Yauatcha, the popular and self-styled dim sum house in London’s Soho and Broadgate Circle, is celebrating Chinese New Year with the launch of a dedicated set menu.
Designed to be shared by a minimum of two people and priced at £60 ($78) per head, the Chinese New Year Signature menu is a celebration of what London has come to expect from the restaurant since its launch in 2004.
The evening began with some delectable dim sum, which is traditionally a breakfast food in China but has become an all-day dining experience in London thanks largely to Yauatcha’s influence. A trio of these photogenic parcels included spicy scallop, wild mushroom and a prawn and chicken shui mai.
All three dim sum were beautifully presented and will sit nicely on any food blogger’s Instagram feed, but only two of the three lived up to the high expectations – the chicken failed to turn up to the party and was undetectable alongside the prawn.
The dim sum was accompanied with venison in a buttery puff pastry and was certainly the pick of the starter dishes. The venison was cooked to the point of being stewed in the middle while the pastry was a wonderful balance of sweet and savory.
A homemade tofu with prawn shavings was deliciously supple and full of flavor. They were served alongside a crispy monkfish cheek, which were ever-so slightly overcooked but salvaged by the accompanying salsify and homemade sweet chilli sauce.
The main dish and the highlight of the meal was the peking-style pulled pork, which was served with a sticky sauce, golden mantou buns and lettuce leaves for scooping. The pork was cooked to perfection and fell apart in the mouth.
The super sticky rice with wind-dried sausage was a simple yet delicious side dish, if a bit difficult to prise apart with the disposable wooden chop sticks. The steamed fresh water prawns were as bland as they sound, adding to the bulk of food but not to the experience as a whole. The stir-fried three style mushroom with shredded tofu balanced out the heaviness of the pork nicely.
Dessert offered up the chance to cleanse of the palate and was a fine example of Yauatcha’s accomplished patisserie. A trio of choux buns are held together by a perfectly-infused matcha Chantilly cream and served with mandarin slices, a mandarin compote and mandarin sorbet.
While the sorbet was sharp and sweet, the compote was a surprisingly good accompaniment to the choux buns. Once again, this dessert offered more fodder for the Instagram addicts and was the delicate finish needed after the heavy mains.
At £60 per head, few customers will feel short-changed by Yauatcha’s Chinese New Year feast. In the heart of London’s business district, there are few places that offer better value for money at this level of dining.
Away from the food, the restaurant was playfully decorated with delightful pig stencils to celebrate the start of the year of the pig while a performance from a traditional dragon midway through the meal invited a warming sense of occasion.
Yauatcha City is located at 1 Broadgate Circle, London, EC2M 2QS. It’s Chinese New Year Signature menu is available until February 24. To book call +44 (0)20 3817 9888 or visit www.yauatcha.com