Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Yauatcha

I have a theory about expensive experiences.

People generally spend in two kinds of ways – they’re either experience spenders (food, holidays, pictures, etc.) or item spenders (clothes, souvenirs, toys,etc.) and personally, I’ve always been an experience spender.

Material spenders believe that experience spending isn’t quite as worth it. It goes in the mouth, you enjoy it, then that’s it! Whereas items last for a while, almost perpetually if you’re careful.

But contrary to what’s believed about experience’s impermanence, it isn’t as fleeting if the experience is maximized. I like stretching out my experiences for as long as possible. Before I eat or travel, I like looking it up and reading about it. Already in itself that’s a form of enjoyment because I get ridiculously excited over it and start feeling happy even from the day before. During the experience itself, I take pictures. And I think about it. And I enjoy it. Post experience, I write about it or talk about it and review my pictures. With my blog, I can even reread the experience again and the enjoyment gets fleshed out for very very long, turning the experience into something that is more than just a ‘in the mouth, and forgotten’.

Another recent experience I’ve had that I foresee stretching out for ages after is a late lunch I had at Yauatcha. I’ve been reading about this Michelin-starred restaurant for a while now, famed for its dim sum and exquisite desserts but never got around to trying it. I had my eye set on A Taste of Yauatcha menu, which is deliberately crafted for two, making it a lot easier to share when you’re in a pair (as dimsum usually comes in threes!) and is very reasonably priced.

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Salivating, yet? Smile with tongue out 

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We were ushered to the lower floor where lights sprinkled the ceiling like stars and fish tanks lined the walls, where silly waiters put us uncomfortably close to other people, and where I tasted some of the best dimsum I’ve ever had.

DSC_0025“Take a picture of me pouring you tea!”

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“Take a picture of me giving you tea!”

Onto the food!

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This was the mushroom spring roll with truffle, and the baked venison puff.

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Contemplating the perfection that is the spring roll..

Because that’s really what it was. It was the best spring roll I’ve had in my entire life, with a shell that was just crispy enough that went superbly with the mushroom and truffle inside. I was actually mid-conversation as I took a bite and as dramatic as this sounds, stopped to savour it completely. Smile with tongue out 

The venison puff was good and glorious and buttery – not as mind blowing as the spring roll, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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This was the crystal dumpling wrap with pumpkin and har gau, which a (probably) British waiter struggled to introduce to us.

I found both of these delicious and well stuffed, with springy skin, but Ipoh’s dimsum is a fair competitor at a lower price.

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I loved their siew long bao which is the best I’ve had in London (Malaysia wins again!) and their shui mai was good and flavourful.

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But this.. Their chee cheung fun was out of this world. It was really very very delicious with the crisp of the bean curd, bite of the prawn, and smoothness of the outer layer complementing each other so well that it was a near emotional experience.

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This was their sticky rice in lotus leaf, which was so so so good! Forgive me for my lack of eloquence and limited vocabulary in describing the food, but delicious was just what it was. Often with rice dumplings, the goodness of one is at the expense of another, with either the rice being slightly chewy at the edges and the fillings being good, or the fillings tasting horrid with perfect rice, but this was just immaculately done. Each bite had a little bit of rice and filling, which was good and chewy and all-round delicious.

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All in all, the Taste of Yauatcha menu is probably one of the most value-for-money deals you can get, especially for a Michelin-starred place so do give it a try!

We ordered a few desserts after that as well because we’ve heard such good things about them.

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This was their raspberry mousse, which took a while to get used to. It was sour and bitter-ish, paired with the sweetness of chocolate mousse, which although interesting, didn’t quite do it for me. At roughly 6 pounds a piece, it’s probably worth trying for the experience but I’d rather walk a few blocks down to Hummingbird than have it again.

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I wasn’t completely fond of their Matcha tart either, because there were just too many flavours in it. There was green tea, and chocolate, and some orange as well, which upon consumption by layers individually, was good, but tasted a mess all together.

But the desserts are pretty.

And pretty desserts are Insta-worthy.

SO DON’T LET ME CHANGE YOUR MIND. Open-mouthed smile 

That’s all, folks! Open-mouthed smile 

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I intended to post this before I flew off to Budapest + Prague a week ago, but my dear friend, the Internet, failed me and I only got access today! Heh. Well, I’m back from the land of Hungarians and Czechs, and will be flying back to Malaysia in a few days where I’d have my hands tied up with trips, a forum, and an internship!

Here’s to more experiences! Smile

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