Hakkasan seems like an unstoppable force. With four Michelin-starred Chinese restaurants in London alone, it continues to grow the number of restaurants on its list, bringing the best Cantonese food available outside China to people all over the world. Its latest opening in London is the second branch of its contemporary tea room; the first of which, Yauatcha Soho, won a Michelin star in 2005.
Yauatcha City continues the tea room theme, serving up a selection of dim sum, rare and exotic tea and artful pastries. Unlike the other Yauatcha, which is in a basement and darkly lit, City is on the top level of Broadgate Circle just outside Liverpool Street Station, with plenty of natural light, a long, semi-circular dining room and minimalist, clean décor.
There are around thirty teas on offer in the restaurant, from Jasmine and green teas to more exotic roasted blues, which have all been chosen to match with the food served. Dishes are designed to be eaten at any time of day, with the focus on dim sum; small Chinese dumplings filled with anything from Wagyu beef to curried taro root. There are also larger main dishes, soups and salads, for diners wanting something a bit more substantial. All the food is overseen by Hakkasan Group’s executive chef, Tong Chee Hwee.
The desserts are a particular draw at Yauatcha City, combining the technical brilliance of French patisserie with floral Chinese flavours. They look more like works of art than pastries, and executive pastry chef Graham Hornigold is constantly coming up with new delights to wow diners. He is best known for his brightly coloured, jewel-like macarons, which come in flavours such as cashew sesame, matcha yuzu and passion fruit five spice.
The level below the restaurant is home to Yauatcha Patisserie, a shop selling the desserts and teas available upstairs, but to take home. As well as the pastries, macarons and loose leaf teas, you can order gateaux for special occasions – larger versions of some of Graham’s signature creations.