Yauatcha, the Michelin starred London Dim Sum tea house is now in Delhi offering Cantonese delicacies. Yauatcha’s menu offering served throughout the day is dimsum dominant cuisine, apart from which it offers a number of wok items which serve as complementary dishes to the dimsum menu. With a retail section comprising of macaroons and petit gâteaux to chocolates, the burst of visuals delights one’s senses.
SoDelhi Food Expert
In the busy floors of Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj and the adjoining DLF Promenade, one is spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian food but if you’re looking for a meal to remember, we suggest you try out the famed Michelin-star restaurant based out of London and Mumbai, by the name of Yauatcha.
The place can be hard to spot as it’s situated in a secluded little corner. We went there on a late Saturday afternoon, and luckily enough got a table without prior reservation.
Like its London counterpart, the place is all polished metal, wood and glass with oriental flourishes here and there. It’s a good attempt to carry off the nightclub look but it ends up looking more like a food court as there’s little space between tables and consequently little privacy; definitely not the best place to strike up a conversation if you don’t feel like whispering.
To put our minds to ease from the sweltering Delhi heat, we began our meal with some refreshing beverages.
We ordered a Lime and Passion Fruit Iced Tea and a Tokyo Cooler. The Lime and Passion Fruit Iced tea was very true to its ingredients. There were no syrups or supplements used. You could individually taste the tang from the lime, and the passion fruit seeds added a nice texture to the drink.
The Tokyo Cooler, a combination of peach and guava juice, lemongrass, raspberry and elderflower extract was served in a tall glass, which was spear shaped at the bottom. We don’t know if it’s a beverage which is supposed to take you to Tokyo but it certainly did take us to heaven. The combination of peach & guava juice was very revitalizing with the freshness of lemongrass, a hit of raspberry, and the sweet, summery disposition of the elderflower making it a great choice.
When it came to deciding the starters, our waiter briefed us on the concept of “Yauatcha” and the whole Yauatcha experience. We were impressed with his knowledge of the menu and the overall facts about the restaurant chain’s vision which is to start with a combination of dimsums and then move onto stir-frys for mains. He tended to a lot of our inquiries on the menu as well. Yauatcha loves its vegetarians, with a whole menu full of veggie delicacies apart from the ones included in the main menu so we decided to go for a Three Style Mushroom Cheung Fun, Crispy Veg Cheung Fun along with some non-vegetarian delicacies, Chicken & Prawn Shu Mai and a Chicken Char Sui Cheung Fun.
As explained to us, ‘Cheung Fun’ is a rice noodle roll, with the fillings inside the roll served as a variety of dim sums and Sweet Soy Sauce is poured over the dish whilst serving it.
The Three Style Mushroom Cheung Fun’s gelatinous, flat rice noodle wraps precisely the spiced and deliciously scented mushroom filling was a mushroom lover’s delight, with generous amounts of Enoki, Shiitake and other mushrooms.
Next came the Crispy Veg Cheung Fun which became an instant favourite of ours as it was the perfect balance of oral touch sensation. The bite starts with the soft rice wrapper, followed by the crispy lining of bean-curd that crunches between your teeth as you get to bite the crispy & flavourful vegetables – truly delectable.
Next up was the Chicken & Prawn Shu Mai – four individual dim sums that arrived in a small wooden, steamer basket. Dims sums at Yauatcha are served with a chilly oil, a hot chilli sauce and a comparatively milder chilly & garlic dip.
The Shu Mai was perfectly steamed, with generous quantities of chicken and prawn inside. As you bit into it, the thin wrapper tore like paper; the chicken was moist and juicy followed by the springy fresh prawn exquisite!
Then came the Chicken Char Sui Cheung Fun, the chicken was well done, and it tasted great in the flat rice noodle but we felt the dish lacked a certain amount of ‘oomph’, to really warrant for a Michelin-star experience.
For our mains we ordered Crispy Lamb with Raw Mango, Stir Fried Lotus Root, Stir Fry Udon Noodles and Spicy Seafood Noodles.
We felt that the Crispy Lamb was Yauatcha’s homage to popular Indo-Chinese, chinjabi styled “crispy chilly potatoes”. The lamb was flavourful, generously portioned, but it could do with a little less batter and a little more lamb. The raw mango was simply peels of dried raw mango, which barely added any flavour to the dish. We were told it would be moist and sticky, but it was dry. The Spicy Seafood Noodles was their saving grace; the noodles were hot and fiery served in generous quantities of humongous prawns, squid and scallops.
The dish was well balanced as the soft & placid texture of the mild seafood was cut through by the spiciness of the noodles. The lamb acted as a good complement to the noodles- the crispiness of the lamb against the soft seafood.
Next up we had the Stir Fry Udon Noodles which were authentically Chinese with the udon noodles at the perfect thickness, stir fried with fresh veggies. They nailed the brief but there was little going on in terms of flavour which was saved by the stir fried lotus root. It was an amazing addition to the noodles. The lotus root was hard yet full of bite. It was very subtle in terms of spice, but very authentically Chinese in terms of texture and flavour.
Thus ended our savoury journey down the silk route. We were full up to our necks but insatiable as we are, we decided to further binge on a dessert.
We ordered the Raspberry Delice and my oh my we only have one word to describe it - Ethereal. A dessert, more for keepsake rather than ravishing, we were almost hesitant to abolish it. The sinfully decadent dessert arrived with a scoop of Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream and peppered with big drops of berry puree.
The delice itself is served on a disc of hazelnut brownie, with an airy chocolate mousse atop it in the shape of a rose blossom- painted a sinful scarlet. Just when you cut into it and take the first bite, the decadent chocolate mousse and hazelnut brownie comes to play and then surprise! Surprise! the berry puree along with raspberry oozes into your mouth, giving you an unexpected tart hit. The Raspberry Ripple Ice cream is an amazing cold complement to the dish. It ticked all the boxes in terms of balance of textures, flavour and presentation.
In upscale places like Yauatcha, one needs to get their buck’s worth. Fancy Chinese food is a tough art to master in comparison to European cuisines. Where Yauatcha occasionally might lose in love and flavour it makes up for the same in inventiveness, technique and originality. A delightful experience overall.
Yauatcha is the hands down, the best Chinese fine dining restaurant in Delhi! They have the most amazing beverages. Go for the Orange Chilli, it's very refreshing, and the Lime and Passion Fruit Iced Tea. Do check out their amazing selection of teas! Go for the Blue Tea, it's a very exotic flavour.
Yauatcha is basically a dim sum house, with an amazing variety, even for vegetarians. The Chicken Chive Dimsum is amazing with moist chicken filling and three types of chilli sauces to accompany it! The Chicken and Prawn Cheung Fun is generously served and a favorite of mine! Other must haves are the Singapore Chicken, Pad Thai Noodles, and Prawn and Squid Noodles. Do try the amazing selection of Macaroons for dessert!
What is the hype all about? The staff at the reception is SO rude. The ambience is dull. My friend and I reached around 3.30 for lunch, they told us they were booked, even though I could see so many empty tables. They took our names and number down and said they’d call us as soon as a table is ready. The reservation book was empty, wonder how they were over booked. The missing managerial staff is not acceptable at all.
Anyway, the Dimsums were inedible, I think the worst I’ve ever had. The main course was decent but nothing exceptional. I tried the Chicken Char Sui Bun and Steamed Salmon in Black Bean Sauce, the Sui Bun wasn’t good, Salmon was decent. They only focus on the presentation and compromise on taste.