Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year) is probably the celebration closest to my heart. Though, living abroad, and not having any days off, I haven’t been able to spend these holidays with my family in a while. Fortunately, there are quite a few places in London that let you get a taste of these festivities, and I was more than excited when Yauatcha invited Emma (bloomzy.co.uk) and I to their City location to celebrate Chinese New Year.
MONKEY 47: GIN COCKTAIL FLIGHT & MACARONS
Matching the year of the Monkey, Yauatcha created an exclusive Gin cocktail flight with Monkey 47. Emma and I were served the 3 cocktails to accompany the different courses. While I expected to favour the Pomelo Fortune for its sweetness and tanginess, I actually liked the Saffron Gin and Tonic the best. Sweeter than your usual gin and tonic, the taste and presentation were excellent.
The 6 limited macaron flavours mirrored the theme and were inspired by the botanicals found in Monkey 47. Not usually a fan of macarons because of their sweetness level, I found myself devouring the Elderflower and ginger (really light and not too sweet, with the ginger kicking in later) as well as the Gin and tonic (perfectly balancing sweet and bitter).
DIM SUM & MAINS
I was most excited to try out their CNY dim sum dishes: Caviar siew long bun (my favourite!), Caviar Taro dumpling (beautifully colourful and strong savoury Taro flavour), Foie gras roast duck puff (heart-shaped buttery deliciousness) and Black truffle edamame sesame balls (a little too sweet to be listed among the dim sum, but tasty nonetheless). You have to know, Siew long bun is my favourite type of dim sum. And Yauatcha’s version did not disappoint: the thin dim sum skin was filled with the most flavourful and mouth-watering soup. The best!
After the finishing the dim sum, we moved on to the mains: Yauatcha scallop yusheng (refreshing and crunchy salad), Hakka fortune pot (a mixed pot of meats, seafood and veg) and Dried oyster fried sticky rice with dried shrimp (unique in flavour and perfectly sticky). I wasn’t too impressed by the Hakka fortune pot. While the mixture seemed unique, the flavours of each element on its own were quite predictable and common. The Yauatcha scallop yusheng on the other hand exceeded all my expectations. And no, it’s not only because the server told me to mix the ingredients in the traditional way and to make a wish (though, it was pretty cool). I loved the mix of textures and how refreshing it was. The raw scallop was beautifully tender and blended perfectly with the other ingredients (from seaweed to grapefruit and pomegranate).
Like with any other restaurant, I liked some dishes more than others. I can definitely recommend the Saffron gin and tonic cocktail as well as the Yauatcha scallop yusheng (I could eat it all day!). However, considering that our meal was about £157 together (including the cocktail flight), I would only come back for my favourites.