When the hubster’s school friend got in touch to see if we wanted to do Brunch at Trip Advisor’s number 1 rated restaurant Yuu Kitchen, we obviously said yes. Weeks later when as we approached the weekend of said brunch, we figured it was about time to learn a bit more about said restaurant.
Those who know my hubster may not be surprised to hear of his outcry when I proclaimed that Yuu Kitchen required us to travel over to the dark side of town, the side that he actively avoids at all expense, yes we needed to go to Whitechapel. Despite his complaints, the journey took no longer than 35 minutes which by London standards is pretty good.
We arrived at the restaurant, a short walk from Aldgate & Aldgate East Stations and the complaining quietened as he realised Yuu Kitchen may well serve food that is to his liking, that of South East Asia. We were quickly seated at our high top table and handed a menu showing us the 10 courses that we would be required to eat our way through. Thanks to Mr C booking a Timeout Offer, we were also advised that we would be provided with bottomless champers.
As we settled in, our first and second courses arrived.
The description of the pork chicharron put me off slightly, however, upon tasting them, I was pleasantly surprised. The crispy deep fried pillows of pork scratching were well seasoned and were only missing a little spice.
Unfortunately, however, the Edamame failed to have the same effect, we were presented with a rather plain looking bowl of steamed Edamame. I know I know, if the natural state ain’t broke, don’t fix it, however, I would have expected something slightly more exciting.
Next arrived our third and fourth courses.
From my first bite of the sweet & sticky eggplant, despite being just three courses into the brunch, I honestly knew this was going to be my favourite dish, the dish that may potentially draw be back to Yuu Kitchen, or scour the internet for a recipe that would give me the same outcome. The eggplant was perfectly cooked, with miso providing a slight tang giving it a balance of flavours. THIS DISH WAS DELICIOUS!
After the eggplant, the Vietnamese vegetarian ssam was positively disappointing. First of all, Vietnamese spring rolls more often than not use rice paper sheets, which when fried are white and crispy. These were more like standard spring rolls. Secondly, they were just spring rolls.
Next up arrived courses five and six.
Butternut & sweetcorn dumpling – soft and sweet gyoza with a creamy sesame sauce
Honestly, these were both very average. The Peanut chicken lacked any depth of flavour and simply tasted as if peanut sauce had been poured over skewers of chicken. The sweet soy beef was better, both tender and with a little more flavour, however, I was still slightly underwhelmed.
Courses seven and eight arrived next.
The baby back ribs lightened my mood a bit (or maybe it was the champagne). These were cooked very well, perfectly soft and well flavoured.
The butternut and sweetcorn dumplings were slightly odd to say the least. In my humble opinion, dumpling fillings are either crunchy or slightly firm but either way there is something to stick your teeth into. These dumplings had a smooth filling which was slightly sweet and definitely not to my taste.
As far as I can remember, course 9 (steamed rice) didn’t arrive. However, course 10 was very well received.
The deep fried bao was the perfect level of sweetness and the soft ice cream worked perfectly with it being warm and slightly crispy. The chocolate spring roll was a nice touch and overall I was pleasantly surprised.
Despite being voted the no1 restaurant by Trip Advisor, the brunch was slightly disappointing, although I completely get the fact that you’re essentially paying for a set menu. Having had a look at the full menu online, there were definitely some a la carte items that tickled my fancy, however, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back in a hurry (especially given Mr R’s aversion to the East Side).