Yauatcha City – Chinese Fine Dining in the heart of the Square Mile:
Having eaten out in London for many years, it now takes quite of lot to leave me really impressed. Lunch at Yauatcha City on Saturday did just that. This month sees the launch of Supreme Saturdays, a new lunch menu available only on Saturday afternoons which showcases the restaurants’ most luxurious signature and classic dishes. This is a tasting menu which just keeps giving. Included in the price are pre and post lunch cocktails, fried and steamed dim sum, 2 main courses and dessert with half a bottle of wine and water to wash it all down!
We were lucky enough to arrive on a sunny afternoon, so had our pre-lunch cocktail on the terrace. The restaurant is housed in what used to be Corney & Barrow in the Broadgate Circle. I must confess to having “lost” many an evening here when I was a little younger, wilder and working in the City. So it was rather nice to go back and enjoy a rather more civilized occasion. It’s worth noting that the choice of cocktails in the bar/terrace area is more extensive than in the restaurant itself. I enjoyed a lychee martini (available in both areas) which was rather sweet but packed a punch and was ideal for sipping in the sun. Many of the cocktails are the bar/restaurant’s own creations, such as the Earth Asian which one of my guests had (Mount gay black barrel rum, apricot jam, lychee juice, lime, jasmine syrup and black walnut bitters). It was quite spicy and the flavor mix was rich and warm on the palette. This one would be ideal on a cold, grey afternoon.
We then moved to our table inside. The restaurant is set on the upper level and has been built so as it follows the curve of the circle and has windows on both sides. This makes it very light and airy and it has obviously undergone an extensive refurb since my C&B days, making it a modern and very sleek environment.
We were offered red or white wine with our meal but the half bottle you are allocated each is split between two glasses, meaning you can try both varieties. We all went for the white, which was wonderful. Certainly better than the average house wine. Then the food came ….. and it certainly kept coming! There were 4 of us in our party and we expected the dim sum to come on big sharing plates. Nothing so uncivilized; we each had an individual plate of brightly coloured, picture perfect little dumplings. Flavourwise there was something for everyone. My personal favourite was the pork and prawn shui mai but vegetarians were well catered for with wild mushrooms and a highly decorative pumpkin and pine nut. The only one we were not entirely sure about was the vegetable and truffle wrap. The texture was something unfamiliar and not altogether pleasant. That aside, the flavours were as magnificent as the presentation.
Next came the Fried Dim Sum Platter. Although not as pretty as the steamed plate, it was every bit as delicious. It was hard to pick a favourite from the venison puff, mushroom spring roll, lobster roll and sesame prawn toast. Again, we each had our own individual portion.
It was then time for the main course. We were told we could choose 2 from the 3 mains on offer. This is because they make a portion for a minimum of 2 persons. We decided the lobster vermicelli pot looked a little tricky to maneuver (by now on our second glass of wine, we weren’t too confident with the lobster claw crackers!) So we settled for the fois gras diced beef dish and truffle pork belly rib. The portions were extremely generous. We were served the pork belly first (the meat was so soft, it literally fell off of the bone and was like cutting butter). Then came the show stopper of the beef dish. Served in a large taco type shell, the beef cascades out like a waterfall. Again, the meat was cooked to perfection and with little pieces of fois gras mixed in, it was a very decadent but not too heavy course.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, we were then asked to sample the dessert menu. Yauatcha City has its own patisserie downstairs and the menu’s description do not do them justice. A walk to the dessert bar is definitely a must, as these little delights are a feast for the eyes as much as the palette.
It really is hard to choose and so we all had something different. We had the malted milk (milk chocolate, malt, caramelised honey, Anzac biscuit), Black Forest gateaux (chocolate, cherry, kirsch), Chocolate pebble (dark chocolate, brownie, caramelised white chocolate) and the Raspberry delice (raspberry, Madirofolo chocolate, lychee) which really did look too good to eat! By now we shouldn’t have been able to manage another thing but with Espresso martinis or an Amaretto sour on offer, who could refuse.
This is the kind of lunch where you need to have no other plans that day but going home and collapsing on the sofa. But what a way to spend a Saturday!
From Saturday 19th September Supreme Saturdays will be available every Saturday from 12pm- 5pm. The menu costs £49 per person for a minimum of 2 guests and reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
London, EC2M 2QS
Telephone: + 44 (0)203 817 9888