Yauatcha: Ten years on and still going strong (December 2015)

With the spate of new London restaurant openings almost reaching a level of frenzy, it is reassuring to return to old favourites which remain consistently good even having been open for over a decade. Yauatcha is one of such location, and based on how busy the place was on a recent lunchtime visit, still very much on-trend. The restaurant still ‘feels’ very cool, with its atmospheric lighting and lively atmosphere, but there is also a clear element of refinement, expressed not simply via the food, but also via the ability to purchase teas and macaroons from an in-restaurant patisserie at the front. Put another way, dining here feels more like an experience rather than just a means to an end. My comrade and I went for a selection of dim sum (small steamed dishes) and cheung fun (rice noodle rolls), with all prepared to perfection, both from an aesthetic and taste-sensation perspective. Yauatcha’s USP is that all dishes are prepared freshly in-house on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is evident. We also appreciated the originality of the options available and particularly enjoyed the spinach ball with prawn and cuttlefish in a black bean sauce combination as well as the more fiery spicy pork Szechuan wonton with peanut. With just tea to drink, we ended up paying around £35/head all-in, well worth it, in my opinion. Final note: for non-meat/-fish eaters there is an impressive array of options here too, rather than it just being an after-thought, as in many other locations.