Yauatcha – London
I love dim sum and am not priggish about when it should be eaten. Last week on a chilly Sunday ill advised trip to Selfridges we decided to reward ourselves with some lovely steaming dumplings. We cross referenced our iPhones and found the nearest dim sum joint was Yauatcha on Broadwick Street not far from Carnaby Street. I had heard a lot about Yauatcha. Some things were postive such as their supremely balanced steamed goodies and some negative such as brusque service and cramped eating environment. After eating we found all those comments were fair.
Sadly, we couldnt eat in the upstairs room which was far more roomy and were whisked to the basement. To be fair we hadn’t booked and it seemed rather busy so weren’t too bothered until we saw the table we would be eating at and also the proximity to a rather boorish family who were crammed on the table next to us. I made apologies and tried to navigate my booty around the small gap between the tables but the presumed father made no attempt to move any of his stuff so I trod on his Uniqlo bag. He was so wrapped up in his dull diatribe with his family that he didn’t even notice.
The menu is interesting, there is dim sum obviously but also traditional full plate items such as crispy duck and sweet and sour pork. We decided to concentrate on the dim sum. I had a glass of voigner and Rich had a japanese beer. The waiters were attentive but seemed a little bored with what they were doing.
We ordered Har Gau, Scallop Siu Mai, Lo Bak go, Lo mei gei, a mango and prawn fried thing, and some spring rolls perhaps we had more stuff, not sure. Whilst the order was taken we had a look around the room. It was designed for the evening really. Exposed brick with hundreds of pretend candles with clever rocking mechanisms to evoke real candlelight.
Meanwhile the family grim droned on. Mother grim opined ‘Our cleaner claims every benefit there is going and she goes to Florida every year’. Kids set the agenda as seems to be the case in the modern family. All rather depressing. We nibbled on complimentary sweet pickled cucumbers which were delicious.
Soon the procession of Dim Sum came out which were uniformly great. It was good to see chilli oil being provided as standard as it is my favourite dipping sauce. Sadly dim sum and small table space are not happy bed fellows so some shuffling was required but staff were quick to clear empty plates. Special note should go to the Lo mei gei which tasted like chinese risotto with delicious minced pork and dried shrimps. Lok bak go was equally good due to the addition of chinese chives. Star turn though was the scallop siu mai which was beautifully cooked, light and flavourful.
The bill was reasonable but we only had dim sum so was about 50 quid each.
I would definately go again but would book so I could have a bit more space, perhaps on the first floor.
Yauatcha, 15 Broadwick Street, London W1 (020 7494 8888). Open 10am-11.30pm. Most dim sum cost £3.50-£5 and cocktails cost £7.