Yauatcha Patisserie, the standalone shop from the renowned restaurant chain, brings contemporary and accomplished sweet treats to the heart of the City
What’s the background?
To my shame I’ve never actually eaten a proper meal at Yauatcha; part of the Hakkasan Group, it’s renowned for its high-end Chinese cuisine, and I’ve heard particularly good things about the dim sum. This is because personally I’ve always associated it with producing some of the best cakes and sweets in the capital, and as soon as I step inside there’s no dragging me away from the patisserie counter. While up until a couple of years ago I had to journey to its Soho restaurant to get my fix, it has since opened up its first standalone shop Yauatcha Patisserie in Broadgate Circle in the City.
Led by executive pastry chef Graham Hornigold, it has a distinctive and contemporary take, blending East Asian influences and flavours with a strong respect for French tradition and technique. I’ve read before that Hornigold approaches the desserts at Yauatcha as a palate cleanser to the strong flavours of the restaurant’s food, and this comes through with the focus on clean, sharp flavours over plain sweetness.
Yauatcha Patisserie is a small shop with no seating, so is therefore a grab-and-go destination – ideal for swinging by on your way to Liverpool Street station. If you want a more relaxed experience, you can sample the desserts at the restaurant that sits above.
What’s on offer?
The patisserie tends to change with the seasons, with each bringing with it a new, tempting selection. I’m always enamoured with the array of petit gateaux, which are guaranteed to impress. There’s always plenty of choice, from tarts to light mousse-based cakes, but what really sets Yauatcha apart is its impeccable finishing touches, with just as much thought put into the design as the flavours. For some of the cakes, you can also pre-order full-size versions.
Then there’s the macarons, of which there’s always a good spread of flavours. While it does offer some crowd-pleasers such as salted caramel, it’s really the place to head if looking for something slightly more unusual. Think interesting combinations and flavours such as passion fruit five spice, tamarind chocolate or pandan. The range of chocolates are similar in scope, offering well-executed takes on classics such as a hazelnut praline alongside more adventurous options of grapefruit and juniper or orange cardamom.
What to choose?
It’s undoubtedly worth repeat visits to try all the seasonal specials, but there’s a handful of regular menu items that I can’t resist coming back to time and time again. A particular favourite is the decadently rich chocolate pebble and the gorgeously balanced raspberry delice, with tangy raspberry mousse and lychee panna cotta centre.
What’s the damage?
The petit gateaux are all £5.90, while macarons are £1.80 each, with discounts when buying multiple. This is comparable to other patisseries at the very top end of the market, and in my opinion definitely worth it as a special treat – if only it wasn’t so dangerously close to my office!
Yauatcha Patisserie, Broadgate Circle, London, EC2M 2QS; yauatcha.com