As of today, Houston can officially claim bragging rights as the only U.S. city on the mainland to welcome the arrival of Yauatcha, the Hakkasan Group’s Michelin-starred, London-based dim sum and teahouse.
The concept revolves around sharing intricately prepared, visually stunning small plates and the world’s finest teas, curated by Chef Ho Chee Boon and executive pastry chef Graham Hornigold, who come to Houston via Hakkasan London. Appropriately, the showy new eatery is housed inside the “jewel box” building at The Galleria.
Inside Yauatcha, tradition meets modern in the design of the space. Banquettes embroidered with cherry blossoms hug wood and steel tables, and colorful panels of blue and red add colorful contrast to an array of shelves that house teapots. In the dimly-lit lounge, the ceiling is styled to resemble a sky of twinkly stars. Two bars flank the restaurant: signature cocktails, many of which incorporate tea, are on offer on one end, while the dim sum counter on the other end offers diners a peek inside the intricate process of producing edible art.
The upscale eatery eschews rolling trolleys stacked with goods common in traditional dim sum restaurants, instead offering a table service. The menu is separated by cooking method and includes steamed, baked, grilled and pan fried options. Signature bites include char siu bun, cheung fun and tons of steamed options. For those with heartier appetites, rice and noodle dishes are on offer, along with exquisite baked goods from Yauatcha’s in-house patisserie.
On equal footing with the food is Yauatcha’s tea service, which ties together the Chinese tradition of pairing tea with dim sum. The origins of this classic pairing can be found along the Silk Road, where teahouses offered refreshment to weary travelers. At Yauatcha, more than 40 different types of tea are on offer, each of which complement different dishes in different ways.
Yauatcha kicks open the doors for dinner service today. Before making a reservation, step inside the restaurant courtesy of Eater photographer Ellie Sharp.