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Square Meal Review of Yauatcha ?

‘Slick and tasty’, ‘the best posh dim sum ever’, this Michelin-starred teahouse with add-ons is a sophisticated world away from Chinatown’s dumpling joints. Clean lines and bright, white surfaces set the mood in the frenetic, café-style ground floor, while the sexed-up, moody basement mixes jewel-like colours with flickering candles and tanks of tropical fish. Pick from a wide-ranging menu of sensational morsels encompassing everything from roast duck and pumpkin puffs or spinach balls with prawns and cuttlefish to unmatchable pork and preserved-egg congee. There are also some bigger plates (braised sea bass with shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots, say) and it’s worth saving room for the dreamy crossover desserts and multi-hued macarons– perfect with Yauatcha’s stunning tea collection and sexy cocktails. As ever, grumbles focus on ‘cramped tables’, ‘slack’ service and OTT prices, but this remains a brilliantly ‘rounded experience’ – and great fun.

Ron Diplomatico

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  1. Published : Wednesday, 9 July 2014

    WordOfMouthLDN :: Dim Sum and Then Some..

    To conclude our day of natural hair antics at ‘Women in The Jungle’, we made our way into Soho to a recommended Oriental Restaurant- Yauatcha.

    Yauatcha, is a contemporary dim sum teahouse located in the heart of London.

    If you have read our other posts, you know how we feel about customer service, particularly being greeted upon arrival. So to our delight we were greeted at the door and given the option of where we would like to dine, upstairs/downstairs? Opting to sit downstairs, we were escorted into an intimate oriental underground dining space; a low lit, hideaway from the hustling streets of London...
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  1. Published : Sunday, 15 June 2014

    inher30s :: Yauatcha

    A Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant seems a bit off-kilter to me, not because I doubt the quality of the food but because I associate Michelin stars with poncy French restaurants, waiters with indecipherable accents all with a background of pindrop silence.

    But that’s where Yauatcha comes in – it’s retained it’s 1 Michelin star status for 8 years, a worthy achievement in London’s ever changing restaurant scene!...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 8 February 2012

    Rate My Bistro :: Yauatcha – Soho

    For Chinese New Year this year, we were lucky to have our family member from overseas in town for it! To make it an extra special celebration, we went to Alan Yau’s Michelin-starred Yauatcha restaurant in Soho. This finally fulfilled yet another one of my dreams and that was to go and dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant!

    Yauatcha has a blue theme with a wonderful fish tank along one wall of the restaurant. Just inside the entrance is the counter fridge displaying the many eye catching desserts. The soft lighting sets the mood of the restaurant. There is some cushioned seating and also some round white tables and dark leather chairs...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 3 October 2013

    Nomface :: Yauatcha, London

    A long anticipated visit to 1 Michelin starred Yauatcha in Soho London was finally fulfilled last month. We were all looking forward to sample the dim sum dishes, desserts and drinks that we had seen plenty of pictures online. As a party of 3 that evening, we ordered a selection of cocktails and mocktails...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 28 November 2013

    wetrykai :: Yauatcha -€“ Chinese worthy of the accolades

    To get us in the festive mood, T and I decided to go large with Yauatcha – if we’re going for Chinese, then let’s go for CHINESE (well, it’s not Michelin starred for being average!).

    Located in the depths of trendy Soho since it’s opening in 2004, Yauatcha is designed to retain the feel of a traditional Chinese teahouse which has undergone a big modern face lift. Their specialty is modern authentic dim sum (as the three pages of choice would suggest – they have 5 types of shiu mai! I have only every known one!) but they also offer a full al carte menu of plated dishes and treats from its patisserie counter. For the drinkers don’t fret, there’s an equally comprehensive cocktail menu!...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 19 December 2013

    FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl :: Yauatcha, Dec 2013

    Alan Yau’s brainchild is in good hands with the Hakkasan group. I’d consider Yauatcha with HKK and Hutong to be the tastiest Chinese (fine) dining restaurants at the moment (granted, I’ve not made my way yet to Pearl Liang). It is one of my favourite places for a deluxe and relaxed Sunday lunch, which tend to last for hours. From the fried chilli squid to the venison puff to the crispy duck salad and crispy prawn and bean cheung fun…what’s not to like?!...
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  1. I love the stars in Yauatcha and by this I don't just mean the gorgeous star-like fixtures in the basement restaurant, but the stars on the menu as well. The restaurant is still quite dependable for dim sum after all; no wonder they've retained their Michelin star all these years. They do have big plates and actual dishes too, but I really prefer their dim sum offering and patisserie treats...
    More from Musings from the girl next shore »

  1. Published : Sunday, 23 June 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: Yauatcha

    Yauatcha, founded by Alan Yau in 2004, is a well established dim sum restaurant in London. It is part of Hakkasan group which was acquired by Abu Dhabi investment company Tasameem in 2008. The group almost holds a monopoly of Michelin stars for Chinese restaurants in the city (Yauatcha, Hakkasan Hanway Place and Hakkasan Mayfair) with the exception of Kai. Yauatcha is different from many restaurants in Chinatown in that it offers dim-sum in the evening as well (dim-sum is traditionally eaten in the morning/early afternoon in Hong Kong) which is quite nice...
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  1. I’ve been to Yauatcha, on numerous occasions, to purchase cakes to takeaway. However I never sat inside to dine, one cold dreary evening, I found comfort at Yauatcha and ogled over the cakes. Each item itself looked like it was spun into a masterpiece. I won’t lie it took me a good 10-15 mins to decide what I wanted, too many choices.

    As we weren’t there for dining, my friend and I were placed at the bar, the chairs looked like olden day washing baths and the seating was towering over a petite person like me. Before seating I already knew what cake I wanted, Pumpkin gingerbread. As for drinks Kumquat and jasmine ice tea appealed to me the most...
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  1. Published : Friday, 1 February 2013

    Saying it straight :: Yauatcha.

    The restaurant is set out on two floors. The top floor, where we sat, is a very modern minimalist space, with clean lines and good lighting and tables not too close to each other. The only problem with the tables however is that they are just too small. And not only the tables. The chairs are not proper size – they seemed halfway between grown-up chairs and something you might find in a traditional Japanese restaurant, but not quite. I’m practically a midget and found the chairs uncomfortable and they would not be particularly kind to a larger posterior – not that I have one of course.

    I made C choose steered C towards the dim sum set menu. Despite my innate control-freakery I sometimes allow myself to just have the set menu without insisting on a Harry met Sally type of variation, rare though it is, There were enough things like that I liked and recognised and it didn’t seem like bad value for the amount of food. So much for my “little amounts of food” fantasy...
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  1. Published : Monday, 8 October 2012

    samphire and salsify :: Yauatcha

    I was a little apprehensive about our visit to Yauatcha for two reasons. Firstly, because whenever we go somewhere serving Chinese food my gentleman companion seems to order everything on the menu irrespective of price or stomach size. The second being that Yauatcha is owned by the same people who own Hakkasan Mayfair which we found so disappointing; it was expensive and totally style of substance. I feared this would be the case at Yauatcha...
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  1. Published : Monday, 3 June 2013

    vialaporte :: Yauatcha* // Soho // London

    Looking for a nightclub with Ping-Pong level food? Go to Yauatcha. With trendy waiters, Tiesto/Guetta music blaring in the background and Wagamama-style communal tables, the atmosphere at Alan Yau’s Michelin starred restaurant is...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 6 April 2013

    Mitziesbubble :: Yauatcha: a dim (sum) affair

    Ive spent nearly seven years making it my mission to eat out in London, and in all that time I’ve had Yauatcha on my wish list. So why have I waited this long? A crop of seriously bad reviews all focusing on one unforgivable flaw; service, or lack thereof. If you’ve read my previous rant, you’ll know that this one annoyance is enough to send me running for the hills...
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 13 February 2013

    FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl :: Yauatcha, Feb 2013

    We’ve been to Yauatcha on numerous occasions and always left very satisfied customers. We particularly like to go for Sunday lunch when there is a more mellow vibe and there tend to be less flashy uber-hipsters hanging around the bar. However, we’ve not paid Yauatcha a visit since super restaurant-operator Alan Yau parted ways with one of his crown jewels (he’s the Yau in Yauatcha)...
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  1. Published : Monday, 8 April 2013

    Sybaricious :: Yauatcha, a Dim Sum Dream

    I love dim sum. Juggling slippery har gau with chopsticks, peeling opening bright white springy char sui bao buns to reveal the sticky pork inside, its the stuff dreams are made of. In short I absolutely adore it but being as most Chinese restaurants only serve it during the day when I'm usually squirrelled away in an office somewhere overlooking the M4 I don't often get to eat it. Not many places of any note serve the decent stuff in the evening and last year's debacle that was Ping Pong has made me very wary indeed.  That said J&D were visiting from Liverpool with a craving for dim sum which had to be sated. Cue an outing to Yauatcha. Located amongst the fabric shops and farmer's market on the corner of Berwick and Broadwick in prime time Soho, Yauatcha does stand out somewhat from its surroundings like a bright blue fish tank.  Once inside the building is divided into two, the upstairs being a more casual tearoom with an absolutely gorgeous patisserie display. Heading down some neon blue lit stairs into the dark cavernous basement beneath feels a little bit Star Trek at first. The downstairs dining room resembles the flotation pool in a posh spa; twinkling fairy lights in the ceiling and tanks of tropical fish around the bar with flickering faux candles embedded in the gold tiled walls. The early evening chill out dance music adds to this feeling. Nothing wrong with this per se, very relaxing indeed but just a little um... unusual.  As the evening went on the music went uptempo to become slightly more discoey (is that even a word?) - well you know what I mean. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Alan Yau's restaurants generally. Wagamama clearly has a place in the world of chain, fast food dining and was pioneering when it first emerged but I never seem to find myself eating there these days. Sake no Hana was a bit of a disaster from start to finish (tried in my pre blog days otherwise it would have been a corker) whereas Hakkasan I found very pleasant but clearly in a completely different league to the others in the Yau stable. Despite having been sold in 2008, Yauatcha still bears the hallmarks of the Yau dynasty with its contemporary but classic spin on oriental cuisine.  The cocktail list is pretty varied and versatile with various options leaping out at me. Between us we sampled a few my favourite of which was the Golden Aster martini conjured together from bourbon, sweet vermouth, aperol and lemon chilli syrup. Warm and spicy but just light enough to still be refreshing.The chilli martini, lychee martini and the citrus martini (gin, vodka, limoncello, passionfruit, grapefruit & orange juice) all also hit the spot and there were plenty of other options on the list I'd be keen to try on a return fixture. At £9.80 each cocktails are pretty reasonable compared to many other Soho hangouts and complex enough to feel like they have earned their keep. Venison puffs were first to step up to the plate encased with buttery, sesame topped flaky pastry concealing a hot, gelatinous gravy soaked gloop of sweet seasoned tender venison. I had thought at first that they might be overly dry due to the amount of pastry but in hindsight they had done well to keep the pastry so crunchy with the amount of lovely filling. Char sui buns were equally gorgeous in their filling and generous too. Just like the ones that you get everywhere else but kind of 'supercharged'!Crispy duck rolls were big fat cylinders absolutely stuffed to the gills with shredded duck meat, thin cucumber and spring onion strips snug inside a crispy but not overly greasy casing. By far and away the best duck rolls I've ever had. The hoi sin sauce was, well, like normal hoi sin sauce but complaints there.Chilli squid with oatmeal was springy without being rubbery whilst maintaining a crunch on the outside. Yes, oatmeal might be a rather unusual ingredient for chilli squid and could be classed as a cheating a bit were you to be of a grouchy disposition but it was very good. Just enough chilli heat to tickle your taste buds and salty enough to get the juices flowing without having you reaching for the water Almond fish cakes were unusual, the filling was almost quite rubbery in texture like thai fish cakes but then coated in  crunchy almond outer casing before being fried. They had a lovely fragrant flavour further enhanced by a light but tangy orange blossom type dipping sauce.  Pork and prawn shui mai are hardly innovative but this rendition of an old favourite was extremely well executed. Too many shui mai I have had recently have an overly meaty flavour to them but these were perfectly balanced between prawn and pork and well seasoned. This brings me on to one of the criticisms levelled at Yauatcha out there in cyberspace which is that many of the dim sum dishes are nothing new or imaginative but then again what would dim sum be without har gau, shui mai or char sui bao? If anything it is harder to impress with your version of something classic than it is to impress with something new.Next time I'm definitely going to be trying the lobster dumpling with tobiko caviar and the blue swimmer crab shui mai, I got too full to order them this time unfortunately!Poached peking spicy chicken dumplings were little sticky pockets of flavour, plenty of coriander then a warm surge of spice in the accompanying broth.One of the indisputable stars of the show was the platter of jasmine tea smoked ribs, a main course option at around £12. Although covered in a very sweet and sticky (but utterly lovely) barbecue sauce, the soft smoky tea flavour of the meat itself was clearly distinguishable.Mongolian venison with red pepper, potato and onion in a thick butter and black pepper sauce was possibly the most tender venison I have ever eaten. At one point we were left scraping the sauce off just to check it was slices of meat and not mince patties underneath it was that soft. Gentle game flavour just coming through the sweet but peppery sauce.Every bite that we took whilst at Yauatcha was absolutely beyond criticism. So, onto the cost of this escapade. I really, really dislike the practice of many Parisian restaurants (and a fair dose of New York ones too) of not putting any prices on their website. This insistence of sharing a menu but no costs is one that smacks of arrogance and a sense of "if you have to ask the price you can't afford us". It's rare that this happens in London but I was disappointed to see that Yauatcha's website is one of those unforgiving places, this implied to me that I was in for an exercise in rampant wallet bashing.  Totally unnecessarily so as well since prices, although higher than your average Gerard Street eaterie, are not that bad. Most dim sum dishes are around £7 and desserts around £8. Considering I called at 3pm for a 6.30pm table on a Friday night Yauatcha are not super-fully-booked, maybe not being so recalcitrant on the published price front might attract more punters?We ordered at least 7 dim sum dishes, a couple of mains and multiple cocktails and left stuffed to the gills and a bill of £140 between three; less than I've paid per head in Ping Pong in the days before it turned into Pong Pong. The big remaining question is whether it deserves that Michelin star? The food is undoubtedly an excellent example of its kind, definitely a notch above most other dim sum places. That said, I don't think it is as good an experience overall as Hakkasan and is not what I would traditionally categorise as a Michelin starred one.  Chopsticks are snap-yourself wooden jobs and napkins are paper and presentation is nothing incredible. It's always hard to make a comparison across different cuisines, but the type of experience that you get at somewhere like Chez Bruce, Dinner by HB, Joel Robuchon or any number of other "fine dining" (I hate that phrase!) venues leaves you feeling much more special than you do here.  Quite a few people online had pilloried the service at Yauatcha referring to it variously as 'dreadful'and 'cold' but this wasn't my experience. Ok, it wasn't top notch service wise (I did have to chase for soy sauce and some other bits) but it was far from the bad experience I had steeled myself for. So a couple of niggles around the overall visit but one thing I couldn't fault at all was the food and ultimately isn't that what we're there for? Would I go again? Yes definitely. Excellent for pre theatre or casual catching up with friends but probably not what you're looking for on a romantic night out or special dinner. Having missed out on dessert I can't wait to go back soon and sample the delights of the tea room.Yautacha15-17 Broadwick Street.Soho, London, W1F 0DL+44 (0) 20 7494 8888
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Private Dining at Yauatcha

Soho is famed for its diverse and colourful personality and has always been recognised as one of London’s most popular destinations with some of the city’s best restaurants and bars on offer.

Yauatcha’s bar, on the ground floor, allows diners to enjoy cocktails along with ‘small eats’ at any time of the day. Our internationally acclaimed mixologists not only execute the classics with flair but are constantly evolving new techniques and unprecedented cocktail design and flavour combinations.   Ingredients include fresh fruit juices, Chinese and Indian tea, fine sake, premium spirits and Champagne. Signature cocktails include the Lalu, a combination of vodka, lime, lemongrass, oolong tea and lychee juice; the Kumquatcha mixing up cachaça, Campari, kumquats, lime and mandarin juice and the Kura Mi Ami martini made with gin, vodka, sake and plum wine.

The palette of design materials used throughout the space informs a modern interpretation of the old Chinese teahouse.  Famed interior designer Christian Liaigre, has generated an emotional architecture creating the feeling of a traditional tea house yet with a modern twist.  The bar concept and fittings are by Marion Guidoni, who has created a moody and striking space encircled by illuminated blue glass.  The striking bar furniture is by Ben Dawson and includes low pastel leather sofa seating and a high marble bar with striking wooden cut out bar stools. 

Yauatcha’s bar is available for semi private hire for smaller groups or for exclusive hire for a maximum of 40 people.

Please contact Tobias Gibreel on [email protected] or 020 7494 8888.


Private Room Capacity
The Yauatcha Bar 40

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