To celebrate the year of the monkey, Yauatcha have put on a very special Chinese New Year menu – one which shows off some the established favourites (hello venison puffs…) as well as some extraordinary new creations. Teaming up with Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin the menu has been paired with a flight of gin cocktails as well as inspiring the botanicals flavouring a new range of macarons.
Yauatcha City is the second branch of the Yau(atcha) empire, and follows from the success of its Soho sister, which has become a Mecca for dim-sum and tea lovers in London, and well-trodden on the date trail. The atmosphere here is much slicker, with a real mix of business meetings and dates when we dined on a Thursday night. The interiors are dark, and the odd circular shape of the restaurant gives it an almost maze-like feel.
The menu has been devised by Head Chef Tong Hwee Chee and aims to mix traditional celebratory Chinese dishes with some new luxurious creations to start the year off in style.
As all menus should, this one starts with a range of Dim Sum, and Yauatcha fans will not be disappointed. Classic dishes have been given an extravagant twist – we particularly enjoyed heart shaped ‘Foie gras roast duck puff’ and the delicate Soupy explosions that come from the ‘Caviar siew long buns’. These were accompanied by the delicate Saffron Gin & Tonic poured at the table through an elegant tea-strainer.
Staff continue to spoil us with their impeccable service, and then with our impressive main dishes. The first of these was the slightly wild looking ‘Yauatcha Scallop Yusheng salad’ an eclectic mix of radishes, Japanese seaweed, grapefruit, pomegranate, pumpkin and some tiny little mushrooms. Waiters delicately place raw scallops on the top, a drizzle of dressing and then ceremoniously stir the whole thing – making a salad unlike anything we have ever seen.
The salad is accompanied by a light ‘Sea conch Chinese Yam soup’ who’s soothing flavours prepare you for the hearty ‘Hakka Fortune Pot’, a clay pot filled to the brim with a medley of roast duck and sea bass, together of which symbolise a happy reunion. All this is accompanied by some seriously punchy ‘Dried Oyster Sticky Rice’. Feeling very well-fed, we polished off the two remaining gin cocktails, our favourite of which had to be the Pink Kumquat with its unusual combination of ginger cranberries. Cocktail aficionados and wild things can even learn to make these cocktails themselves with exclusive cocktail masterclasses being held at Yautcha City (the next on 20th February).
Not forgetting the sweet stuff, this epic NY feast is drawn to a close with the new selection of six limited edition macaroons. Each macaroon has been inspired by one of Monkey 47’s botanicals and flavours include juniper berry, chamomile and gin & tonic with grapefruit…what’s not to love?
We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the year of the mischievous monkey, the CNY menu at Yautcha truly spoils, whilst also introducing Londoners to an array of traditional Chinese dishes. Quick though, the menu is running until 21st February!