Ginger martini at Yauatcha, Kolkata

We were sitting in Yauatcha inside Quest Mall, Kolkata the other day with a glass of Ginger Martini, the sharp ginger and the alcohol toned down by a hint of sugar syrup, and R was making me laugh with some hilarious stories. On a lazy late afternoon, we were watching the crowds of people dressed in sarees, thanks to Saraswati Puja, from our relatively quiet seat, and marvelling at the one day of the year when yellow seemed to be everyone’s theme song.

Lychee Martini at Yauatcha

Of course, R wanted something different and went with the Lychee Martini. The manager, Anindya, came over to inform us about the family sharing platters available for 2888/- plus tax for a party of three people (available Monday to Thursday from 7 pm onwards), and the cocktail hours, where, for two hours (6-8 pm), you can drink as much as you like from their selected cocktail and alcohol menu, which included the martinis we were drinking, as well as Jim Beam and other nice stuff for 999/- plus tax. Great deals, both, but at this point my attention was focused on our meal.

Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

The Hot and Sour Chicken Soup at Yauatcha is comforting, with tiny shreds of tofu, chicken, cloud ear fungus, and it warms me up considerably. R smacks his lips appreciatively, and looks around for the chillies soaked in vinegar. They tell us that they serve it on request, but does not include it on the table. The pattern of table presentation and service is what is followed all over the Michelin starred brand, apparently, but of course, there are exceptions that make the rule.

Lamb Roll with Black Pepper Sauce

An assortment of dumplings come over to our table. The lamb rolls, rolled in cabbage leaf and topped with a black pepper sauce, is hot and tangy. There is a little bite from the cabbage leaves in which they have been rolled, and the lamb itself is cooked till its moist and juicy. On the other hand, the har gao is stuffed full with plump, fresh prawns and with a translucent skin which I marvel at.

Har Gao

However, my specific favorite was the Peking dumpling, which was a mix of chicken and prawn mince served in a lovely soy-based sauce that had a delectable tang to it. The chef, Kushal Lama explained that these dumplings were specifically made to suit Indian taste buds, with the soy and vinegar adding a tangy edge to the dim sums.

Peking Dumplings

 The Almond Prawns on the other hand reminded me of thread prawns, with wonton wrappers wrapped around plump prawns and deep fried. It came partially dipped in a sweet sauce with hint of caramel and plum and I wanted more of it, but at this point R pointed me towards the accompanying cocktails, and of course, I was distracted.

Almond Prawns

Lalu was my first drink of choice. It came highly recommended and I was happy to see the long stalk of lemongrass which was pushed into it. This is a refreshing drink, the alcohol adding a key note to the citrus which featured heavily into this.

On the other hand… Hakka…with passion fruit and coconut was a creamy concoction with a very strong kick which you won’t really feel first… But well into your first drink you will be slowly realizing the power and the glory of this drink which comes topped with half a passion fruit. 
What I liked was the fact that ingredients are a very important factor and they import a considerable number of things to ensure that the authenticity and the taste remains constant across the chains. 
Also… If you thought that this was all I ate… Think again. I did return to sample the main courses… Which would be revealed soon. 
Hakka

Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined at Yauatcha at the kind invitation of the management. 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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