Some say Vancouver, the city I am based out of, has dim sum which rivals Hong Kong. I would tend to agree. So what’s the situation in London? From my experience, Chinese food in London, and other Asian cuisines in general, are not so great. Many are of mall food court (ie Panda Express) type quality.
So when I felt like having dim sum for lunch in London, I searched and settled on this place – Yauatcha Soho.
Here was what I thought from reviewing their website:
- It was trying to do some modern takes on dim sum which, from my experience, don’t work 90% of the time.
- It would be priced high relative to “the real stuff”, but hey, its London.
- Sometimes, I do put venue ahead of food, and this seemed like one of these places.
- I hadn’t had Asian food in weeks so I was prepared to overlook some of the above.
So what was the verdict?
The space is nice and modern. There are two levels and we sat at the lower level next to the kitchen. There were some Chinese people eating there which was a good sign.
We started with the spicy soft shell crab.
It was phenomenal. The seasoning was bold and had tons of umami. I wanted more and it was still on my mind the next day.
The crispy duck roll was next. A play on Peking Duck. It was just ok.
The truffle XLB was good and full of soup. The scallop prawn siu mai was very refined and fresh. The lobster dumpling with shallot incorporated the scallop well and had good flavors (note they only give you 3 pieces where most traditional places give 4-6).
We also had this take on shrimp toast which was good.
The hand pulled noodles were cooked in a wok that was obviously well seasoned.
To finish, we had macarons.
Overall, this was a delicious and enjoyable meal. I should note that this place is from the same owner as Hakkasan, which has a Michelin star for their London location (Chinese food); although I would not put as much weight on the Michelin guide for an Asian place as I would for a Western place. Service was pretty good. I think people expecting a traditional dim sum place might be unprepared for the style of Yauatcha’s dim sum and prices, BUT it was good and I would go again for the shoft shell crab, and at night, as I believe the atmosphere would be vibrant.