Dim Sum Sunday in Soho

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There is no better way to while away a Sunday afternoon than to have a long, preferably boozy, lunch with some of your favourite people. Yauatcha, with its fish tank bars, candle-lit alcoves and endless dim sum menu is the perfect place to escape this dreary winter weather. Plate after plate of steaming buns, venison pastries and spring rolls, coupled with its vibrant violet and pinks hues is sure to lift you out of your January slump. It’s no wonder that Yauatcha was chosen to star in the film “I Give it a Year”, featuring Rose Byrne. But is it a case of style over substance? Most definitely not.

Yauatcha is not a new kid on the block. Alan Yau – founder of Wagamama and the man behind Hakkasan, Busaba Eathai and Cha Cha Moon – opened the doors to Hakkasan‘s sister restaurant in 2003 and has been wowing Londoners and its visitors from afar with its tasty dim sum ever since. With this wealth of experience comes the guarantee that every visit will be delightful. These bites of perfection were quickly acknowledged when Yauatcha was awarded a Michelin star in 2005, which it still easily holds on to today. As the first and only dim sum restaurant to achieve a Michelin star, they’re clearly doing something special.

This Sunday our double date was with my beautiful friend Chloe and her husband. We were shown to our table, already laced with pickled cucumbers and an assorted of spicy dips, and handed the hot pink menus.

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Whenever I walk away from a date with Chloe I have that “face-aching-from-laughing-too-much” feeling and today was no exception.

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The dim sum menus is endless. Pages and pages of mouth-watering dishes.

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It’s almost impossible to only order what you need. So, as always, we ordered a frightening amount and waited for the tasty parcels to arrive.

First up: the classics.

Sesame prawn toast. As you can see, not your bog standard. Perfectly crisp toast topped with cloud-like minced prawn, encased in a perfect layer of sesame seeds.

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Crispy duck rolls with that dreamy puddle of hoisin sauce…

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The key to this girl’s heart…

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Spicy pork Szechuan wontons…

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Prawn and beancurd cheung fun with a delicious soy sauce…

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A silky wrapper of cheung-fun rice pastry with a hidden centre of lightly fried prawns and beancurd.

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And a dim sum feast wouldn’t be complete without char siu buns. The most deliciously sweet melt-in-the-mouth pork wrapped in soft, white, fluffy pillows. On the table for a split second before the boys eagerly snapped theirs up…

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Pork and prawn shui mai…

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Sticky rice steamed in a lotus leaf and stuffed with chicken and dried shrimp…

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And then the show-stopper: venison puffs. These are little parcels of perfection.

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Buttery, flaky pastry surrounding a rich venison filling.

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I’m telling you, you won’t want to share these….

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Then it was on to dessert.

Before Yauatcha I would never have gone for a desert in a Chinese restaurant. Weird, soggy egg based heavy deserts have never really been my thing. But Yauatcha has got it nailed. At the entrance of the restaurant there is the most beautiful patisserie counter showcasing the endless deserts on offer. It’s this unique combination of Chinese food and European patisserie that sets Yauatcha apart from the restaurants you find in China town. Londoners flock to Yauatcha just to visit the gorgeous dessert counter.

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Row after row of intricately layered desserts, giant macaroons and soft mousse cake, waiting to be placed on your plate or packaged lovingly into a box for you to enjoy later. The talented pastry chefs spend hours perfecting each dessert, experimenting with flavours and ensuring that the dishes complement the Chinese cuisine.

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My favourite is the Raspberry Delice: Yauatcha’s award-winning petit gateaux, a raspberry majari chocolate mousse with a lychee panna cotta centre. It really is something special.

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But after our dim sum feast and that last plate of venison puffs, all we could handle was a small nibble of something sweet. That’s when these pastel beauties caught our eye…

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Macaroons for miles in every flavour you could ever wish for…

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So pretty you’ll be racking your brains for an upcoming birthday,  any excuse to take some home with you…

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All beautifully wrapped up with Yauatcha’s signature pink ribbon…

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These would be perfect to satisfy our sugar craving.

We put a little plate together for the table…

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Rose, coconut, salted caramel and chocolate…

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Sorry gents…these are just too good for you.

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London-based foodie with a shopping addiction, a love for swanky interiors and an obsession with white sandy beaches.

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