Hungry for some good food, especially meat, R and I seated ourselves inside Yauatcha’s plush interiors. Although we had declared that we wanted to eat something light, the Executive Chef came out of the kitchen, holding out the dishes we were going to taste.
|Kushal Lama, Yauatcha, Kolkata|
Although Kushal had been busy trying to curate the Valentine’s Day meals for the restaurant, he was eager to introduce us to some of the gems at Yauatcha. Speaking of gems, check out Yauatcha’s Valentine’s Day special, which is a pretty good deal. Enjoy the Chef’s special five-course menu paired with delightful cocktails for 4000/- per couple (plus tax), and there are options like the Crisp Lamb with Mango, and the delectable Peking Dumplings I talked about in my previous post.
|Valentine’s Day Menu, Yauatcha, Kolkata|
Kushal had picked some amazing dishes off the a-la-carte menu for us to taste, and we were left chatting for a while. I was particularly interested in the sourcing of the ingredients used for different dishes, and he talked about the way ingredients are curated. At present more than half the ingredients used in Yauatcha Kolkata is imported, so that the standards of the Michelin starred restaurant remains the same across countries.
|Stir Fried Udon Noodles with Black Pepper Sauce|
We started off with some Stir Fried Udon noodles cooked with Black Pepper Sauce. As I was the hardcore non-vegetarian girl, Kushal had added some chicken into my dish. The little crunch from the bean sprouts, the thick and extremely satisfying Udon, cooked over really high heat with a touch of black pepper sauce and soy, had that elusive “breath of wok”, or wok hei, which adds a smokiness to a well-made bowl of noodles. I would return just for this, and eat an entire bowl.
|Jasmine Tea Smoked Pork Ribs at Yauatcha, Kolkata|
The Chef also brought out the Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs. I personally am a pork lover, so this was to me a bit of a shock, because when I tasted the pork, I realized that it was of a very different quality from what I generally get in Kolkata. On asking, the Chef revealed that the pork was directly flown in from Belgium, and the quality of pork that he worked with was at par with the international standards of the chain. The ribs had been fried before they got a smoke treatment with dried jasmine flowers and a bit of the tea, and the ribs had a sticky glaze from the Hoisin sauce. For me, a good pork rib has to be rested enough, so that the meat does not turn too soggy or be too mushy, but at the same time, it should ideally come off the bone easily enough when plied. These ribs passed the test excellently, and the slight smokiness enhanced the sweet-sour sauce perfectly.
The manager, Anindya, came over for a chat. From 10th to 19th February, 2015, Yauatcha is celebrating the Chinese New Year. This year belongs to the sheep, so the special menu boasts of some incredible dishes, including the crispy lamb with mango. The specially constructed five-course menu is priced at INR 2000/- per person (plus tax).
Anindya suggested a few glasses of Sangria to go with our meal. I opted for white sangria, and it came in two goblets, with plenty of chopped fruits in it. I nibbled on slices of apples while sipping the light fruity wine, infused with a bit of sugar.
As all Chinese mothers would inform you when you sit down at the table, eating greens is an essential part of a Chinese meal. Here, a bunch of Chinese cabbage, or Pak Choy, tossed up simply with a bit of garlic, and served along with our meal, worked as a palate cleanser. The bitterness of the green offset the proteins I had just consumed, and I found myself lifting a few off the bowl with my chopsticks.
I was not much of a fan of the fried rice – it was good, but I would have to say, it did not really have a very key role to play in the course of our meal. I sampled a bite, but then moved on to the tenderloin.
The tenderloin had been stir fried with a touch of oyster sauce and black bean paste, and the pieces of meat were tender and buttery. The rice noodle cone it was served in was crisp and delicate, and I ended up ripping pieces of it and dipping it in the rich gravy, simply because I am a sucker for a well-made black bean sauce.
|stir fried tenderloin|
At this point, R had hoisted up a flag of defeat, and I was about to do the same, but then I have always found that when faced with a good dessert, I end up falling for it. The Raspberry Delice is a signature dish at Yauatcha, and I had tasted it before on a previous encounter. Needless to say, I chose it, and I don’t regret the choice at all! The dark chocolate base, jellied raspberry center, covered with a decadent, creamy dark chocolate and raspberry mousse, and served with a very delicate raspberry swirl ice cream, and a few drops of tangy raspberry purée adding a welcome hit of acid when the sugar got too much for me to handle.
|raspberry delice at Yauatcha|
At this point, Kushal whisked me over to the open kitchen of Yauatcha, and I met the guys who had been slaving away, cooking all the food, while we had indulged. He showed me the separate dessert segment as well, and introduced me to the pastry chef. The servers were extremely sweet and polite, and I nearly fell asleep in the car while coming back.
|Team Yauatcha Kolkata with Chef Kushal Lama|
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined at Yauatcha at the kind invitation of the management.