Once, I accidentally suggested Yauatcha in Soho as a casual second date spot. His treat. We all know in law that ignorance is no excuse, but honestly inspector, I didn’t know it was Michelin starred. Somehow I got away with my slightly demanding mistake as, 1. Yauatcha isn’t actually stupidly overpriced and, 2. it was downright great (and you’ll be relieved to learn that 2nd date, became 3rd date, became Boyfriend). But it did make me think twice about where I got my foodie recommendations in the future. *Casual dinner means Homeslice, people, not The Goring*
Then Yauatcha came to the City and every business lunch East of Fleet Street found a new home. TGIF. T.G.I.F. Not to criticise it for that though, Yauatcha Broadgate Circle is potentially a nicer venue than its Soho sister: it’s sleek and light and the window tables have as nice a ‘view’ as you’ll get of a Swiss bank. It is an even nicer venue when it is a sunny Friday, when it is instead of the office and when you don’t have to pay.
The best way to do Yauatcha, or any dim sum restaurant for that matter, is to go with someone who knows what they want. The menu is long and largely inscrutable. Sorry to those who brush up on their Mandarin before lunch-time… though maybe you can tell me what a “Char siu cheung fun” is and whether I’d prefer that or the “Char siu bun”. Fortunately the others in my party took the reins on ordering – leaving me to sip my wine no worries. I insisted on only one thing: the venison puff. It’s like a doughnut but for meat, and it’s absolutely delicious, naturally.
If you are heading there and don’t want to read my waffle and just want to learn how to utterly nail your order, this is what you get:
- Venison puff: meat doughnut (see above). Or try the Wagyu beef version which is almost as great.
- Prawn and pork shui mai: we described this as a bit of a ‘filler’ but tasty nevertheless.
- Har gau: a traditional prawn dumpling – very yummy.
- Beancurd and prawn chung fung: this is a must. It is a miraculous combination of slippery dumpling and crispy bean. So far everyone I’ve asked has described it as their favourite. It doesn’t photograph as well as it should.
- Spicy pork Szechuan wonton: a pretty spicy dumpling but definitely worth it. You might want seconds.
- Jasmine tea smoked ribs: they are the brightest red, succulent ribs. Honestly, ribs aren’t my thing unless they’re from the farm shop in Denstone and my dad has barbequed them, but these are good. In future, I would probably swap them for the stir-fry rib-eye in black bean sauce as that was a winner last time I went.
- Thai style Chicken: better than KFC.
- Baby pak choi: a necessary sprig of delicious greens.
Apparently, the fact that I had so many prawn dishes was an insult to my aforementioned boyfriend, seeing as I have always presented myself as fussy when it comes to the prawn department. Oopsy. They’re great, I’m sorry. Next time we go, we can order plenty or prawns and I will pay. (Let’s hope he doesn’t read this!)
Finally, just in case you still have space after the dim sum barrage of the rest of the meal, spare a thought for the lovely puddings. Even if you don’t eat them, they’re a sight to behold. Every colour and flavor of macaron and a huge range of immaculate and detailed patisseries. Sweet.
Location: Broadgate Circle, just West of Liverpool Street Station