Sunday, April 30, 2006
Yauatcha Restuarant in London – The best of both worlds
East meets West in this amazing convergence aquarium. Yauatcha is the latest creation of Alan Yau, who was the man behind Wagamama, who earned the first star in Guide Michelin for Dim Sum in London with Hakkasan. Yauatcha also has a star. Yauatcha is a fantastic restaurant is set in the hearth of Soho on Broadwick Street 15, in an old post office. It is in two floors with a café and restaurant upstairs and bar restaurant downstairs. I always sit upstairs if I can.
It is seldom you see as good attention to detail in a restaurant as you will find at Yauatcha. Everything has been designed from the ground up by Ken Winch. There are four things that make this restaurant totally unique and amazing. First: I find the design fantastic. The feeling on ground level is light, on two walls you are surrounded by aquariums in one fish swim around in the other the pastry chefs prepare the most beautiful cakes I have ever seen. The cakes are created in front of the customer, but behind a milky glass making the cake theatre seem surreal. The cakes alone are the second reason, amazing culinary sculptures at £4.00 a piece, a steal deal. The third reason is the prawn and date dumpling wrapped in nori and deep fried. Simply a great culinary sensation. The fourth reason is the drinks. They do some amazing cocktails, and fused with the dim sum, the cakes it all becomes culinary convergence.
The food is Chinese, but very authentic. They fly in their chefs from Shanghai, and the restaurant manager said they often do not speak English making communication a challenge. Their specialty is dim sum. I was not really a big fan of dim sum before, but now I love it. I am sure it will be the next sushi- a global trend of cuisine spreading in the west. It is fresh beautiful and often quite light. It is pretty to look at and is easy to wary into different colours and shapes, textures and most importantly tastes.
I have had other dishes at Yauatcha, but now I focus primarily on the dim sum. Another thing making this so great is I find that this for being a one star restaurant in the hearth of London is quite decently priced. I have several data points where I have paid £40 for a meal including a bit of drinks.
Yauatcha and Hakkasan is under the same ownership, I have visited both, but was very disappointed at Hakkasan. Lots of small mistakes and food was not up to the standard of a one star restaurant and it was more expensive than Yauatcha.
It took two years to renovate Yauatcha. The chairs were custom built; the glasses and plates are custom plates. The uniforms were designed by Tim Yip, the man who won an Oscar for art direction in Grouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (according to Frommers review) It is that attention to detail I really love at the place also demonstrated by the staff serving the food.
05:48 AM | Permalink
Sounds devine - are you still away first weekend of June? IM me ...
Posted by: AJ at May 17, 2006 11:54:16 AM
I was just there last week, and I second your review. The dim sum was very sophisticated and better than what you find in Silicon Valley (where we also get good Chinese). I also liked the tea smoothies.
I have also been at Hakkasan, and even though I was not as disappointed as you were, I agree that Yauatcha is the better choice (and definitely the better value for money).
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