Never been a very satisfied customer of Yo! China, I was a little hesitant to try the newly opened and rechristened Yo! China Café located inside the DLF mall at Saket in New Delhi. The first thing that hits on entering are the café are the peppy interiors; mats which display the wide variety of Dimsum, Menu card with colourful graphics, and the bowl & chopsticks in pure white with the show-kitchen depicting cleanliness. Apart from the restaurant seating, there is also outdoor seating for those who want to be in the heart of the mall.
A lovely touch are the conversation cards placed at each table to encourage diners to interact with each other… so important in this day and age when our phones have become our lifelines.
As soon as we were seated an authentic cane basket full of fried snacks was placed at the table. This turned out to be fried Pad Thai with their secret topping sprinkled on top. Exceutive Chef Joe (Chua Kek) from Singapore was present at the restaurant and joined us for a brief chat and suggested few dishes. Jar-hito’s is Yo China Cafe twist on Mojito’s. The large chunky fresh fruits in the drink were very refreshing; however the Classic Jarhito pitcher (375) is tedious to serve and is priced more than the same drink if ordered in glasses.
With 25 varieties of Dimsum on offer we were spoilt for choice. We still taste 10 and loved most. The standout dishes among the above were the Teo Chew Dumpling hailing from a district in China with the same name. This district is famous for the use of peanuts in their cuisine. Encased in a light translucent shell this dumpling gives you a crisp crunch of peanuts and chicken. Singapore Curry Prawn is cooked in Laksa paste before being wrapped; the delicacy of the prawn was beautiful with the mild spices. Sichuan Pumpkin and Pacman Dumpling are not only beautiful but equally tasteful too. Only dimsum which we did not like as much was Chicken Taro. Amongst all the light and steamed dimsum, this one had soaked lot of oil and though on its own it wasn’t bad, but other dimsum were so much better.
Another show stopper starter by Yo China Café is the Tom Kha Prawn shots (395); delicately sautéed prawn in butter and speared atop a shot glass. The shot glass is filled with a light broth with subtle Thai flavours of lemongrass and galanjal married into coconut milk and cream. The combination of the prawn along with this broth was unbelievable and tasted like heaven.
Braised Pork Ribs (295) were good at the price point. However I could not understand the Boxer Chicken (250) which was something like big drums of heaven but done in potato starch. I would any day prefer the latter, but the accompanying Soba salad was perfectly done.
For the main course Chef Joe recommended Ramen. A meal in a bowl the Ramen was wonderfully soft noodles in a rich clear broth with vegetables and meat. We chose the Korean Barbeque Pork (275) and the meat was well done. Garnished with fried onions, burnt garlic, pounded red chilly, peanuts and chopped spring onions, it was a complete meal in itself.
The Dessert counter at the café deserves a mention. A bakery filled with tall and luscious cakes caught everyone’s attention. The Red Velvet cake lacked moisture (225) while the tiramisu (195) had a great punch of Espresso which blended well with the mascarpone.
The overall experience was so much better than the Yo China. With every small detailing we could feel that lot of research and practice has gone behind this rechristened café. It is not only a brand extention but the entire menu has been changed from largely Chinese to World cuisine. Their take away service in plastic coated, colourful and funky containers for the mall rats is not only affordable but also convenient for anyone who wants to eat on the go. I hope they take the overall concept sooner to other cities too.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 4.0 |Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 1200 | Alcohol: License Awaited | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM
Address: Yo! China Café, 307-308, 2nd Floor, DLF Mall, Saket, New Delhi | Phone: 99710-98983
– Upasana Mahtani Luthra/ Pawan Soni