First Look at Yauatcha Mumbai

November 28, 2011 8:31 am by

December will bring good tidings for office goers in Bandra Kurla Complex who bemoan the scant lunch options in the neighbourhood. Yauatcha, London’s Michelin-starred dim sum restaurant, is slated to open in the tony commercial complex, at the end of next week. In Mumbai, Yauatcha (pronounced as yau-aatchaa) is owned by Ka Restaurants, the parent company of Hakkasan, the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant from London, which opened in Bandra in June.

Yauatcha, is a split-level restaurant spread over 12,000 square feet, which makes it double the size of of Hakkasan. Its 26-feet-high glass façade comes into view from a mile away provided you follow directions closely and enter the correct warren of streets (Yauatcha is located in Raheja Towers, which is close to the circular ILFS building).

The ceiling-high glass windows let you sneak a peak at the immense first floor dining room, when you alight at the gates of the office complex. In order to reach it, you have to cross the ground floor retail area dedicated to teas and desserts such as macaroons, petits gateaux and chocolates. This area features a ceiling-high, wood tea display stocked with caddies that contain Yauatcha’s signature bespoke teas sourced from Taiwan. The macaroons (priced at Rs50 each excluding taxes) come is such flavours as lime, jasmine, Earl Grey, matcha, coconut, and sesame, which were launched at the Yauatcha in London earlier this month, in anticipation of the restaurant’s opening in Mumbai.

The Mumbai Yauatcha is the brand’s first international outpost. Designed by the Paris-based architecture firm GBRH, the restaurant features three fish tanks and contemporary furnishings such as white Italian marble, blue glass screens and embroidered upholstery, which are also common to the London flagship. A show kitchen and two private dining rooms are features exclusive to the Mumbai restaurant. Yauatcha also has a swanky bar area with a seating capacity of about 30 guests and is separated from the dining room by a wall. The bar will offer a selection of over 60 wines from France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, South Africa and the US, as well as over a dozen cocktails including such signature mixes as the Cha La Lai (Ketel One Vodka, black grapes, Oolong tea, apple juice and sparkling wine) and Lalu (Ketel One Vodka, lemongrass, lime, Oolong tea and lychee juice).

Wah Cheong Soon, the master dim sum chef for Hakkasan in Mumbai, has created over 55 varieties for Yauatcha including steamed, fried, grilled and baked options. The restaurant will also serve a small selection of stir-fries, noodles and fried rice. About 30 per cent of the menu has been tweaked for vegetarians to include asparagus, taro, yam bean and pumpkin dim sums in addition to the regular mushroom, and chive ones. Graham Hornigold, the Hakkasan Group’s executive pastry chef, has drafted the desserts menu, which includes such treats as pumpkin gingerbread, mandarin tart and milk chocolate praline. A few months after the opening, they intend to launch Taste of Yauatcha, a set menu that will be served daily, from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

You can take heart in the fact that a meal at Yauatcha is likely to be more pocket friendly than it is at Hakkasan. The prices of dim sums start at Rs225 and can go up to Rs950 for a portion. How much you spend at the restaurant will depend on the nature of the meal, explained a spokesperson. For instance, if you visit Yauatcha for a snappy lunch then you can apparently spend as little as Rs600 per head. However, over dinner, they expect guests will linger over their meals and order more elaborately, in which case the average per cover could go up to Rs2,000.

Yauatcha is slated to open in the first week of December.