Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Yauatcha review (revisited) - London dimsum restaurant with menu watered down and price jacked up

K wasn't impressed. It was probably our fault. Afterall, it was us who persuaded him to go all the way to Soho to try out the Michelin starred Chinese dimsum restaurant. Then again, K wasn't the only one disappointed.

Macarons gone and replaced by... tea sets

We hadn't visited Yauatcha for quite some time and there were some changes since then. First, the trays of macarons that made Yauatcha unique were gone and in their place sat some display teapot sets. The menu went through some major overhaul; intersting items such as the fried almond prawns, more exotic soups and a host of others were removed, those remained had their prices jacked up - the Penang fried kuay tiao had its price increased from under £9 to over £11.50. Most cheung fun were going for around £6.50 per serving.

Pickles to whet your appetite and chilli oil goes well with steamed dimsum

We wondered whether the price increase was justified in the Penang fried kuay tiao and were dismayed to find out that other than its price, the dish remained the same in terms of quality and quantity.

Sticky rice in lotus leaf (£4.80) handy for filling up your stomach without too much grease

The Char siew buns (£3.50) were still as good. Though their size could be bigger, the fillings were definitely way better than any of those I had tasted in London.

Have a beancurd cheung fun and you'll never want any others

We agreed unanimously that the Beancurd cheung fun (£6.50) was the highlight in the meal. Yauatcha was the only dimsum restaurant that I had come across to add soy sauce to the dish only after serving it at the table - the rest had them premixed. That prevented the saltiness from being overwhelming so that the freshness of its fillings would be apparent.

Pan fried turnip cake (£5.50) - a bit pricy but another stomach filler, crispy surface with mushy and light interior

Service was efficient and polite as ever but I couldn't help but notice that there were more empty tables than usual for a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps the dismal weather had something to do with it but I wouldn't be surprised that Yauatcha's price hike had turned away some of its regulars.

Address: 15 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DL
Tel: 020 7494 8888
Nearest Tube stations: Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road

Ratings (out of 5 *)
Price: below £25 pp
Service charge: 12.5%
Taste: ****
Service: ****
Ambience: ****
Suitable for: leisure late afternoon tea with groups of three, never four because most dimsum portions come in three

Yauatcha on Urbanspoon

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Holly said...

yauatcha has been pretty disappointing for the past year to be honest; perhaps because 'Yau' is not 'at cha' anymore? in regards to the soy sauce added to cheong fun, phoenix palace uses a plate where there are 2 compartments - one for the soy sauce, the other for the cheong fun - so you can dip as much as you like

Gourmet Chick said...

I wasn't that impressed on my most recent visit either - I agree prices were expensive and that was when we were dining on a London restaurant week menu

C K said...

For some reason, I prefer to have the soy sauce added to my cheung fun and the soy sauce that Yauatcha uses isn't too salty.

I've tried Phoenix Palace twice but found that the dim sum isn't really spectacular. Perhaps I have ordered the wrong dish?

@Gourmet Chick,
Glad that I'm not the only one who think so. Btw, may I know what's a 'London restaurant week menu'? Is that a special offer that Yauatcha have ran?

Ibzo said...

Sounds disappointing. To add to the cheung fun/soy sauce discussion: the underrated Alisan in Wembley also adds the soy sauce at the table, and their prawn and beancurd cheung fun is a winner in my eyes. Really delicious.