Yauatcha is one of those restaurants that have the word legend suffixed to it all the time. The restaurant is a Hong Kong-inspired Dim sum teahouse that offers contemporary Cantonese dim sum, patisserie inspired by European culinary techniques and Asian ingredients, and an extensive range of tea, wine and cocktails.Located in the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Yauatcha Mumbai has a separate wheelchair accessible entrance than the main one. After getting off on the road by the main entrance, the guard outside guided us to the right entrance and a restaurant staff member kindly obliged to showing me the way in, passing the patisserie counter with an array of show-stopping delights, that already had me methodically planning for dessert.
Aesthetically far more modern and sleeker than a traditional teahouse, Yauatcha Mumbai features a long bar, low seating, dark wood interiors, muted lighting and a large, clean open kitchen. At the back of the restaurant are two private dining rooms.We were a large group as Dad’s friends, who were also attending the wedding in Goa, were already there waiting at the bar, while my cousins were seated at the long table overlooking through the glass large windows onto the brightly lit streets below.As we settled down, I noticed that the restaurant’s music was a careful selection of relaxing tunes. Of course, the excitement at dining in the branch of London’s Yauatcha which has maintained a Michelin star for 14 out of 15 years of its existence sank in and I quickly perused the menu.
The drinks menu at Yauatcha Mumbai included a detailed list of teas, wines, sake, cocktails and mocktails. While Diva opted for a Lemonberry Martini, a fun take on a vodka-cran with vodka, raspberry, vanilla, lemon and cranberry, I had a Mai Hai Dragon, a yummy twist on mai tai with vodka, jasmine, lychee and dragon fruit. I loved my drink and especially appreciated the use of a reusable metal straw.
Everyone on the table ordered a mocktail (which I was told was amazing), cocktail or local beer.
Yauatcha’s very vegetarian-friendly menu is comprised of dim sum, salads, soups, starters, mains including stir-fries and rice and noodles. You can either choose to order a la carte or order from a set menu.
With something for everyone, we started off with Vegetable Crystal Dumpling. Arriving in little steamer bamboo baskets, these were delicious little morsels of yumminess, perfect to start off. Filled with vegetables complimented by meaty mushrooms, I loved these.
Then, we ordered Fried Turnip Cake with Vegetables. The turnip cake with finely diced vegetables were all deep-fried and very crispy golden. Literally, this could be comfort food for me, at its finest, too. Super delectable, everyone seemed to love these.
Then, for mains, we ordered the Spicy Aubergine, Okra and French Beans and Stir-Fry Lotus Root, Asparagus and Water Chestnut with Black Pepper. The spicy aubergine, okra and French beans dish went down a treat as the spicy sauce made the dish moreish. And as someone who heavily detests okra, I wolfed them down before anyone else noticed as they were cooked to perfection. Shh! Now, just don’t tell anyone.
The lotus root, asparagus and water chestnut stir-fry with black pepper was a novel taste to my taste buds and a hit on the table. Quite a popular ingredient in Chinese vegetarian cuisine, I learned that lotus root is actually the root of the lotus plant that grows underwater. With a striking pattern that resembles old rotary dial phones, it has a pleasant neutral flavor and has a crunchy texture comparable to celery. Rich in fiber, water chestnuts are a popular vegetable in China, often growing alongside rice paddies. Their appearance resembles chestnuts and they have a starchy but neutral taste with a satisfying crisp, firm bite. To me, it was like a mix of mushrooms and onions. The lotus root and water chestnuts bought took on the flavor of the black pepper sauce and this tied the whole dish together.
At this point, I was quite full but Diva and the others were still yearning for more, so Diva ordered the Szechuan Mabo Tofu. The spicy dish comprised of soft tofu with several spices in a Szechuan pepper sauce. The tofu was a little too soft for my liking and I think it could’ve done with being crispier to add a nice bite to the dish, but I loved the heat of the sauce.Others on the table also ordered Vegetable Fried Rice with Sweetcorn and Asparagus and Vegetable Singapore Fried Noodles, though at this point, I was too full to even think of trying these…or so, I thought!
As we dined, I could see that the restaurant was quite busy and that reservations must be made in advance. The staff were always so lovely and quite efficient. I also appreciated that the manager of such a busy restaurant came around to check in on us.
As we wrapped up our meal, I was ready to head back to the hotel, but then complimentary platters of mini desserts landed on the table, allowing us to sample their entire dessert menu.
The patisserie at Yauatcha is quite popular and their desserts, which include petit gateau (cakes), macarons and chocolate truffles, are some of the finest I’ve had.The dessert platters consisted of three petit gateaux, three scoops of ice cream, four macarons and three chocolate truffles. The petit gateau included Raspberry Delice, a creamy raspberry dark chocolate mousse sitting on a hazelnut brownie base, a Pecan Coffee Delice, a pecan sponge cake with crispy feuilletine, mascarpone and coffee mousse, and a Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse with crunchy hazelnuts and crispy feuilletine. The ice cream too was rich and decadent and the macarons were simply incredible. I didn’t get to try the truffles but I hear they were wonderful. In fact, my favorite picks were the macarons and the Raspberry Delice.
Spacious with a laid back yet trendy ambiance, Yauatcha Mumbai exudes an understated elegance, which is complemented by pleasant service and a menu full of delicious treats. While it’s on the pricier side, the food makes it worth it!
For me, it is a must-stop for my future trips to Mumbai (whenever they shall be!).
Photos by Hitesh & Diva Shah