Today is a big day for the Houston food scene. Yauatcha, (pronounced “yah-WAH-chah”) the famed Michelin-starred dim sum tea house and patisserie from London, is finally open. Why is this so significant and why should you be excited?
Yauatcha Houston is the eighth Yauatcha in the world, and the second of only two outposts in the entire United States. Prior to today, if you wanted to try chef Ho Chee Boon’s award-winning dim sum menu or pastry chef Graham Hornigold’s delectable patisserie, you would have had to travel a minimum of eight hours for a chance to do so. The next closest locale is in Honolulu, more than 7,000 miles away. Apart from that, you’d have to take a trip across the pond to London, or even further, to India.
If that’s not enough for you to get excited, then the food will. Because Houston may have dim sum houses, and it may have bakeries and patisserie, but the items on offer at Yauatcha Houston are in a league of their own.
“We have many signature dishes,” says Boon. “The venison puff — our customers really love it. The prawn shu mai and bean curd cheung fun — you cannot find them in other Chinese restaurants.”
The pastries are absolutely gorgeous. They're so perfectly constructed that they could be miniature works of art, and you'll want to book an afternoon tea time, during which you can pair them with one of 24 Five Mountains Heirloom Organic Teas to sample these beauties.
They are also priced accordingly. In fact, diners who are used to Chinatown dim sum should prepare for sticker shock at Yauatcha. Dim sum orders here are in the $5 to $10 range per order compared to $3 to $6 in southwest Houston. Pastries ring in at $12 each. There are also three levels of tasting menus, priced at $48, $78 and $118 per person.
Do not let this deter you. Yes, the prices are higher, but so are the standards. From the level of service to the execution of the dishes, to the decor and the ambience, overseen by Paris-based GBRH, Yauatcha — which is under the helm of international hospitality powerhouse Hakkasan Group — aims to impress and does so with flying colors.
Below, feast your eyes on some of the delectable offerings at the brand-new Yauatcha Houston, and then try to see if you can get a reservation, because this is without a doubt the hottest opening of the year.
Yauatcha will be open Sunday thru Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Thursday thru Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There will be nightly DJ entertainment beginning at 6:00 p.m. until closing. For reservations, visit www.yauatcha.com/houston or call 713-357-7588.
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