To celebrate the Lunar New Year and the start of the year of the rooster, we decided to inaugurate the Bowls category with our first restaurant review and a little Chinese feast. Our choice for the occasion was Yauatcha, a restaurant opened in 2004 by Alan Yau (also founder of Wagamama and the more luxurious Hakkasan). The restaurant is specialized in dim sum and was awarded a Michelin star in 2005.
“Dim sum” in cantonese, or “Dianxin” in mandarin (点心) means “to touch the heart”. It refers to a wide variety of small dishes, both sweet and salty, that can be eaten all throughout the day. In Hong Kong, certain restaurants actually begin serving them at 5 a.m.!
For the new year festivities, the restaurant is decorated with red lanterns. In China, red is symbolic of prosperity, happiness and good luck.
At the entrance of the restaurant there is a counter where you can order desserts, pastries and macaroons, each more pretty than the next. For the occasion, Yauatcha created special edition ones in shades of red.
The main reason we chose this restaurant was because of their large selection of vegetarian dim sum. It is usually very difficult to avoid meat and fish when eating dim sum, but not here! We ordered: edamame truffle dumplings (Tibo’s favorites), curry taro croquettes, steamed vegetable dumplings, wild mushroom dumplings, pan-fried vegetable Shanghai dumplings, three style mushroom cheung fun (Audrey’s favorite), and garden dumplings. Everything was absolutely delicious.
To finish off the meal, never being able to skip dessert, we chose their Milk Chocolate Tie Kuan Yin (Papouasie milk chocolate, breton sable, dulce de leche crème). It might just have been the best part of the meal, which is rare for an Asian restaurant.
Yauatcha surpassed our (already high) expectations, and was surprisingly affordable despite their Michelin star. We paid £58 for 7 orders of dim sum and a dessert. Be sure to reserve a table before going, and make sure you’re not in a rush since the service was pretty nonexistent.
Pros : Reasonable prices for exceptional quality food. Many vegetarian options.
Cons : Slow service.
15-17 Broadwick Street
Open from Sunday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.