About Time You Tried: The Chinese New Year Menu at YauatchaBy Angelica Malin
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the Chinese New Year menu at Yauatcha. We think we might have found the best limited-edition, special menu in London at the moment. Seriously. Think incredible gin cocktails, special macarons and the most delicious dumplings around – it needs to be tasted to be believed. Here’s what you need to know about our favourite dim sum house’s new one-off menu:
Yauatcha is a Chinese dim sum teahouse with two restaurants in London, in the heart of Soho and in the City, offering an all-day grazing experience. From cocktails to full feasts, the restaurants are perfect for dates, family lunches and big groups alike. Slick, modern, cool, they are the kind of places you just want to spend all evening in.
Be prepared for an amazing foodie experience. Launched in 2004, Yauatcha has always been the centre of attention in the London food scene – the restaurant gained immediate critical acclaim and received its Michelin star within just one year of opening. Taste the food and you’ll see why.
Yauatcha provides a unique dining experience, unlike any other in London, with senstaional dim sum with a contemporary influence. If that’s not enough, the boozy offering is amazing and they have over 60 types of tea – perfect with their hand-made cakes and patisserie.
This January, the Michelin-starred dim sum teahouse is collaborating with Monkey 47 gin to celebrate Chinese New Year. Expect an absolute feast; a limited edition menu has been created, specially paired with an exclusive gin cocktail flight and macarons inspired by the 47 botanicals found in Monkey 47.
That’s not all – the stunning, modern restaurants in Soho and Broadgate Circle will be transformed over the celebratory period. The restaurants will be decorated with hand-folded red paper origami monkeys and glowing Chinese lanterns, to celebrate the new year. The Chinese New Year menu is available at both Yauatcha restaurants in London from 25th January to 21st February, and you can also get all the menu items à la carte, if you just want a little taste. But we recommend having the lot for the full Chinese New Year experience – it’s amazing.
The Chinese New Year menu has been created by Executive Head Chef Tong Chee Hwee, and is an absolute joy to eat. The menu focuses on time-honoured celebratory Chinese dishes, which are designed to be shared by groups of friends and family. Because good food is all about sharing, right? And nothing says love like heart-shaped pastry puffs.
There’s four new dim sum dishes, which are all brilliant. These are: a foie gras roast duck puff, caviar siew long bun, caviar taro dumpling and black truffle edamame sesame ball. The caviar siew long bun literally explodes in the mouth, filled with delicious pork broth and succulent meat.
The black truffle balls are a marvel; warm, soft on the inside, with a great sesame crunch on the outside, they are the perfect morsels to start your meal. The taro dumpling is sweet and unusual; the traditional taro vegetable is nutty and the flavours of the dim sum are so well balanced.
For mains, there’s new traditional dishes, including the Hakka fortune pot, a large clay pot containing a mixture of meat and seafood symbolising a happy reunion, and the scallop yusheng, a raw fish salad comprising Japanese seaweed, grapefruit, pomegranate, pumpkin and mushrooms. There’s also a beautiful sticky rice, made with dried scallop, which is full of rich, umami flavours.
The Hakka pot is very exciting, filled with the most plump, amazing prawns, perfectly soft seabass, plump duck and incredible, earthy mushrooms – it’s a beautifully presented, exciting-to-eat dish, that will leave you perfectly satisfied. With just enough room for macarons, mind – they cannot be missed.
With 2016 marking the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac, Yauatcha’s bar team has also collaborated with Monkey 47 gin to create three unique limited edition cocktails. They are simply divine. The first is a saffron gin and tonic, then a Pomelo Fortune with grapefruit, cranberry and mandarin bitters, and Pink Kumquat using sloe gin and ginger liqueur. The grapefruit and cranberry cocktail is one of the most refreshing, delicious things we’ve ever tried – and goes perfectly with the rich, indulgent Asian cuisine.
Monkey 47 is seriously drinkable stuff; the forty-seven hand-picked botanicals in the gin, including lingonberry, are predominantly sourced from the Black Forest, and prepared in soft spring water also from the region, which makes it smooth and sweet. The gin is made in small batch production, with a special filtering system, that gives the gin its unique, exotic taste.
To top it all off, Yauatcha’s Head Pastry Chef Sarah Frankland has hand-picked some of the key botanicals from Monkey 47 to create six special macarons. There’s juniper berry, bitter orange and almond, elderflower and ginger, rose and rosehip, camomile, and gin and tonic macarons – they are all utterly delicious.
If that’s enough for you, Yauatcha City will be hosting special cocktail masterclasses, where you will be able to learn how to create the exclusive Chinese New Year cocktails yourself. You can learn how to make the unique drinks with a Monkey 47 brand ambassador, and, following the class, you will dine from the Supreme Saturday menu, featuring some of Yauatcha’s most luxurious dishes. The classes will take place on 6th and 20th February and tickets will be available to purchase through Yauatcha City reservations for £60 per person – see their website here.
The Chinese New Year menu is available at both Yauatcha restaurants in London from 25th January to 21st February. See here for more details.