As we made our way along the bustling streets of Soho, where Broadwick Street meets Berwick Street, the playful blue glow of Yauatcha’s interior draws intrigue without wholly revealing what’s beyond.
Ambient red lanterns adorned Yautcha's interior, providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere on a chilly January night. We heard from a number of the individuals who have contributed to Yauatcha Life magazine. As they recalled their memories of their first experiences of Chinese food, Dim Sum and aspects of Yauatcha that have inspired their features in the magazine, delicious So (puffed pastry stuffed with bbq pork) and Shui mai were served.
Annually printed, Yautcha LIfe offers ‘a collection of poetry, short stories, illustrations and photo essays celebrating the unique culture, tradition and heritage associated with Yauatcha.’ With contributors to the first issue including food and travel writer Gizzi Erskine, photographer Joe Woodhouse, actress and writer Vera Chok, and writer and editor of At The Table Miranda York, the publication offers a variety in observations of Chinese food culture and interpretations of Yauatcha's spirit. This edition also features an interview with Bodo Sperlein where he discusses with Miranda York his inspiration when designing tableware and the great honour he feels when working with chefs.
Downstairs we discovered the hubbub of Yauatcha’s kitchen. With flurries of steam and heavenly aromas filling the air, it’s hard not to become fixated with the mastered precision the chefs demonstrate in creating Yauatcha's dishes.
In honour of Chinese calligraphy, Dutch illustrator Manolya Isik has used a brush pen to demonstrate the intricate skill of Dim Sum chefs, documenting the various stages in creating these delicious pockets of eminent flavours and various textures. Shared with friends and loved ones, Dim Sum is a symbolic part of Chinese culture: the coming together and rejoicing in one another’s company, the sharing of old and new stories, all relished over a cuisine swathed in history. This is the essence of Chinese New Year: celebrating the past and embracing new beginnings with those we hold dear.
In Chinese culture the colour red symbolises joy and good fortune. With this in mind, Yauatcha’s entire array of petits gateaux have been made red to celebrate Chinese New Year. From their signature Raspberry delice and Chocolate pebble desserts, to the more recent additions of Blackberry tart and Coconut lime.
2017 is the year of the fire Rooster. Those born in 1957 and 2017 are considered trustworthy and possess impeccable timekeeping skills. With their lucky numbers being five, seven and eight, and and lucky colours gold, brown and yellow.
Saturday 28th marks the beginning of Chinese New Year celebrations with the main parade taking place in central London on Sunday 29th. Events will take place until 2nd February with a number of celebrations taking place in cities up and down the country.
You can discover more of Yauatcha's New Year celebrations by following #celebratered