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Friday, 14 June 2019

Yauatcha City's New Weekend Yum Cha & Champagne Menu Reviewed


Name: Yauatcha City Weekend Yum Cha Menu

Where: 1 Broadgate Circus, London EC2M 2QS, https://www.yauatcha.com/city/

Cost: As of June 2019, from 12 to 4pm, Yauatcha City is opening on Sundays and offering a Weekend (Sat and Sun) Yum Cha brunch menu.  The menu includes a selection of steamed dim sum, Peking duck three ways, two bao buns, a main course and dessert. The menu is priced at £47 per person with oolong or Taiwanese teas, £49 with a half bottle of wine, or £58 with a half bottle of Henriot Champagne per person or a full-bottle for two people (priced at £82 if ordered a la carte). All options come with an introductory cocktail included in the price. There are vegetarian and vegan menus.

About: Yauatcha City is one of my favourite dim sum restaurants in town, we were there a couple of years ago when they launched their Saturday Supreme menu (reviewed here and now sadly no longer available), so when I heard about their new Weekend Yum Cha menu, I hurried along to try it. Much of the City is quiet at the weekend, but this special menu aims to lure in the increasing weekend brunch clientele, and it seems to be working as the place was buzzing when we got there at 3pm last Sunday afternoon. 


What We Ate: After a refreshing cold brewed tea palate cleanser, we had a selection of steamed dim sum - scallop shiu mai, king crab dumpling, seafood black truffle dumpling (our favourite) and wild mushroom dumpling. These were exquisite - freshly made, with fine pastry casing and delectable fillings.


Peking duck was served three ways - the first was in the more familiar form of a pancake, with admirably crispy skin over plum sauce, cucumber and spring onion. Next had a topping of black caviar - though equally delicious, I would suggest eating the caviar first then the rest of the dish, as I could not taste much of the caviar given all the other ingredients.  Between these two, Peking duck was served as a crunchy, refreshing wrap on a lettuce leaf, with tender cubes of pumpkin and pine nuts. 


Bao buns came two ways.  The steamed chicken bun with mushroom, water chestnut and salted egg was light and delicate, and who can resist a chicken-and-egg dish?  It was outgunned though by a magnificent bun of Berkshire pork belly, succulent and unctuous in the extreme, balanced by crunchy pickled cucumber and mini cubes of fresh almond.


For main course, there was a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian options, though some of these sounded a tad pedestrian (sweet and sour pork?). The kung pao chicken, a favourite Sichuanese dish with peanuts, dried peppers, was served here over crispy rice noodles.  I enjoyed this almost every day during my recent trip to Chengdu in Sichuan, but sadly Yauatcha's version bore little resemblance. Sweet and gloopy, with very little chilli heat, it was more like the takeaway staple of chicken and cashew nuts than kung pao chicken.


Better was the stir-fry rib eye beef in black bean sauce, with very tender beef, sautéed with sliced peppers in a delectable, umami-rich black bean sauce. It was also a very generous portion


Stir-fried baby pak choi and steamed jasmine rice were served with the main course.


For dessert, there is a choice of petit gateau, yuzu chocolate bun, or Belvedere espresso with macaron.


We opted for the petit gateau (on this occasion a praline and pecan nut concoction), and a well-made single citron macaron with espresso-martini.


What We Drank: From the cocktail menu, we chose the Chun Tian - a blend of Cinzano Bianco vermouth, with Hennessy Fine de Cognac, limoncello, cinnamon, passionfruit, ginger bitters and peppermint bitters. This had delicious tropical fruit flavours and alcohol in perfect balance. 


The Sencha Negroni had Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, sencha green tea infusion, Antica Formula vermouth, Mondino Amaro and chamomile bitters. I'm a huge fan of Negronis, and this version was an Oriental, delectably aromatic variation on a much-loved theme.  

With our meal we shared a bottle of Henriot Champagne. Henriot is one of the last independent and family-owned houses in Champagne, and its NV product, served as part of the Weekend Yum Cha menu, is light golden in colour, with fine persistent bubbles and a citrus aroma. 


Likes: The dim sum is always outstanding at Yauatcha. The Berkshire pork bun was a superb, and I also enjoyed the variations on the theme of Peking duck. 

Dislikes: For me, the main course options are the weakest link on the menu, the kung pao chicken was very sweet and lacking in heat, the dessert options are limited (only 3 desserts available).

Verdict: We loved the new Yum Cha Weekend Menu at Yauatcha City. Available every Saturday and Sunday from midday to 4pm, it is a perfect combination of outstanding dim sum, bubbles and cocktails. Can't think of a better way to spend my Sunday afternoons.... Recommended.

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