User Review: Yauatcha – Dim Sum Heaven

If the most delicious dim sums died and went to heaven, they ended up at Yauatcha. In a city of foodies and global citizens, a city that prides itself on Chinese food, there was little room for yet another Asian restaurant. The variety of establishments ran the whole gamut from Royal China to Raju Chinese. When Hakkasan opened doors, it filled the only gap left in the spectrum: a Michelin star Chinese restaurant. Yauatcha’s entry to the city didn’t create the same waves as its glamorous sibling. Perched in a corner of the city that few people venture to after work hours, it had not set itself up for spectacular success. And yet it has succeeded spectacularly. That is the story of Yautcha.

On a Tuesday night, we entered the corporate looking building to find ourselves in a patisserie. Two glass cabinets were filled with tempting chocolate truffles and multicoloured macaroons in exotic flavours: green tea, pistachio, coconut etc. The spiral staircase was flanked by a watery wall and the airy dining section upstairs was mostly full at 11 pm. Armed with numerous recommendations from friends and egged on by the tantalizing aromas rising from neighbouring tables, we ordered generously.

The highlights of our meal undoubtedly were the Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun and the Poached Peking dumpling. The former had a core of prawn, wrapped in a crunchy, light batter and then coated with steamed cheung fun skin. Three layers of perfection. The vegetarian version, Three Style Mushroom Cheung Fun, was also delicious. The Poached Peking dumplings arrived looking like a delicate work of art. With a seafood filling they sat in a tart soya dressing that we slurped up blissfully (I enjoyed it so much I even poured it over my sticky rice). The Wrapped Chicken with Black Pepper was a big hit and the Vegetable Lotus roll was a winner. The only average dish we tasted was the Truffle Edamame Dumpling which was too mushy for our liking.

For main course we ordered the Crispy Grouper in Sweet Chilli sauce, Chicken Claypot and Stir Fried French Beans with Shitake Mushroom along with fried rice. The grouper was fried in a tangy, lemon sauce that left us wanting more. Stir fried beans were crunchy and flavoursome and the fried rice was light and a perfect accompaniment to the rest. Note that the Chicken Claypot comes only with chicken and veggies and so make sure you order rice or noodles along with it.

The only letdown of the entire meal was dessert. We ordered the Milk Chocolate Praline which had a jelly like texture and didn’t please our palette. The Mango and Strawberry didn’t impress either; we regretted not getting some macaroons on our way out instead.  Like most Asian restaurants, Yauatcha doesn’t dish out superb desserts to end their meals on a sweet note.

All in all, however, it was exceptional food which was reasonably priced considering the quality of the ingredients and the exquisite presentation. The only expensive thing on the menu was the Kumquatcha cocktail we ordered. So just make sure to drink at home and then eat to your heart’s desire at Yauatcha.

- Jasreen Mayal Khanna

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