Wednesday, 10 March 2010
One of my favourite London haunts the place I was guaranteed to pull out of the bag after a rainy Saturday afternoon's shopping was Yautcha, you would be whisked in and placed into a low slung grey lime chrome furnishing. During my degree at St.Martins I would console myself after a pretty intense assignment/critique with a budget based tea and cake to share trip. Waited on by rather gracious, predominantly attractive Asian ladies that would serve an impressive range of teas some that rare they would set you back over £100 for a pot. The cakes were handmade in the restaurants kitchen, chocolate boxes full of sponge and fresh raspberries, a trio of scones with four types of topping to lavishly cover them in. Set up by Alan Yau (Wagamama, Busaba Eathai, Hakkasan), this teahouse (upstairs) dimsum restaurant (downstairs) was an indulgent treat that had deservedly gained a Michelin star.
Cue the sound of record scratching and needle slipping off.
Under new (mis)management... as of four months ago.
The place now serves to remind me of its former glory, it's akin to returning to your hometown only to find a giant tesco's where the playing fields used to be. Or your school knocked down to make way for a new housing estate.
The waitresses still wear the same small cute oriental sized outfits, but have European bodies, even the most slender would look wrong, the waist darts are half way up and way too short, showing your potential love handle area in a most unflattering light. A size 14 would look a size 20 in that kind of garment. We spent time watching how uncomfortable each waitress looked, clocking the times they rearranged themselves. The soft delicate accents had been replaced by a mouthy abrasive American sounds, and harsher European impatience. When I quizzed the tea list asking for selection advice there was no knowledge to be delivered. When the tea was eventually served it was poured over the knee of my dinning partner by a rather nervous and shaky hand. We chose not to pay the service for obvious reasons and a vulgar blond wide boy who was reportedly the manager kept us waiting for ages only to return with a embarrassingly weak apology and 15p change. We left quietly not wanting to continue the disappointment and vowed never to return, memory in tatters. Needless to say the place was only a third full, the counters at the front looked empty with no cakes to feature (the afternoon tea menu has now