Asian Fusion in Spitalfields – Yuu Kitchen:
Yuu Kitchen is a new tapas style southeast Asian and Pacific Rim restaurant not far from the vibrancy of Spitalfields market. It sits amongst the hustle and bustle of Commercial St with an on-trend offer that should tick the boxes of the city workers who inhabit this part of town.
I’ve been invited to review the restaurant which recently took the number one spot in London on Tripadvisor in its market segment so I’m interested to see what chef Jon de Villa (of Nobu and Zafferano) can come up with.
The restaurant interior mixes manga-style graphics with the sort of bird cages you find at oriental markets.
But the best view of the action is from the seated bar area where you are right on top of the chefs.
We’ve been advised to order three to four dishes each. Yuu Kitchen specialises in Taiwanese Bao buns, offered with a wide range of fillings including an ice cream one for dessert. I tried the crispy soft shell crab Bao (£6.50). The pillowy Bao was the perfect vehicle for the delicate crunch of the crab enlivened by a hint of wasabi mayo. The 150 day grain fed sirloin Bao (£8) was tender and came with a piquant bbq sauce.
Sweet and sticky eggplant with a white miso glaze (£5.50) is one of the top sellers for good reason. It was squishy, oily, savoury heaven!
BBQ’D Octopus (£8.50) could have been a little more tender but had a great char and flavour from the Sake, mirin and soy marinade and ginger and garlic sauce.
Pan-fried sea bream & papaya salad with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, shallots, chilli and shrimp (£8) was a plateful of crunch bursting with authentic Thai flavours.
Tuna Tataki – a plateful of really fresh sashimi style tuna zinged with the gentle citrus tang of yuzu oil.
Dessert wasn’t really necessary after all this nosh so I ordered a rich coconut bread cake (£6) with coconut ice cream on the side. The cake was moist and the ice cream slid down very nicely thank you.
With a short but perfectly formed drinks list including white, red and a very glugable fizz on tap (£5.50) Yuu Kitchen is a great option for casual dining. There is enough variety to please everyone from hardcore carnivores to veggie eco-warriors and it would be perfect for a date night, quick lunch or evening out with friends. I’m going back for the eggplant!
29 Commercial St, London E1 6NE