traditional cheung fun to add in the crunchy texture and contrast.
Desserts are an absolute highlight at Yauatcha and Broadgate Circle houses the first ever standalone Patisserie for the brand. I’m so in awe of pastry chefs and their absolute stunning creations and it was difficult to make the choice. In the end we opted for the strawberry meringue with strawberry compote and vanilla cream, a delicious dessert new on the menu for summer. I love use of ingredients that are reminiscent of British summer time and the light and zesty flavours of the dessert.
Our other dessert was much stronger in flavour with rich cherry notes mixed with 70% Cuban chocolate mousse on a vanilla pastry – kind of a sexy black forest gateau. The taste was sublime and with little brownie pieces and chocolate sorbet the dessert definitely wasn’t bitter as cherry can be sometimes.
The decor at the restaurant is quite different to its Soho counterpart, think city slick with bare brick walls and low lighting but with cherry blossom motifs to give it that Asia flavour.
On either side of the restaurant is a terrace where you can sit under the shade of a cherry blossom trees and enjoy some of the signature Asian cocktails.
In China its believed that good things come in pairs, and I’d have to agree that Yauatcha City is the perfect twin to the Soho counterpart. I can’t wait to come back and try the terrace when the sun comes out!
PIN FOR LATER:
My lunch at Yauatcha City was complimentary