Brunch is still very much alive and kicking in London, and Yauatcha City’s new Yum Cha dim sum brunch is definitely up there with the must-tries…
Yauatcha City is a pretty slick operation. It’s London’s second outpost of the Hakkasan-owned, high-end Chinese dining chain (the first, in Soho, has a Michelin star), and it sits resplendent on the upper tier of the central part of Broadgate Circle, EC2’s shiny new office/retail/eating/drinking district.
It’s got a huge curved balcony, sleek, stylish interiors, an outdoor bar with a cherry blossom tree, and a buzz that you’d never, ever have found in this part of town at the weekend before a) this development really got going and b) London became obsessed with brunch.
Nowadays, if it’s a Saturday or Sunday and you’re not settling in for an indulgently long breakfast/lunch hybrid with a gang of your mates and Instagram stories on stand-by, then you’re nobody in this town.
But while many places go for a ‘bottomless’ offering – and in turn often transform what can be the most relaxing meal of the week into something akin to a hen do but with added avocado – the Yum Cha experience (essentially the Cantonese tradition of brunching on dim sum) at Yauatcha is a much more civilised affair. It’s also astonishingly good value.
For £58 per person, you get a killer welcome cocktail – our vote is the Thea martini, a palette livening combo of vodka, apple juice and ginger with a warming chilli rush; a basket of dim sum that includes an outstanding scallop shui mui and a seafood dumpling pimped up with black truffle; Peking duck three ways (one of which is topped with caviar because this is the City and it’s flash); two bao buns (EACH); a choice of mains (get the garlic-scented steamed chilli prawns); dessert (the macaron with a teacup of espresso martini gets our sugar-coated seal of approval) and (AND!) half a bottle of champagne each. (The price goes down to £49pp for wine, or if you’re tee-totalling, it’s £47 with tea).
‘It is not only unbelievably well priced for a place of this calibre, it’s a fantastic opportunity to acquaint yourself with the restaurant’s fine-dining-meets-super-fly-decor ethos’
It is not only unbelievably well priced for a place of this calibre, it’s a fantastic opportunity to acquaint yourself with the restaurant’s fine-dining-meets-super-fly-decor ethos if you’ve never been before.
It’s also a stellar example of how the City has now become a ‘thing’ at the weekend – this part of town was once a no man’s land on a Saturday and Sunday, its skyscrapers abandoned and pubs open on weekdays only. Now, it’s now alive with locals, tourists and day-trippers drinking cocktails and making merry as the sun shines.
Among this new effervescence, Yum Cha at Yauatcha very much feels like the place to be.
The Yum Cha menu is available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Yauatcha, 1 Broadgate Circus EC2M 2QS; yauatcha.com
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