Famed for making the best dumplings in London, I’ve long been a big fan of Michelin starred Yauatcha, the dim sum teahouse that has established itself as a firm London favourite for fifteen years. I wasn’t aware of its City location until this invite landed in my inbox, so I was keen to go along and sample the menu to see how it compared, as well as check out how it does brunch.
Despite arriving fifteen minutes late (I spent twenty minutes outside trying to figure out which section the entrance was. It’s confusing, you’ve been warned), we were greeted with a friendly smile and shown to our table. The restaurant is built overlooking a round courtyard, Broadgate Circle to be exact, with the tables set out in front of windows that stretch up to the ceiling. With the light flooding in, the restaurant buzzing with stylish diners, that weekend feeling in the air, and a welcome cocktail (lychee ginger collins) in hand, it felt like the ideal spot to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Following our first beverage, we were offered a second drink, this time a tea, which I sadly passed on – I’m not usually a tea drinker – but ended up regretting it. After trying my dining partners Mai shin mattari tea, a rice brewed blend served with an orange peel which was surprisingly delicious and untea-like, I had serious drink envy. It was incredibly refreshing, much like an alcohol-free Aperol, with the same addictive bitter kick. Needless to say, we ended up sharing the bottle, which came generously sized and was more than enough for the two of us.
As we moved on to the food, it felt like course after course magically appeared in front of us, each more delicious and bountiful than the last. To begin, we were served three style Peking Duck and the Dim Sum Selection. The duck was served in two ways, sautéed on a bed of lettuce and like a piece of crackling on a bouncy bao base; both were delicious and sweet. The dim sum was my favourite, expertly crafted and composed of a symphony of complimentary fillings. From wild mushroom, seafood and black truffle, to king crab and scallop, it really was the feast of flavours encased in a light dumpling dough that I’d been hoping for.
Next it was on to the bao buns, the first was a Berkshire Pork Belly with pickled cucumber and almond, which was both nutty and tender, alongside a second steamed Chicken with Mushroom, which came with water chestnut and salted egg. The Bao bun itself was light and fluffy and drilled home why those perfectly formed clouds of goodness are so popular; so tasty and so gluteny.
As for the main, even though we were pretty stuffed at this point, we opted for the Kung Pao Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork, which came with both Baby Pak Choi and Jasmine Steamed Rice. The chicken was sweet with a nice warmth to it, including a sprinkling of toasted cashews for that additional crunch. The pork had a crispy and light batter and was served in a tangy sour sauce. I especially loved the way the pak choi was cooked, bursting to the brim with a juicy garlicky sauce.
On to dessert we went, although it was clear we would only be able to split the one given how much we had devoured. We went for the Yuzu chocolate bun, a sweet chocolate topped and filled steamed bun that although interesting, simply could not compete with the courses before it.
We were the most surprised when we examined the price for it all. Starting at £47 per person, this indulgent and well-priced brunch set within a beautiful setting is most definitely one to try out. For the variety of courses and plethora of flavours, it is great value for money and a real treat of an experience. I’ll definitely be returning with friends; I just need to remember to bring my doggy bag along too.
Weekend Yum Cha is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 4pm. Reservations can be made by emailing email@example.com
To view the full brunch menu, visit: https://www.yauatcha.com/city/weekend-yum-cha/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=Social
Address: Broadgate Circle London, EC2M 2QS
By Simran Maini-Hoskins