The City sister of Yauatcha opened in May 2015. It stretches in a crescent shape along the top floor of the Broadgate Circle development. Essentially it is two restaurants in one, with dining room, kitchen and bar replicated on either side of the reception, which is accessed from one floor below (confusingly, there is a flight of steps that appears to lead up to it, but this is blocked off). The whole place, which also includes a shop selling patisserie, can seat 280 diners at one time.
I have always admired the ability of Hakkasan Group’s restaurant to maintain consistency despite their great scale, and so it proved at lunch today. The menu has all the Yauatcha favourites and more, and there is an extensive dessert menu too. The wine list started at £28 and had labels such as Aghiorghitiko Skouras Saint George 2012 at £37 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £18, Clonakilla Shiraz 2012 at £60 compared to a retail price of £28, and Meerlust Pinot Noir 2013 at £58 for a wine that will set you back £25 in the high street.
The classic har gau steamed prawn dumpling was lovely here, a pillowy casing for a sweet, tender prawn (16/20). Similarly enjoyable was a prawn and chive dumpling (15/20), as was pork and prawn shui mai (15/20). Char sui bun was fluffy and contained sweetened pork, comfort food if ever there was (15/20). Venison puff is a classic Yauatcha dish, and here it was well executed, the pastry light and hiding flavourful deer (15/20).
Seafood and asparagus was stir-fried and presented in an edible net, the scallops tender and there being just enough chilli to liven things up (15/20). Gai lan with garlic was superb, the broccoli young and full of flavour, precisely steamed (16/20).
I rarely make it here to the dessert stage, but managed it today. Apple and vanilla tart with calvados raisin and crème diplomat was good, though the choux crumble was just a touch too flaky for me, though apple sorbet was carefully judged (14/20). However a chocolate and raspberry delice with a hidden centre of lychee was glorious, the Madagascar Madirofolo chocolate rich and luxurious, the acidity of the fruit in nice balance, the presentation appealing (easily 16/20).
Service was as smooth as it ever is in this group of restaurants, the result of intensive staff training. The bill came to £48 a head with jasmine tea and mineral water to drink. If you shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per head would be £70, which to be honest is pretty fair given the level of skill on display.Book