Saturday, 17 June 2017


The discovery of Yuu Kitchen was once again another "using TripAdvisor to find restaurants close to our hotel" jobby. Still having a love affair with Asian food after our trip to Bali/Singapore, I loved the look their fun take on Asian classics, some of which had been given a fresh twist that sounded brilliant. There was only one way to find out if this was true and that was to go and try them for ourselves. 

Heading into Yuu Kitchen, we were lucky to grab a table as they were very busy on this particularly warm Wednesday evening. The decor inside certainly does fit its location near the painfully hipstery areas of Shoreditch and Brick Lane with its Manga inspired wall art and the random bird cages hanging from the ceiling. It's definitely gives the eye something to look at. Long high benches are laid out perfectly across the centre of the dining area for large group of friends to share plates and gossip about the day or you can get a more immersive experience by perching in front of the open plan kitchen and watch as your food is prepped right in front of you.

We headed to a more quiet area at the back of the restaurant and took another glance at the menus. Starting with the cocktails (of course!) I asked for a Oolong Mojito. I wasn't expecting it to arrive at the table as it did in a white teapot and a tea cup piled high with ice (it's got oolong in it, you see what they did there!). It was a little bit of theatre and I managed to get a good two cups out of it so it was well worth the London price tag. Its fresh mint flavor shone through with that subtle tea flavor just jiggling around in the background making it a most refreshing drink for this balmy summer evening. 

When it comes to the food, we are very much in small plate territory here. Yuu Kitchen suggest on their website that you order around 3-4 plates each for a good main meal and I would have to agree with them. The first plate of food to arrive were these duck hearts. I love offally things and having never seen duck hearts anywhere before I had to give them a try. They were divine; imagine the taste of liver with a hint of duck flavor and that's what you have. Not everyone's cup of tea I know but when you add to them a sticky BBQ sauce and some crispy onions, well I could of eaten another plate full with great ease let me tell you! 

Yuu Kitchen stick their bao buns slap bang in the middle of their menu practically begging you to order them and so order them we did. Our first bao bun we went for was the vegetarian shiitake mushroom version and it was a right treat. Firstly, the actually bao bun itself was light and fluffy so they have the basics down to a T. The mushroom stuffing was coated with a hoisin mayonnaise which burst with flavor whilst complementing the crunch of the sharp grated pickled carrots that were piled up high on top of the bun. A brilliant handfull of food to get your chops around.

Those who would prefer a more fishy filling to their bao buns should go for the soft shell crab filled version. Now I do love my soft shell crab and Yuu Kitchen's version is one of the better versions I've sampled. The once again perfectly fluffy bao bun was stuffed with a freshly deep fried soft shell crab that was still piping hot straight from the fryer. It's crispy batter was super crunchy which was once again a perfect contrast to the soft bun whilst the meat was so moist it melted in your mouth. Add to this some wasabi mayo and red onion for dressing and you have a proper treat for any seafood lover!

With the third of our trio of bao buns comes one of the more contemporary versions and something I'd never seen before; the twice cooked 7up braised pink belly bao. You could defiantly taste the 7up's effect on the slab of pork in the soft bun, it's had a beautiful sweet tang to it which is amplified by the sticky BBQ sauce served with it. Sweet pickled cucumbers added some much needed tang whilst crushed peanuts gave the crunch needed as (this may or not be the 7up's influence!) the pork simply broke apart and melted in my mouth with every bite. I didn't want it to end! This is defiantly something I will have to try at home. 

Our final main dish that we went for was the sweet and sticky eggplant. We chose this dish as when we were looking through the TripAdvisor reviews this was the one dish that kept getting mentions time and time again and it's clear to see why. The aubergine (we are in the UK people!) was perfectly cooked in an unctuous white miso glaze that proper stuck to your teeth but in an amazingly sticky way. The crunch to the plate came this time from crispy shallots and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. It was a little bowl of yumminess and I would defiantly agree with all the positive comments I'd seen for it online! Top marks.

Even after all those little plates of wonder, there was still room in our bellies for a spot of pudding so we took a glance at the dessert menu. Our first selection was this matcha green tea pannacotta. matcha green tea is one of those faddy ingredients that you see being used on Masterchef or the Great British Menu but it makes sense in an Asian inspired restaurant. It's subtle flavor works perfectly with the smooth, creamy texture of the pannacotta with some fresh raspberries on top adding some welcome zing. Could of done without the chocolate sauce in our opinion but other than that it was spot on!

My dessert could quite possibly be the highlight of the meal. It was described as coconut cake on the menu and that was what I got but that really under sells it. The cake was warm like it had just been baked and sliced straight out of the oven with a delicious crumbly coconut crumb that broke apart as you slid your spoon through it. The green tea ice cream on top had began to melt and ooze all over the cake in quite an erotic kind of way whilst along the plate were crumbled up bits of biscuit to once again add an extra layer of texture to the plate. It was a dessert lovers dream and I absolutely loved it!

With that it was time to leave. If I had one slight negative of our trip to Yuu Kitchen it was that the drinks and food were slow to come out and when they did they came out in a random order which wasn't really explained to us by our server although she did apologize for the wait so that's a good thing I suppose. The food was worth the wait though, especially the more out there items like the 7up pork and that yummy sticky aubergine. This would be the perfect place to bring a group of friends for Friday night cocktails as you all tuck into your selection small plates. If you are looking for a brilliant bit of Asian food in a venue with a vibrant and casual atmosphere (but you're not in a rush!) then Yuu Kitchen is unquestionably for Yuu!

Click here to head over to Yuu Kitchen website to have a nose at their menu or click here to feast your eyes on their Instagram and drill over the gorgeous food pics! 

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