A late lunch at Yauatcha Soho

Last Sunday Sister and I spent a lot of time in Soho celebrating Chinese New Year. To end our day of Labour endorsed fortune cookies and neon sheep, we had a late lunch at Yauatcha, the creator of the neon sheep. They had also created a bespoke menu to celebrate the Year of the Sheep and it was this menu that convinced me to book a table. In fact, until I saw a list of the best places to eat in Soho during the New Year, I hadn’t heard of Yauatcha. Shocking isn’t it? I was definitely one of the few since Yauatcha’s reputation is renown.

As it is the Year of the Sheep, Yauatcha had completely transformed their space. Andy Warhol-esque sheep looked down on us from the walls while more neon sheer watched us eat, and staff has sheep badges on their uniform (both Sister and I loved this). Once we were shown to our table we had a look at the menu. Cue the mouth-watering. The sheer amount of choice – especially for us vegetarians) was amazing.

I went for the Yang Walker (the Year of the Sheep cocktail) – containing an array of Asian ingredients including Du Kang Baijiu, a Chinese spirit which I had never even heard off let alone tasted. Sister went for the Kura mi ami martini which had Tanqueray No. Ten gin, Belvedere vodka, Chotoku Honjozo sake and plum win. Both were very unusual in flavour and very, very moreish. We then waited for our mains to arrive. The both of us love steamed dumplings so ordered the steamed vegetable dumplings, wild mushroom dumplings, mustard green and edamame dumplings, garden dumplings, and crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin and pinenuts.

It was a delicious feast for two. I especially loved the edamame dumplings – the crunchiness of the beans contrasted so wonderfully with the texture of the dumpling. Once we finished the dumplings we decided to order some baby pak choi in ginger and garlic,. Absolutely delicious.

Of course no meal could be complete without dessert. Yauatcha is famous for their innovative desserts and both Sister and I wanted to try. I went for their Year of the Sheep special – a macaroon and petits gateaux.The limited edition oat-covered macaron was made from caramelised sheep’s milk with a dulce de leche centre, while the petit gateau was a sheep’s yoghurt bavarois centred with lemon curd and lemon sable on a bed of lemon sponge and pandan buttercream, garnished with sheep’s yoghurt cream and crystallised grains, flowers and cress.

It looked stunning and tasted even better.

Sister went for the matcha tart, with matcha, yuzu, hazelnut, genoise. It was delicious and the pastry was cooked to perfection. As a fan of the Great British Bake Off I obviously am a baking expert. But putting my dubious pastry skills aside, I can only reiterate as to how delicious both desserts were. We were so vocal about our appreciation, we managed to convince people sitting next to us to order dessert.

A special mention has to go out to the staff at Yauatcha who were fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I had such brilliant service.

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