Without a doubt my favourite Chinese meals in London have been at HKK which has sadly recently closed it's doors. Part of the Hakkasan Group, and with its own Michelin star, it was a smart but friendly and very slick Chinese doing fixed menus to die for. Beautiful plates of food each with their own story and history were paired perfectly with drinks, giving you a meal and a night to remember on every visit. So having shed a little tear about its closing, it was time to find my new favourite Hakkasan restaurant. And when I was invited to check out Yauatcha in Soho, my problems were solved!

I'd heard good things, and they too have their own star, so I headed down to Soho, to see if it could live up to my HKK dreams.

Yauatcha have two sites in London - Soho and Broadgate Circle in the City. The Soho site is vast. A large, bright open ground floor level, with a slightly darker, moodier cavernous sprawling out downstairs. We sat on the ground floor level and kicked things off with tangy, refreshing mocktail (it was pre Kili and I was on a bit of a cleanse!) Closely followed by plate after plate of incredible food. I'd found my "new" HKK!

We started with one of my favorites - the venison puff. I order these whenever I go for dim sum and Yauatcha's were the best I've tried. Light, flaky pastry encased rich, gamey venison meat, so soft it all just melted in the mouth. Dunked in a ludicrous amount of chilli oil I could eat these more often than I should! Whenever I think of dim sum an image of steamed, light dumplings comes to mind, but whenever I get to a dim sum restaurant it's these that are first on the list. The wagyu beef version that Yauatcha do is also excellent - a strong meaty, fatty alternative to the gamey venison. 

Yauatcha really do know how to make world class dumplings, whether it's the dreamy puff pastry versions, or the steamed ones that we moved on to. We shared baskets of scallop shu mai, lobster dumplings with tobiko caviar, and champagne scallop and prawn dumplings. All wrapped in delicately thin dumplings skins, full of light fillings but lacking no flavour. I'm a sucker for all things dim sum and Yauatcha is the kind of place I'd go just for a basket or two of these gorgeous little packages. 

Cheung fun are another favourite and the strip loin beef and enoki mushroom version hit the spot. Light rice noodle rolls stuffed with meaty mushroom goodness and doused in soy were pillowy soft and rich and salty in all the right ways. 

Normally, I'd leave it there - just stick with the dim sum that I love so much. But Yauatcha's menu is just too tempting.... so we ordered two bigger dishes to share. The lobster vermicelli pot is a definite special occasion dish. It's one of the priciest on the menu at £45 and would do as a main between two people, or more if you'd started with dim sum. Talking of price, the dim sum at Yauatcha is actually very reasonable, considering the location, quality and the fact they have a Michelin star, with baskets of dumplings starting at £5. Back to the lobster though, a proper star of the show. A whole lobster sits on top of sticky, sweet vermicelli noddles and finely sliced vegetables.

But the actual star of meal for us was the pork belly with truffle and mushrooms. A huge slab of soft, wobbly pork belly, drizzled in truffle and scattered with mushrooms arrived at our table with a heavy earthy scent. It was one of the most perfect bits of pork belly I've tried, cooked to perfection and OTT in rich truffle flavour. It was an absolute joy to eat and we both muttered about how good it was to each other, whilst mostly consumed by just eating it!

Yauatcha is a fantastic Soho spot for really good dim sum and more. You could and enjoy a few baskets of dumplings and not break the bank, or go all out and get the luxurious mains to share, and really make an evening of it. Just don't forget to grab some of the stunning patisserie from their dessert counter before you leave!

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