On a balmy September evening I entered the double level portico of Yauatcha with its desserts array on the left and a broad, no-nonsense, sleek, lighted, glass staircase rising on the right. The grey, black and white décor illunminated by inlaid lights and lustrous modern hanging lights spelled class with a capital “C”. The moment I entered the restaurant the first thought that came to my mind was “Fountainhead”. If the legendary Howard Roark had to design a neo- modern space, this would be it! Its large bar at the entry, long straight dining spaces, open space functional kitchens, no-frills efficient staff – all that Ayn Rand imagined Howard would do. In many ways this was fitting as Chef/Restaurateur Alan Yau’s signature restaurant chain Yauatcha. Alan who has been the force behind famous restaurants such as Wagamama, Busaba, Eathai, and the chain of Hakkasan, has married the concept of Yum cha; tea and dimsums ritual, with his name Yau and has come up with this namesake offering. His dishes are a combination of neo-classical dimsums drawing inspiration from the traditional ones and then giving a modern twist with the international ingredients that he uses. Each of the menus are also designed keeping in mind the local tastes and preferences.
We started with drinks and its signature dimsums. The Lalu (no not the politician –thank God); Belvedere vodka, lemongrass, lime, oolong tea and lychee juice and Citrus Martini; Tanqueray No. Ten gin, Belvedere vodka, limoncello, passionfruit, grapefruit and orange juice were refreshing and went well with the food.
The Truffle Edamame dumpling, I am told, is such a rage that people come from out of town to just eat these. The light creamy buttery taste of truffle with edamame and carrot topping was a great hit with us too. The Crispy Prawn Cheung Fun, I declare, was like Rand’s book with its twist and turns. The very crispy prawn tempura wrapped in silky, smooth, steamed rice paper with its sweet soya sauce was an astounding example of simplicity in complexity. The Prawn Spinach roll with water chestnuts served with slitted chillies and black bean sauce was like a power burst of flavours and while I couldn’t taste the spinach at all it was quite delightful. Then came the Crispy Duck roll and Scallop Shui Mai; two of the dishes from their international menu. The crispy duck roll was like the Peking duck without the crispy skin. The duck mince lightly flavoured was delicious. The coating was nice and crisp. The Scallop Shui Mai was a winner. Lightly cooked scallops steamed with only their flavours dominating, were, if I may say, an exercise in calculated restraint a la Roark and his minimalism.
The mains were Stir-fried Chicken with Szechuan peppercorns, Steamed Indian Rawas in Spicy Blackbean sauce and Egg Fried rice. The chicken while good was a little disappointing more so as we had come to expect a lot more from the dish with the starters. It was like any other stir fried chicken and lacked the oomph. The Steamed rawas; an indigenous twist no doubt was pleasantly flavoured though nothing to be raving about. But this I would put it down to a pre-climax dip.
The desserts were no doubt a soaring crescendo. The Raspberry Delice was like the spirited Dominique Francon, smooth and sophisticated on the outside and pure indulgent hedonist inside. The dessert was of two parts; one being a chocolate mousse dusted with raspberry dust, giving it a velvety veneer, encompassing a raspberry jelly insert, with a base of hazelnut chocolate brownie with tiny biscuit balls and the other a raspberry ripple icecream with tart raspberry coulis.
The Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse was undoubtedly the happy end of Fountainhead. The marriage of two strong individual personalities marrying and creating magic together! The hazelnut chocolate mousse was covered with dark chocolate dust giving a velvety texture with the inside being gooey soft mousse covering a hazelnut dark chocolate insert. The honeycomb icecream with its carved chocolate tiara looked every bit as alluring as a bride. The sweetness of the icecream complimented the bitter sweet nutty flavour of the mousse.
I came away with a pleasant glow, reminded once again of the classic age old adage the book conveyed; if you have convictions in your ideals, the world comes around. That night even if Atlas Shrugged I would not have been bothered ….
Yauatcha has outlets in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 4 | Overall: 4
Meal for Two without Alcohol: Rs. 4000 Approximately plus taxes| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 12 noon to 11.15 pm | Wheelchair access : Yes
Address: Raheja Tower, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai 400051
Telephone : 022 26566262
Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.