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Yauatcha


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camp_dick, thanks for the laugh.

I honestly can never remember who says cilantro and who says coriander. After I wrote zucchini and hit Add Reply, I remembered that I should have written courgette.

(Can I admit that sometimes I intentionally invite sniggers from the vulgarians? This time, however, it was unintentional.)

I just remembered another two dishes from Yauatcha. Mongolian Beef. Not great but it was good. A bit tough. Everyone but me liked the Chinese broccoli. At least that's what I think it was. As I didn't order it, I'm not sure how it was listed. It had a nice flavor but was undercooked as far as I was concerned.

- kim

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

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  • 2 months later...

Disappointing meal here yesterday. Service seems stretched and the room is still as awful as ever, especially if you have to turn left at the bottom of the stairs.

We were seated, then minutes later we were moved and re-seated in the dreaded area left of the stairs. It took 15 minutes before somebody took our order (we hadn't even been asked if we wanted drinks). Prawn and Mango pancake rolls arrived seconds after ordering, followed shortly after by Prawn Cheung Fun. The pancake roll lacked seasoning, we shouldn't have ordered this knowing that Mangoes aren't in season. Prawn Cheung Fun was a good example, 3 large prawns well cooked. A steamed dish of Duck with Shitake mushroom was excellent, prawn with yellow chive (?) was also good but not as earth shattering as previous visits. Venison puffs were OK.

In fact, that was probably the problem with this visit, nothing seemed any more special than the Chinatown Dim Sum restaurants and that is an area that Hakkasan and Yauatcha have excelled in previously.

Then we waited. And waited, 15 minutes passed without any mention of our remaining dishes. It was difficult to get the attention of the seemingly disorganised wait staff so I set a 2 minute limit before I would ask for the bill. After about 30 seconds a spring onion cake arrived. That was the last food we say, I left it another 15 minutes before I gave up on the Singapore noodles and the Shaghai dumpling and asked for the bill.

Shoddy service average food, I won't return in a hurry.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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  • 3 years later...

Has anyone been here recently and had a high tea set? My wife and I went a couple of weeks ago with another couple. We've always loved Yauatcha because we consider Dim-Sum and Patisserie as two of the major food groups, and two that aren't combined often enough. So we ordered the usual selection of dim-sum and two of the oriental high-tea sets for dessert to share between us. The waitress tried her best to persuade us to have one set each, which for £25 per set is bit much for dessert. She'd obviously been told to do this because she was adamant that the tea-sets were not now for sharing. She explained that the sets had shrunk from a size 10 to an 8, but knowing that the old size was enough for three people we stuck to our guns and ordered two between the four of us. What was she going to do huh? Slap the macaron from our lips if we split it?

Well I'm happy to report that the Venison puffs are still up to standard but the tea-sets themselves have shrunk from a size 10 to more of a size 6 I reckon. Now I'm wondering if we hadn't have made the fuss about sharing would the waitress have told us of the shrinkage? The menu was still the same so no indication there and certainly the price hadn't seen a similar fiscal contraction. Overall we still had an enjoyable meal, but I can't help thinking if we'd come just for the high-tea then we'd have felt seriously ripped-off.

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  • 3 months later...

Went here about 2 months ago. Overall the food was much better than the first time around, even if it was a Friday night. All of the dim sum were between good and very good (at least for a western palate). I found the meal to be highly enjoyable in general. It definitely deserves that !* rating, although it is on the lower end, compared to others in London.

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  • 2 months later...

Went here yesterday and the patisserie are gone! Don't know since when as my last visit was September. It appears that pastry chef Stephane Sucheta has gone and that they have become a fully 'yum cha' dim sum restaurant. But a new pastry chef called Kotesh from Nobu is arriving to revive the patisserie, when ? is that Kotesh Kumar Khandala ?

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  • 5 months later...

Yes - we were also very disappointed to see the patisserie is no more. They still have the nice boxes in the window just to tease you. We used to buy them now and again for a treat to take home, so very sad they have gone.

Does anyone know where Stephane has moved on to?

Cheers,

Harry

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  • 1 year later...

Hadn't been here for quite a while. Today's lunch was as good as ever: I didn't notice any deterioration in quality (intimated somewhere).

Service was sweet and unhurried too, in a room only half full.

Anyway, in revenge for all the times service hadn't been good, Woman drove them absolutely crazy making them search for a missing scarf, only to discover back home that she hadn't been wearing it.

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We went here perhaps spring, early summer, last year and had very mixed feelings about the place.

Like a number of places we visited, I was too busy to review it at the time and it got lost in space so to speak.

To add insult to injury my laptop has been invaded and I have lost all of my pics, as my security had elapsed and I had not backed stuff up.

What do they say about lifes lessons? Yes they are bloody hard earned.

So back to the report.

The dim sum, of which we consumed as large a spread as two people could, were pretty special. Not that I am in any way an expert on dim sum, but assumed it would be difficult to extract any more flavour from what was on offer, if you get my drift.

The prices of the carte are high and for me that is offputting, but the dim sum pricing is user friendly and not going to cost you an arm and a leg.

I can not remember how much we paid, but we ate for England and seem to think it was about £25 to £30 a head.

Most certainly a recommend for the high quality dim sum.

Service is very hit and miss and I am sure this is down to the amazing success of the place.

I booked a table on a Sunday lunch (wrong on reflection). I may as well not have bothered. We had to join the back of a near twenty people in the queue. After A VERY LONG WAIT we were seated upstairs at perhaps the worst table in the place, when I had specifically (on booking) requested another. We decided not to ask to be transferred, as we had given up hope somewhat, and at this point were both ravenous.

Service continued downhill with brusque attention seemingly aimed at hurrying us out of the door so that the next punters could occupy our bum warmed seats.

The icing on the cake,(not) was one of the waitresses whisking TWO unfinished dishes away whilst we were still actively eating. Needless to say I made another member of staff hunt her down to rectify the situation.

Pretty damb shoddy, to say the very least.

But did they give a fuck?

Did they hell. Its a numbers game.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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The dim sum, of which we consumed as large a spread as two people could, were pretty special.

Visual prop (sorry about your computer misadventure David):

grigliati.JPG

dipesce.JPG

scallops.JPG

Our experience of service has always been more or less like yours, so we were stunned to be treated like human beings and not cattle on our latest visit. But there were few people around.

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Even though they look like something from an alien planet, and the aliens could erupt from the pods and devour the recipient at any given time, those food pics look alluringly inviting.

I suppose if we were to revisit, choosing a less busy time seems the way forward.

Despite the dreadfull service, the food would lure me back no doubt.

Just need a bit more time to get over it (service that is).

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Still never been - I've never really had any decent dim sum. Are there better places in London for this kind of food?

I'm far for being an expert, but at least I find it distinctly superior to whatever I've tried in Chinatown (now some years ago). Of course Hakkasan should be at the same level. For what is worth, Hayler thinks these two are the best in town.

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Still never been - I've never really had any decent dim sum. Are there better places in London for this kind of food?

No Hakkasan, Yauatcha are still top dog for getting dim sum, certainly for the non traditional sort. I haven't been to Yauatcha for a while but in the past I've never seen that much difference in standard between it and Hakkasan (although if I was splitting hairs the dollop of tobiko on the shumai looks a little more miserly than its been in the past).

Nowadays I tend to prefer the Mayfair Hakkasan, if only because you can eat in the daylight rather than being shunted into a dingy basement. The menu is slightly more westernised (e.g. TCR has a lovely beef tendon dish you don't see in Mayfair) but on the dim sum section its much of a muchness.

To be honest though the level of places immediately below Hak/Yau it much more interesting. I mean the level of more modernish dim sum places which don't quite have the Hakkasan quality or attitude, but are a touch better than your bog standard Royal Chinas (the fact the RC is now sort of bog standard actually says a lot about the excellent quality of London dim sum).

For example I am very fond of Shanghai Blues in Holborn. The dim sum, while not quite as good as Hakkasan is excellent. However the real plus is they just don't have the arsey attitude you get at Hakkasan (viz comments about service above!). Nowadays I just can't be bothered to deal with snotty staff, prebooking credit card details, being forced onto set menus for groups more than eight, fumbling around in trendy but essentially unlit toilets and generally getting treated like a piece of livestock. Its much easier just to stroll into Shanghai Blues, grab a hassle free table and hit the dim sum. As a bonus they also have a particularly good range of choice for veggies, if you decide to consort with such people.

For another shot at modish dim sum also try Grand Imperial in the big hotel bolted onto Victoria station. For a place of its size it has surprisingly slipped completely under the radar. Their beef and foie gras guotie are ridiculously delicious.

Slightly more on the level of Royal China you then have Pearl Liang and perhaps Princess Garden of Mayfair. PG is quite traditional but the standard is good, the location is great and - unlike RC - they let you book on weekends.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Still never been - I've never really had any decent dim sum. Are there better places in London for this kind of food?

No Hakkasan, Yauatcha are still top dog for getting dim sum, certainly for the non traditional sort. I haven't been to Yauatcha for a while but in the past I've never seen that much difference in standard between it and Hakkasan (although if I was splitting hairs the dollop of tobiko on the shumai looks a little more miserly than its been in the past).

Nowadays I tend to prefer the Mayfair Hakkasan, if only because you can eat in the daylight rather than being shunted into a dingy basement. The menu is slightly more westernised (e.g. TCR has a lovely beef tendon dish you don't see in Mayfair) but on the dim sum section its much of a muchness.

To be honest though the level of places immediately below Hak/Yau it much more interesting. I mean the level of more modernish dim sum places which don't quite have the Hakkasan quality or attitude, but are a touch better than your bog standard Royal Chinas (the fact the RC is now sort of bog standard actually says a lot about the excellent quality of London dim sum).

For example I am very fond of Shanghai Blues in Holborn. The dim sum, while not quite as good as Hakkasan is excellent. However the real plus is they just don't have the arsey attitude you get at Hakkasan (viz comments about service above!). Nowadays I just can't be bothered to deal with snotty staff, prebooking credit card details, being forced onto set menus for groups more than eight, fumbling around in trendy but essentially unlit toilets and generally getting treated like a piece of livestock. Its much easier just to stroll into Shanghai Blues, grab a hassle free table and hit the dim sum. As a bonus they also have a particularly good range of choice for veggies, if you decide to consort with such people.

For another shot at modish dim sum also try Grand Imperial in the big hotel bolted onto Victoria station. For a place of its size it has surprisingly slipped completely under the radar. Their beef and foie gras guotie are ridiculously delicious.

Slightly more on the level of Royal China you then have Pearl Liang and perhaps Princess Garden of Mayfair. PG is quite traditional but the standard is good, the location is great and - unlike RC - they let you book on weekends.

J

Thanks Jon, very helpful.

My only real dim sum experience was at Pearl Liang - didn't have a lot, but I wasn't particularly impressed. Might try it again as it's a v convenient location for me. It's ridiculous that I've yet to visit the likes of Yautcha or Hakkasan yet though, for some reason I've always been happy enough lumping a fair sum on a tasting menu at one of the other high end restaurants in London but less so when it comes to cuisines i'm less familiar with but should prboably make an effort to get to know better!

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  • 1 month later...

Still never been - I've never really had any decent dim sum. Are there better places in London for this kind of food?

No Hakkasan, Yauatcha are still top dog for getting dim sum, certainly for the non traditional sort. I haven't been to Yauatcha for a while but in the past I've never seen that much difference in standard between it and Hakkasan (although if I was splitting hairs the dollop of tobiko on the shumai looks a little more miserly than its been in the past).

Nowadays I tend to prefer the Mayfair Hakkasan, if only because you can eat in the daylight rather than being shunted into a dingy basement. The menu is slightly more westernised (e.g. TCR has a lovely beef tendon dish you don't see in Mayfair) but on the dim sum section its much of a muchness.

To be honest though the level of places immediately below Hak/Yau it much more interesting. I mean the level of more modernish dim sum places which don't quite have the Hakkasan quality or attitude, but are a touch better than your bog standard Royal Chinas (the fact the RC is now sort of bog standard actually says a lot about the excellent quality of London dim sum).

For example I am very fond of Shanghai Blues in Holborn. The dim sum, while not quite as good as Hakkasan is excellent. However the real plus is they just don't have the arsey attitude you get at Hakkasan (viz comments about service above!). Nowadays I just can't be bothered to deal with snotty staff, prebooking credit card details, being forced onto set menus for groups more than eight, fumbling around in trendy but essentially unlit toilets and generally getting treated like a piece of livestock. Its much easier just to stroll into Shanghai Blues, grab a hassle free table and hit the dim sum. As a bonus they also have a particularly good range of choice for veggies, if you decide to consort with such people.

For another shot at modish dim sum also try Grand Imperial in the big hotel bolted onto Victoria station. For a place of its size it has surprisingly slipped completely under the radar. Their beef and foie gras guotie are ridiculously delicious.

Slightly more on the level of Royal China you then have Pearl Liang and perhaps Princess Garden of Mayfair. PG is quite traditional but the standard is good, the location is great and - unlike RC - they let you book on weekends.

J

Thanks Jon, very helpful.

My only real dim sum experience was at Pearl Liang - didn't have a lot, but I wasn't particularly impressed. Might try it again as it's a v convenient location for me. It's ridiculous that I've yet to visit the likes of Yautcha or Hakkasan yet though, for some reason I've always been happy enough lumping a fair sum on a tasting menu at one of the other high end restaurants in London but less so when it comes to cuisines i'm less familiar with but should prboably make an effort to get to know better!

Today I tried the Canary Wharf Royal China. I was prepared for the worst but in the end it was quite OK really. Not nearly as good as Yauatcha (especially the soups, lacking any depth), but the dim sum was of perfectly acceptable level, and for the price and with the view, good value.

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Today I tried the Canary Wharf Royal China. I was prepared for the worst but in the end it was quite OK really. Not nearly as good as Yauatcha (especially the soups, lacking any depth), but the dim sum was of perfectly acceptable level, and for the price and with the view, good value.

Yes, the Canary Wharf branch does what it says on the label. It's very nice in the summer though, when you can sit outside by the water.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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It's ridiculous that I've yet to visit the likes of Yautcha or Hakkasan yet though, for some reason I've always been happy enough lumping a fair sum on a tasting menu at one of the other high end restaurants in London but less so when it comes to cuisines i'm less familiar with but should prboably make an effort to get to know better!

Yes indeed, we are happy to pay £35 - £85 for French / European food because that is the norm but for other cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, we are used to lower prices so it is a mind shift to go to the pricier establishments. I found it a 'big' decision as well.

But... For dim sum, you will find that each person can only eat 4-6 dim sum dishes, so that even reaching £35 at Yauatcha or Hakkasan would be a challenge.

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Yes indeed, we are happy to pay £35 - £85 for French / European food because that is the norm but for other cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, we are used to lower prices so it is a mind shift to go to the pricier establishments. I found it a 'big' decision as well.

It's a very interested cultural phenomenon.

For example I've been investigating some wedding reception pricing over the last few weeks. At a Chinese place they will do you a ten course traditional wedding banquet including lobster, turbot, suckling pig, abalone, sharks fin and other unmentionable goodies for under sixty quid a head (plus service and booze of course!)

Try going to any western venue (even a completely mundane place) and ask them for a ten course degustation for a wedding function with the same ingredients, and you will receive very short shrift! I suspect sixty quid would barely get you goats cheese salad and a chicken supreme.

Partly a function of supply and demand I guess, but partly a reflection of very different cultural expectations.

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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