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Yauatcha, Soho

Yes, I know there's a brand spanking new Yauatcha in Broadgate Circle, and yes there's a long old list of new Alan Yau places too (Duck & Rice, Babaji) but the original Soho dim sum and tea house definitely still deserves a visit: it's still got its Michelin Star, don't you know?

I visited with girl friends for a birthday celebration - for once, not my own - and having enjoyed a fair few aperitifs at (kind of) nearby Cafe Boheme, we trundled over to Broaowick Street and were welcomed warmly.

The decor at Yauatcha is dark, dramatic and with lots of neon lighting. It's perfect for getting you in the mood for a Friday night out and has the added bonus of not making you feel overdressed in your dancefloor ready outfit when it's still light outside at 9.30pm. Not in Yauatcha.

We ordered a couple of bottles of a reasonable white wine that I cannot remember (nothing on the list below mid-thirties) and agreed we'd order a couple of dim sum dishes each to share, plus a few mains. The choice is vast and tempting, but I would definitely recommend the Venison Puff, the Mushroom Spring Roll with Truffle and the Soft Shell Crab with Almond.

Aside from the fact everything came in threes and we were four, we were disappointed with nothing. Every single item we had was exceptional in how perfectly it has been constructed, cooked, flavoured and presented. I feel quite certain we could have happily made our way through the entire dim sum menu - it just has that way of never making you feel too full...!

Here's the soft shell crab dish, which was a favourite. Of course the light does it no justice:

We also had some glorious Crispy Aromatic Duck, which was expertly shredded at the table and then served with the given accoutrements of cucumber, spring onion, steamed pancakes and hoi sin.

The meal came to a nice close with a complimentary dessert for the birthday girl:

The meal set us back £38 each including service, which we all agreed was great value - especially considering the Michelin star - and we swiftly decamped to Soho House for a boogie and some espresso martinis (after a close call with some Mezcal - the less said about that the better).

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