Dim Sum Sunday Brunch with a Difference at Yauatcha City:
I have something of a soft spot for Yauatcha, though I know it best for beautiful Asian style cakes rather than for dining. Yum Cha, the newly launched Sunday dim sum at Yauatcha City, is a great and relaxed opportunity to explore more of the dishes on offer at Yauatcha City. All set in the slick city environment of Broadgate Circus which is currently dressed up for Christmas, despite the blue skies above.
While I tend toward bottomless brunch offerings at the weekend, this time I went along with a much younger friend who doesn’t drink alcohol and her input was invaluable. Here the £29 set dim sum menu offers you a choice of 6 dishes out of the menu of 28 savoury and sweet options. Most of the dim sum come in ‘pairs’ so if two of you are dining you can pick 12 between you and have one each. There’s no alcohol included, instead, there’s a half bottle of Champagne for £25, a Bloody Mary flight for £15, red and white wine by the half bottle at £12 and non-alcoholic cocktails for £8 each. As she pointed out, those brunch menus which include alcohol mean that people who are not drinking do pay over the odds. And I have to confess I thought her non-alcoholic options looked delicious and from a quick taste were beautifully balanced and not overly sweet.
I don’t think there was a single ‘fail’ on the menu and there were a few real stars. We didn’t quite go for the full 12 dishes but we did try a very wide range of options. And I was pleasantly surprised by some of the dishes ordered by my companion, in particularly by the sticky rice in lotus leaf which I’d expected to find rather boring.
It was actually a fabulous mix of rice, chicken and dried shrimp in a gooey rich sauce. Definitely on my ‘try next time I’m there’ list.
She was similarly impressed with the Prawn Cheung Fun, which she told me she hadn’t expected to enjoy.
I’d already anticipated the venison puff, which is also served at sister restaurant Hakkasan. I have to confess I thought the version here had the edge – perhaps simply because a City kitchen isn’t as busy as a Soho one at the weekend? Crisp light pastry revealed a wonderfully rich venison stew.
Seafood black truffle dumpling was packed full of truffle infused prawns and more. The truffle was perfectly balanced – a tough call with a seafood filling.
The crispy duck roll was really a deep fried duck pancake with all the fillings you’d expect if you made your own, just in a deep fried shell. I’d have been tempted to order the a la carte crispy aromatic duck if there had been a larger group – it’s £34 and I think you could have something of a feast by mixing and matching a couple of yum cha menus with a few dishes from the a la carte.
As it was we only ordered one, the baby pak choi, with the intention of eating some vegetables! The main dim sum menu does have 7 vegetarian options but somehow none of them made it onto our wish list.
We did, however, order two Wagyu beef buns (black squid ink infused bao with a delicate gold monogram!). Deliciously rich and sticky, another dish I’d definitely order again.
And, despite my suspicion about pork belly which I sometimes find overly fatty, we managed two Berkshire pork belly buns each – so perfectly slow-cooked that any fat was meltingly moreish.
We’d been advised to save one of our six dishes for dessert – and in my case that was a beautiful petit gateau that confirms my preconception of Yauatcha.
My companion ordered the Sesame egg yolk custard ball which was equally delicious.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Yum Cha menu – we understand it’s a trial phase and is currently only planned to run till December 23rd 2018 – so do go along and try this excellent value high-quality dim sum menu while you can. An alternative and also excellent dim sum Sunday menu from the Hakkasan Group is available at Hakkasan Hanway Place.
Yum Cha is available at Yauatcha City on Sundays until 23rd December
1 Broadgate Circus,
London EC2M 2QS