A friend and I hit up Yauatcha this past weekend for a very pleasant dim sum experience.
In comparison to the bustling, high energy dim sum experiences I usually favor, Yauatcha proved to be much more serene and sedate. No bustling carts (bummer), no packed in families, no sharing tables (bummer as well). Adequate spacing between tables. Generally quiet. If that's your idea of a nice dim sum dining experience, then Yauatcha is for you. For me, I prefer all of those glorious elements which were missing. Being crammed into a table with people I don't know and watching to see what they order. Seeing carts circle around and selecting your meal based upon what sounds good and looks interesting.
Even so, Yauatcha was excellent. The food we sampled was finely crafted dim sum with interesting twists and tastes. The Cheung Fun were excellent. Perfect silky noodle texture with tasty prawns and well make roast pork. Pork Shumai had beautiful, thin, tasty skins and well delicately filled with well seasoned pork and shrimp. Chive dumplings were again well executed, thinly skinned with a tasty filling. Salt and Pepper Squid was very tasty, although for my taste there were not enough spicy peppers within the mix. Squid was nicely tender. The only miss-step was the Xiao Lung Bao, which didn't have the over-the-top richness of broth I expect.
There were other areas of the menu we just didn't have the capacity to explore which looked
Glad you liked Yauatcha, as it's my favourite dim sum restaurant, and I've been to a few! I like sitting upstairs these days, as I can't hear myself speak downstairs with the music pumped up. It's calmer upstairs and you can have tea and cakes afterwards if you can manage it, as the downstairs desserts aren't that great. I always have the cheapest tea, or a tea smoothie (£3.80) and can eat really well for £15-20 a head. My favourites are the shiitake duck roll, beancurd roll with enoki and cloud ear, cheung fun with prawn and gai lan, poached Peking dumpling, xiao long bao, grilled Shanghai dumpling (sorry the list goes on and on!). There's also this fried prawn and plum thing, that's amazing, but I can't remember the exact name. You've got to try this! Yauatcha's also a great place for meeting people (again upstairs) for tea/coffee and divine cakes. Last time I had a matcha panna cotta (last photo in review).
Helen Yuet Ling Pang
Yauatcha is a really excellent dim sum experience. The quality of food and cooking is really, really first class. It is more expensive than many places, but the difference between the food here and other very good dim sum restaurants in London is like the difference between a great hamburger and great fillet steak i.e. they are both good, they are both beef, but they are very different and the price reflects this.
As the OP says it isn't bustling restaurant with carts. To me this is a good sign, I am suspicious of the freshness of the food if it comes off a cart, and good dim sum must be absolutely fresh to be perfect, and thus must come straight from the kitchen to the table.
Early Sunday lunchtime was nice and quite which was great, I have heard it can get very noisy, it is a modern, funky restaurant so I guess it attracts a young, load crowd during the week.
We chose: Peking Spring Onion Cake, Prawn Cheung Fun, Peking Dumpling, Shanghai Dumpling, Char Sui Bai, Baked Venison Puff, Baked Turnip Cake, and Classical Beauty tea. The only disappointing dish was the Char Sui Bau, nothing wrong with it simply ordinary.
All the other dishes were great with the stand-outs being the Cheung Fun with a wrapper that was incredibly thin and delicate and the prawns very fresh and not over cooked; the turnip cake which came with an egg, shrimp paste and chive topping fantastic flavours; and the venison puffs, with fantastically light pastry. We had eaten in another well regarded dim sum restaurant the day before and one of the interesting comparisons was the taste of the accompanying sauces. For example the soy and garlic one was fresh and pungent and you could taste all the elements of the sauce quite an interesting revelation.
The bill for two was £44.20 (plus service), the food was only £30 of this, two pots of tea made up £13.60 of the bill. Individual dim sums are priced from £3.50 upwards with the Cheung Fun at £5.80. A must try restaurant.