An international, upscale brand comes to town
There is a remarkably high degree of standardization between the food in the Mumbai outlet and the Delhi one. I visited both in the space of four days.
Atmospherics: Not nearly as plush as the Mumbai branch vis a vis décor, the Ambience Mall branch is far more casual and hence approachable too. The original theme of the London restaurant was to have dozens of dimsums rather than main courses. Here, there are soups, salads and main courses, but the dimsum are the star of the show. The majority of them are served in threes, making it slightly difficult if you are at a table of four!
Table Talk: Baked chicken puff (Rs 255) is not only the best dimsum, it is also extremely well-priced. The chicken nuggets are napped in a slightly sweet sauce and covered with pastry before being baked. The sauce causes the chicken to retain its moisture while the kitchen’s expertise causes the flaky pastry to remain dry rather than soggy. Pumpkin and pinenut dumpling (Rs 350) had a dough that contained pumpkin, accounting for its golden colour. Inside was still crisp water chestnut bits and pinenuts. The best part about Yauatcha is the care they take of vegetarians. Truffle edamame dumplings (Rs 495) had a chewy exterior that contrasted with the meltingly tender edamame doused with truffle oil. Rich, exotic and perfect for vegetarians. It is almost impossible to miss Shanghai siew long bun with chicken Rs 375. The dumplings are filled with piping hot soup plus minced chicken. Eaten from a soup spoon onto which Zhenjiang vinegar is poured for flavour, it is rarely seen on menus because of the sheer expertise needed to keep liquid soup inside dumplings with paper-thin wrappers. Do keep space for their excellent desserts. The raspberry delice (Rs 350) is a vivid scarlet pastry that enrobes chocolate mousse.
Plus and minus: The best part about Yauatcha is the service. Such a detailed knowledge of the menu is rarely seen in Delhi restaurants: our server Sanjeev Kumar knew which vegetables were chopped and which were mashed. He also knew what flour had been used for each dimsum. Impressive indeed. Sadly, my favourite cheung fan (we chose asparagus, Rs 425) was way too thin: it needs to be thick and satisfyingly floppy.
Must try: Fried turnip cake, wrapped chicken with black pepper, chocolate mandarin tart
Food: 3.50, Service: 3.50, Décor: 3
Level 2, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj
Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 3,000