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Yauatcha, Soho, London: The Number One Michelin Star Experience

Yauatcha, Soho, London: The Number One Michelin Star Experience
Puja
Puja
Updated

Yauatcha Soho is a fine dining establishment where all your wishes and dreams can and will come true. My heart skips a beat when I think about the incredible experience that I have had time-and-time again at Yauatcha. It is a one star Michelin Chinese restaurant and is based at 15-17 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL. London’s local Chinese restaurant happens to be one of the best eateries in the world.

A romantic starry night indoors

Any true foodie knows that eating-out is not just about food but about the experience as a whole and from the entrance of Yauatcha to your table, you will certainly be wow-ed.

The front of Yauatcha Soho consists of a simple dark blue opaque glass through which you can peek to see the assortment of spectacular desserts and macaroons. Once you enter the front door, you will be faced with the maître d’ and either be greeted and ushered to your seat or will be politely asked to join the orderly and hospitable queue that is dying to dine at Yauatcha, for which there will be abundance of people.

The restaurant consists of two floors. The upstairs is very light and airy and in sight you can see some of the waiters preparing hot drinks such as tea and collecting some of the dishes to send to the relevant tables. The seating colour is a light blue-green and the tables are light grey in colour. The décor is very minimal, chic and modern.

The second floor, which is in the basement is different and is my favourite. The second floor is more dimly lit and the seating is a dark turquoise colour. The ceiling is totally black with the exception of dotted lights that create the feel of a starry night. The exterior walls surrounding this floor consists of electric candle lights; a really romantic touch.

The atmosphere on both floors is very laid back and cool. Both seating areas are available throughout the day and night.

If you’re meeting with friends or hoping for a delightful lunch with a few family members, then the heavenly upstairs seating area may be a good fit for you. If you’re on a date or celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday, then the blissful downstairs seating area may be to your preference. Yauatcha will certainly offer a stunning and beautiful experience to you, wherever you decide to sit within the restaurant.

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Cocktails made next to kissing fish

I have dined in both seating areas, and I prefer sitting in the downstairs seating area and not just because of the reasons that I have described above. Rather, it is the unusual and incredible aquarium with the tropical fish that gives it that extra special feel. This is especially so when you see the fish kissing (something that I have not seen anywhere else before).

The aquarium is based at the front of the bar area, where the most fabulous and inventive of cocktails are made. I have a real sweet-tooth and my all-time favourite cocktails have to be the ones made at Yauatcha. I would have to recommend that you try the lychee martini, which consists of Belvedere vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee juice and lime (11.50 GBP / approximately 15 USD) as well as the Hakka cocktail, containing Belvedere vodka, Akashi-tai sake, lychee juice, lime, coconut and passionfruit (11.50 GBP / approximately 15 USD). Now, I’m sure that you’ve figured it out that I like lychees right?

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Condiments and deciding on your dishes

Once you’re seated at your table, the superb staff at Yauatcha will immediately provide you with the menu for dishes and will enquire whether you have any allergies. Following this and whilst you decide which items you would like (which of course will be too many), the attentive staff will provide you with condiments including different types of sauces and sweetened and salted cucumber.

Naturally, you may struggle to decide which of the dishes you would like to order so do discuss the dishes with the staff as they’re excellent at recommending which dishes will most satisfy your taste buds. Throughout your meal, they are also happy to provide you with additional condiments upon your request.

 

In addition, if you order tap water, you will find that your glass is repeatedly filled up, without you even having to ask a waiter. All the staff are subtly observing all your needs and ensuring that at no point do you really need to ask for anything, as they are considering your requests in advance; now that’s Michelin star service.

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Dim sum to die for

All dishes at Yauatcha arrive when they are ready and if you have the pleasure of sitting in the basement, you will be able to see glimpses of the chefs at work through a red and blue opaque glass. The opaque glass at the entrance creates a real mystery and invites diners into the restaurant; the opaque glass to see the chefs continues that element of mystery.

The dim sum is to die for and I have to recommend the steamed, baked and fried dumplings, which are outstanding. As a vegetarian, I have always been astounded by the amount of options available for my dietary group and would have to recommend that the fellow vegetarian order and enjoy the steamed vegetable dumpling (4.20 GBP / approximately 5 USD), edamame truffle dumpling (6.80 GBP / approximately 8 USD), garden dumpling (5.60 GBP / approximately 7 USD) and especially the crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin and pine nuts (5.00 GBP / approximately 7 USD). If you’re not a fan of dumplings, then don’t miss out on the curry taro croquette (5.80 GBP / approximately 8 USD), which is bursting with flavour.

 

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The incredible vegetarian duck

The amount of choices on the menu make Yauatcha a delightful experience, as you can visit so many times and still find something new to try. However, there are a few dishes that are just simply brilliant for a vegetarian. To begin with, the crispy spicy tofu (9.90 GBP / approximately 13 USD) has a soft, chewy and crispy texture and a good amount of spice to make an impact (even for the regular spicy diner). The chilies are separately scattered on the top, so you have the discretion to make each mouthful as hot as you desire.

Following on from the crispy spicy tofu is the fried vegetarian duck (13.00 GBP / approximately 17 USD), which is beautifully presented and possibly my all-time favourite dish in the world. The soya is cooked perfectly, the sauce is like no other I have tried and with the vegetables adding a crunchy texture there is another dimension to the dish. The food basket that accompanies the soya is slightly salty and dipped in the sauce is absolutely delicious. My non-vegetarian friends have often tried the vegetarian duck, in order to make a comparison as to whether it really tastes like a duck and have confirmed as such, and in all instances have requested to enjoy the dish with me (and terrible as it may sound, I really haven’t wanted to share). This must tell you that Yauatcha have completed a fabulous job in replicating the duck dish so that it meets all standards.

However, I must now share a secret with you about the vegetarian duck. It may be my all-time favourite dish but that’s because I order something extra and I must urge you to do the same: order the vegetarian fried rice to go with it. The vegetarian fried rice includes taro, pumpkin and spring onion (9.00 GBP / approximately 12 USD) and will make your meal even more wholesome. The sauce with the duck is so tasty with the rice; you will certainly feel satisfied.

Now, if you do order a dish that I haven’t mentioned in this review, don’t fear as all dishes at Yauatcha are outstanding and truly of magnificent quality; they consist of different flavours and textures and are definitely not something you can make at home (even if you do consider yourself a culinary expert!).

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Visually gorgeous desserts

No meal is complete without a dessert, and the French inspired desserts are a real spectacle at Yauatcha. I cannot believe I am going to share this with you, but I think I have to in order for you to really trust me about the desserts at this fine establishment: I have sampled at least 90% of the dessert menu!

The jasmine honey (8.80 GBP / approximately 11 USD) is a chocolate cake and consists of milk chocolate, jasmine and caramelized honey and is such a stunning dessert. The dome-like cake is so moist and the handmade chocolate in the restaurant is lush.

The raspberry rose (8.80 GBP / approximately 11 USD) is one of the most creative and artistic desserts that your eyes will ever see. It is shaped in the form of a beautiful rose and has a wonderfully sweet and smooth white chocolate mousse that is balanced perfectly with the sour raspberry flavor. 

If you can’t decide which dessert takes your fancy, then check out the display at the entrance of the restaurant. Although, do note that you may still find yourself undecided as each dessert is rather enticing and stunning in its own way.

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A dessert that will steal your heart

My favourite dessert and the one that I must recommend you try is the coconut lime (8.80 GBP / approximately 11 USD). It consists of coconut pandan crème, lime curd and a coconut sable. It has a distinctive sweet and yet zesty taste to it and whilst it may initially appear to be dense, it is quite light to eat (leaving you room for, of course, another dessert!). When it appears to your table, you will not regret the decision of ordering it; it is a real piece of art.

One thing you must know is that every dessert in Yauatcha has a little surprise inside of it for your palate, whether it be popping candy or some extra and unusual chocolate, so be ready to be dazzled.

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Don't miss out and reserve now!

Yauatcha Soho offers and delivers a spectacular experience to all diners. Every dish you sample will be perfect and service will be impeccable and fast from the get-go until the finale. The dishes are scrumptious and sheer heaven on your lips, so do make sure you call or go online to make a reservation. Incredible food, fabulous service and a truly happy atmosphere give an incremental positive vibe to this brilliant establishment, so don’t miss out and make sure you make a visit!

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Puja Modha has trained as a lawyer, worked as a compliance officer and is an experienced travel journalist that enjoys writing about her experiences across the world. She was born in England, her...Read more

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