Last year, we visited Yautacha Bangalore, located in the One MG road mall.
According to their website, Yauatcha is a “Dim sum teahouse offering contemporary Cantonese dim sum, patisserie inspired by European culinary techniques and Asian ingredients, and an extensive range of tea, wine and cocktails”.
Around that time, the buzz around this restaurant was pretty hot in Bangalore. Also, Yauatcha was advertising their fare (I mean food) pretty heavily via mobile, and we’d heard a lot about it from newspapers and other media. The added allure was that Yauatcha Tea House in London was a Michelin starred restaurant. Naturally, our curiosity was piqued. None of us had ever eaten a Michelin -level meal before, and we wanted to try it out, this being located in Bangalore. So one fine weekend,we headed out as a party of 4, around brunch – lunch time 😀
When we stepped in, the restaurant was almost empty. It was about 12 pm. We were wondering if they were not yet open or something, when they beckoned us in and seated us. At first glance, it had a casual but elegant vibe in terms of interiors and ambience.Within about 20-30 minutes, the restaurant was briskly filling up. By 1 pm, the restaurant was packed, I think.
The seating is comfortable and nice, with the decor being Oriental. I particularly liked the sofa-style chairs with yellow upholstery. They have beautiful images of something that looks like cherry blossom trees, which is really pleasant to the eyes.
Next, the food. In terms of the meal, it was a mixed bag. We started off with a drink (non-alcoholic mocktail) of Chilli orange. The drink really justifies its name, with you first tasting the cold and sweet orange, and then in a delayed manner, the kick of the chilli hits your throat. It takes a few sips before you get used to / appreciate this drink.
The best thing about Yautacha was the dumplings. Steamed, fried, or sautéed – they were all crafted with precision and filled with a variety of vegetables (we chose only the veg options, of course there are non-veg ones too). If you like dumplings, you will enjoy the Yautacha dim-sum menu. A standout was the Cheung-fun, which had a crispy inner layer, and a steamed outer layer. This served on a bed of soy sauce, was pretty yummy!
Vegetable Cheung Fun
A pleasant surprise was the main course – veg ho fan noodles that packed a punch in terms of spice (for some reason I was reminded of Pad Thai when I saw it), an aubergine curry that was really tasty, and a veg fried rice with asparagus and sweetcorn (not pictured) which was really light and flavorful. None of these items were too greasy or excessively Indianised, which is often the case with Cantonese food in India.
Condiments – Pickled veg, Chilli sauce, Chilli oil
The course I was most expectantly awaiting was dessert. I’d heard so much about Yauatcha’s dessert lineup, especially the ‘Raspberry Delice’ that I had really high expectations. Why not, right? It was after all, a Michelin family restaurant, although this particular one may not be starred in its own right. Also, the waiter suggested that since we were 4 people, we could go for the dessert platter, which was an assortment of their best desserts, and would let us get a taste of everything. He insisted that dessert was not to be missed. Enthusiastically, we ordered the platter.
When it arrived, we were really excited and dug in with gusto. Sadly, after a few bites, I had to conclude that it was somewhat underwhelming, to say the least. Although the dessert lineup was not bad, it wasn’t great either. There was no single dessert/s that made me go ‘Wow’ or ask for more. I’ve had better, from even smaller dessert parlours. I’m not sure if I’ve been spoilt by watching successive seasons of Masterchef, or if the dessert on that particular day was really not that great.
Throughout our meal, service at the table was very attentive and friendly. They explained the menu patiently, answered questions on portion sizes, helped us make our selections, and offered to serve the dishes everytime. They also made pretty helpful suggestions as to what, and how to eat. This was particularly good because we needed a great deal of help to ascertain if everything was vegetarian, if there were any ingredients that needed to be removed from our dishes (like mushrooms, or any allergens) etc.
However, towards the end of the meal, we were not so happy with two things: one, they billed us wrongly. The VAT calculation was wrong, and my husband pointed it out to the waiter. After several back and forth conversations, this was corrected and the right bill given to us. Second, there is a subtle push to make you order the desert platter (it costs about 1k I think, maybe less, or around that ballpark). Dessert is supposed to be one of their USP’s, so I suppose it is expected.
We paid a bill of about 7 k with taxes at the end of the meal. Yautacha is definitely priced at the higher end of the spectrum, and because the portion sizes are pretty modest (especially the dim sums), you end up ordering more dishes to fill yourself up. In terms of value for money, I would say that they could do better.
On the whole, Yauatcha was a memorable experience with good food, service and no major complaints, but leaves you with a feeling of something missing. I guess if you’re a big lover of Cantonese food and good dumplings, then I’d recommend visiting this place once and deciding for yourself 🙂