Taste: Yauatcha

On the corner of the Berwick Street market, Yauatcha waits incensed. A 5 metre tropical fish tank runs along one side of the restaurant, and a thin view of the cake counter along the other. The remaining facade - a wall of opaque blue glass emanates the restaurant's distaste for sub-chic lesser mortals.

Yauatcha is the next child of Alan Yau, who's siblings include a couple hundred Wagamama restaurants and elitist big brother Hakkasan. It's Michelin rated (the only Chinese restaurant with a star), recently voted in the top 10 of London's restaurant and best 50 in the country.

The building is split over two levels, ground floor tea & cake room - downstairs main restaurant. Although it's possible to eat in the tea room, it's a whole world away from what lurks underneath and weak in comparison.

Underground is an obsidian, designed, oppressive hive of activity. One wall is a translucent window to the steamy kitchen where chefs outlines blur in and out of focus with hectic blade-runner effect. Waiters squeeze between tables (steer clear of table by the stairs). In fact it's a little too close. If you're not coming here for atmosphere, give it a miss because you'll be chewing on it for the whole meal.

I know there are reviews-a-plenty heralding Yauatcha as the best dim-sum place in town. I profess to be a no-fuss traditionalist when it comes to dim-sum so would rather be over in low-cost china town for such cuisine. Here, however is on another level for a different purpose, Jasmine tea soaked ribs, sea bass Mooli roll, Wagyu beef Cheung Fun and Pandan Wrapped chicken spoil the senses rotten.

Yauatcha is a perfect match for those soho-types who talk loudest to be heard furthest. It's fantastic place to come if you're not keen on a relaxed eating experience and are happy to pay for quite the opposite.

15-17 Broadwick Street
London, W1F 0DL
Tel: 020 7494 8888

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