Living in Guangzhou had many advantages, and one of the biggest was the cheap availability of food. As the centre of Cantonese cuisine, Guangzhou (previously called Canton) is more than well placed to provide some tasty treats. My brief experience with Northern food revealed a somewhat stodgy bread-based diet and combined with my return to London I discovered that I missed real Guangzhou Dim Sum.
Since then I’ve tried several places in an attempt to find something satisfactory. First was an anonymous restaurant in China Town, which in retrospect is probably not a good place to find Chinese food (aimed more at tourists than anything else). Next up was a hopeful Chinese/Jazz fusion, courtesy of Shanghai Blues. I left here feeling disappointed – the dumplings tasted bready, the contents were indistinct. Prices were also too high.
A much cheaper restaurant was found in the form of Royal China at Canary Wharf (one of, I believe, several Royal China restaurants scattered around London). This was much better, although the dim sum all seemed to contain the same ingredients. Rather bizarrely the dishes were accompanied with something approximating Worcestershire sauce, rather than the traditional soy. Still, at these prices you can almost forgive them.
Finally we come to Yauatcha – a snazzy looking restaurant located in the middle of Soho. Yauatcha has the distinction of being a Michelin star rated restaurant, so expectations are high for both quality and price. Fortunately the food doesn’t disappoint, and each dish was perfectly cooked with plenty of flavour. Unlike most other places there are also a good number of vegetarian dishes, with the asparagus cheung fen being spot on.
So, if you happen to be in the Soho area and have a moderately heavy wallet then you can certainly do a lot worse. For me this was a great way to recapture some Chinese flavours.