On Saturday, Tim and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Yauatcha in Liverpool Street. And it was by far, the best meal we’ve had in a while.
Yauatcha opened up last week at Broadgate Circle in Liverpool Street, serving Michelin-starred Chinese cuisine. It’s part of the Hakkasan family – a restaurant we visited a few years ago, that I’ve been meaning to write about in my ‘Throwback Thursday’ section. It’s great to have another restaurant of this calibre in the east of London. East London is great at the moment for brilliant pop ups and small, quirky restaurants. But sometimes you just want something a bit more refined, and we normally have to head further into the centre of London for that.
For those who don’t know the City well, you would probably never even come across Broadgate Circle. It’s tucked away behind Liverpool Street station, but is quite a sight to behold – it has recently been revamped and now hosts many high quality restaurants and cafes.
Upon arrival, we were greeted very warmly and shown to our table, right next to the window overlooking Broadgate Circle. The waitresses were all wearing beautiful purple dresses – I’m normally fairly unobservant when it comes to fashion, so for me to notice it, means something! The style just fitted perfectly with the decor of the restaurant – it was modern, vibrant and classy, without feeling ‘stuffy’. It was light and airy, with plenty of space between tables. Here we are when we arrived (almost managed a proper smile out of Tim, he hates photos!)
We decided to go for the tasting menu, so we could get a feel for everything that Yauatcha had to offer. This was made up of a whopping ten courses, as follows:
Blue Swimmer Crab Salad with Peanut and Sesame Dressing – Incredibly tasty, the peanut flavour worked perfectly with the crab.
Venison Puff – Delicious, I think this was Tim’s favourite! The pastry was soft and sweet, which contrasted perfectly with the savoury venison.
Seafood Dumpling Soup – The photo doesn’t really do justice to the size of it, but it was a very generous portion. It was a beautiful flavour, then you broke open the dumpling and got even more seafoody goodness!
Poached Peking Duck Dumpling – Delicious, and it was nice to try a type of dim sum cooked and served a little differently to usual.
Har Gau Shrimp Dumpling – These were lovely. I’ve had these in other dim sum restaurants before, and these were definitely the best.
Pork and Prawn Shui Mai – these are my favourite type of dim sum. They’re always very meaty and packed full of flavour.
Three Style Mushroom Cheung Fun – This was slightly more unusual – the outside of the dim sum was much thinner and delicate, filled with different types of mushroom.
Fried Chilli Squid with Oatmeal and Curry Leaf – Absolutely delicious! we’re both big squid lovers, and this had a great kick to it!
Crispy Aromatic Duck (Quarter) – Served as you would expect with pancakes, onion, cucumber and hoisin sauce. There was a lot of meat on the quarter duck, and it made 4 pancakes per person.
Chinese Vegetables – These turned out to be Bok Choy, one of our favourites, with a lot of garlic (even better!)
After all of that, we were absolutely stuffed! Looking at the tasting menu, because the course descriptions are short, it’s quite deceptive as to how much food you’ll actually get. Trust me, you won’t need to order any more dishes in addition to the tasting menu!
However, we’d heard great things about the desserts, so we had to make room for something sweet! Tim went for the chocolate pebble, and I chose four macarons from their selection; Lavender Honey, Mango Passion Fruit, Pandan and Coconut Lychee.
They were both superb, especially the macarons. I’ve had macarons in some of the best places in Paris, but these were undoubtedly the best I’ve ever had. I think it was because the flavours were so unusual. Especially the Pandan – I can’t really explain the flavour, it was just incredibly unique, and so different from the usual macaron flavours like raspberry or strawberry.
The tasting menu was £40 per person, and in addition to that we ordered dessert and a few rounds of drinks (cocktails/beers). In total, the bill was around the same for what we’d pay for a meal at one of the top steak restaurants, but considering the huge number of dishes and flavours we got to try, the lovely ambience and incredible service, I’d say it’s even better value for money. It’s definitely a restaurant for special occasions, and I can’t wait to return!