Imagine yourself parked on a cozy sofa, with a fresh cup of fragrant, hot tea in your hand. Add some light, tasty, healthy snack (hard to believe?) for company and it makes for a perfect late afternoon break from the chaos of Mumbai!
My recent visit to Yauatcha was a fresh take on a popular high-end lunch/dinner joint at the Bandra Kurla Complex. Quite a party place for the social butterflies over weekends, the pleasant surprise was the recent introduction of its International Tea and Dimsum menu, priced at 850/- per head. Yauatcha now is a perfect late afternoon pit stop with a basket of dim sum and various tea to please your senses.
The restaurant is set out on a single floor, with a wide reception, also housing a dessert counter, and a wide stairway leading to the first floor. On the first floor, you will be greeted by a long bar, a large glass wine cellar, and comfortable diffused lighting throughout the space. The restaurant design exhibits long, linear lines and small tables which are close to each other yet create an impression of privacy once seated. Unfortunately, the seating is not very comfortable or cozy, even for a medium build person such as your truely.
The Menu has an assortment of 15 teas, 12 Dimsum and 6 Macaroons to choose from. The tea started off with a pot of Jasmine Green Tea and four vegetarian Dimsums. I tried the Truffle Edamame Dumpling, The Crystal Dumpling, Vegetable Chive Dumpling and a serving of Fried Vegetable Turnip Cake. The tea was quite light and packed a very pleasing aromatic flavor. The Dimsum’s were fresh, hot and surprisingly took no more than 10 minutes to reach the table. The Truffle Edamame dumpling was just right with soft, moist exterior with quite a flavor packed in the stuffing. The big surprise was the Fried Vegetable Turnip Cake, which was visually appealing and quite unlike a run off the mill dimsum. The flavors were very well balanced and each bite introduced a new zing. The Crystal and Vegetable Chive dumplings were decent but lacked flavor. This was the only time, I reached out to the sauces for help. Visually, the vegetarian dumplings were very well presented and looked like they belonged at Yauatcha.
The second basket arrived with the non-vegetarian dimsum, now my palette was begging to be pleased. Visually, they did not look cohesive or arranged very well. It looked as if one of them was bullying the others! I ordered the Tsui Yu Oolong Blue tea to go with the Non-Veg flair. Upon tasting, the Chicken & Prawn Shumai, Hargau, and the Prawn & Enoki Dumplings were simply superb, with perfectly cooked prawns and easy flavors in the stuffing. The dimsum texture was neither dry nor sticky, and held the ingredients very well. Each Dimsum held its own with the chopsticks and were bite sized to perfection. You may call be biased towards the Non-Veg dimsums, but I was looking for texture, light flavor, presentation and cooking style – all of which were perfect with the Prawn stuffing. Only thing that missed the mark was the Chicken Char Sui Bun that wasn’t as good. The rice bun was dry and over-shadowed the chicken flavor and the tea did not go very well with it.
The desserts at Yauatcha usually set the bar quite high for most restaurants, and I had to try out the selection of Macaroons to close the deal. Lo and behold, I was dished out six macaroons to feast upon, and boy did I binge! I was presented with Jasmine Tea, Raspberry, Coffee, Chocolate, Blackberry and Vanilla. The Macaroons were perfectly baked crunchy on the outside, and were filled with delightful flavors on the inside. They were easy to eat, never crumpled, not oversweet and blended well with Roasted Blue Tea. My favorites were the Raspberry, Coffee, Jasmine Tea and Blackberry Macaroons.
While it may seem that dimsums are not filling, the selection and variety on offer at Yauatcha Afternoon Tea menu are perfect for a late evening catch up with friends or over a business discussion. The environment is casual, comfortable and pleasing. I wish the table service were sharper to compliment the gourmet kitchen. It was slightly hard to get a waiter’s attention. There are two sets of people managing the operation, one set who take the order and serve, while another who clear the tables. It can be confusing to first time visitors.
Part of the London based Hakkasan group, Yauatcha offers good quality, Michelin Star options in a fine-casual setting. The open kitchen and long bar layout energizes the entire space, appealing to serious diners and bar hoppers equally. It offers a serene, high quality lunch option for the corporate/ business clientele in the region and effortlessly transforms into a lively, modern bar for the party hard social butterflies. Thankfully, the place is not priced out of the market, and offers good quality dining experience throughout the day.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs 2,000 |Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Timings: Lunch 12:00 Noon -4:00PM; Afternoon Tea: 4:00PM – 7.00PM; Dinner: 7:00 PM – 11:30 AM
Address: Ground floor, Raheja Tower, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East Mumbai 400051 | Phone: 92222-22800
– Gagandeep Grover