(Dim Sum translates to Touch the Heart)
garnished with sheep’s yoghurt cream and crystallised grains, flowers and cress.
First up, we have the dim sum platter followed by stir-fry rib eye beef with merlot and edible cage.
This was certainly one of those days where I felt very looked after indeed, I’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year but living in multi cultural London there’s always something new and exciting to experience. Both Yauatcha and Hakkasan are London’s Chinese gems, both serving very different kinds of atmosphere and grub. Yauatcha is widely known for it’s Patisserie section, shining out from the windows into Soho, it lures people in for tea and sweet treats in the day; then very delicious cocktails in the evening. Hakkasan, in London’s Mayfair, is more concealed, tucked away like a secret for only those in the know. Downstairs in the darkness you are surrounded by various screens and latticed shutters, making each table secluded and private.
So here I take you through a day-to-night guide to Chinese New Year in London, starting with Yauatcha. As it’s the year of the sheep and a whole host of macaroons, petite gateaux’s and desserts have been added to the menu incorporating sheep’s milk. But first, my favourite dish was the inspired little goldfish dumplings. All of Yuatcha’s cuisine is insanely photogenic; prepare to have your phone at the ready at all times! We decided a few things off the menu were too good not to order on top of the Chinese New Year menu, so we added traditional pork belly and scallops with lotus root, a very light and fragrant dish compared to the rich pork belly. The Yáng Walker cocktail is a must try, though beware if you have an empty stomach, it’s very strong! Yauatcha for me is the perfect getaway from busy central London, hide away with friends and just indulge yourself. The atmosphere is young and fresh; families, friends and even acquaintences dining together in one big friendly room. You can really go to town on the desserts. I suggest the more friends you take the better, for this reason ;)
Hakkasan for me is more of a romantic setting, take your partner into the dark, sultry surroundings and experience the heady rich menu. We stuck to the Chinese New Year menu this time; it’s quite full on so in typical Chinese cuisine fashion, you had better make sure you’re ravenous on sitting down! The absolute star of the show for me was the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass in honey; so delicious that I hadn’t the time to even take a photograph. DEVOURED. This is serious comfort food and the rib-eye beef accompanied by the Lilly bulb and almond prawns were both rich and satisfying. The dessert come out with its own wishing tree. When you arrive at the table you are encouraged to make a wish and hang it on the latticed shutters surrounding you using the red wishing card at the table. A tradition in China, around New Year is that villagers would visit the sacred banyan trees miles away and hang their wishes upon their branches. The higher the branch the wish was put upon the more likely it was to come true.
The New Years feast is on at either Hakkasan or Yuatcha until the 1st March.