While we were staying in Cambridge we were invited to Yuu Kitchen in London. We’d both been keen to try the restaurant ever since it opened back in October. We thought this would be the perfect excuse to try it out and then spend the afternoon visiting the Robot exhibition at the Science museum.
The restaurant was very easy to find, it’s just a short walk from Aldgate East station. The signage on the front is clear to spot and gives you a little taster of what to expect inside.
I loved the low lighting and with the combination of wood panelled walls it gave a very relaxed atmosphere. The walls were adorned with funky Manga pop-art giving the restaurant a fantastic modern twist. We later found out that these pieces had been been specifically commissioned for the restaurant. Isn’t that cool?
Yuu Kitchen offers their take on South-East Asia and the Pacific Rim. Their focus is on sharing good food and having fun.
I loved that there were different seating options available. The decor and layout of a restaurant is very important to me. Luckily, there was space for us to sit at the open kitchen where we were able to watch our food being made and chat to the chefs. What a treat!
If you’re looking for a quieter seat then you can snuggle away on the back tables. If there’s a big group of you then the high tables in the middle are perfect. We ended up staying ’til the restaurant had closed (lunch 12-14:30 Wed-Fri) which meant we were able to sneak some photos without anyone else around.
We went for lunch at around 1:30pm and the place was bustling. It has a fun, casual and relaxed atmosphere. The decor and super friendly staff really help to emphasise this. There were groups of work pals sitting in the big middle tables and a bunch of people who sat alongside us at the bar. Sometimes with bar seats you can be cramped for space but luckily this was not the case, even with all our cameras and phones to hand we had enough space to enjoy our food and snap away.
Right, let’s get into the food and drinks.
If you have allergies or an intolerance don’t be shy to speak to someone about it. They were happy to talk us through their allergy menu which was really handy.
There’s a fantastic selection of cocktails on the menu as well as wines, beers, saki and non-alcoholic drinks. Although we were very tempted by the cocktails we both decided to opt for a Boozy Bubble Tea. They use juice bubbles instead of tapioca bubbles. I went for a green tea with apple and a shot of gin. It worked so well and was a delightfully refreshing drink. I’ve been craving Boozy Bubble Tea ever since.
We picked 3 plates each and P decided to order a side of sweet potato fries at the last minute. So that was 7 plates between 2 of us. I’m not gonna lie, that was a lot of food. When you’re picking tapas-style food it’s easy to order way more than you need. If you’re going for a main meal at lunch or dinner then picking 3 plates per person will be more than enough food.
We love sharing food so the concept of picking a bunch of little plates was perfect for us. One of the first things that arrived at our table was the Peanut Chicken. This plate came with 2 sticks of chicken covered in a tasty satay sauce.
This was the Grilled White Fish Shiso Bao. The delicate white fish was sandwiched between shiso mayo, ginger and pickles in a soft steamed bun. We both agreed that these were the best steamed buns we’ve had.
This was the Twice Cooked 7UP Braised Pork Belly Bao. Recently, I’ve found it had to resist anything with a sweet BBQ sauce recently and this did not disappoint. There was very little fat on the pork, the sauce was suitably sweet and sticky and it was simply delicious. The buns are particularly filling, if you’re stopping by for a quick lunch you could pick a Bao and one other dish and be good to go.
These Vietnamese Chicken & Pork Ssam spring rolls were fantastic. Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside and they came with a little dish of homemade sweet chilli sauce.
Although I enjoyed everything we had I think this dish has to be my favourite. It’s the Sweet & Sticky Eggplant, one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. I am a massive fan of aubergine but I’ve never had it like this before. It’s a sweet dish but not sickly. Each piece was a little crispy around the edges and then super soft and gooey once you bite into it. Delicious. I can’t wait to go back and have this again.
These are the Padron Peppers with Yuzu Dressing, another favourite of mine. The peppers were soft to bite into and had a delightfully zingy kick to them. Really zesty! We both loved them.
This was the final addition to our meal, one that we both agree was tasty but totally unnecessary. The thing is, if Phil sees sweet potato fries on a menu he has to order them. It’s become a bit of a thing. Although we were really full of delicious food we naturally made our way through the fries and let me tell you, these are some of the best sweet potato fries we’ve both had.
So, as I said, we were both stuffed. But, it would have been rude not to try a dessert. The dessert menu included; Grilled Finger Banana, Ice Cream Bao and Chocolate Spring Rolls.
We went for the Chocolate Spring Rolls with a scoop of coffee ice cream, Phil’s fave. The spring rolls were so good. They were neat and slim with a good crunch. Hiding inside was warm melty chocolate which went down a treat. Phil really liked the ice cream too. Unfortunately I couldn’t try any of that. I’ve heard that the Bao is very good too so we’ll have to give that a try next time.
I want to say a huge thank you to Yuu Kitchen for inviting us. We had a lot of fun, really enjoyed the food and we can’t wait to go again when we’re back in London. The staff are super friendly and passionate about the food they serve. If you’re not sure what to go for then just ask, they’ll be more than happy to talk you through the menu. If you haven’t had the chance to visit the restaurant yet make sure you change that asap.
Location: 29 Commercial St, London E1 6NE, UK
Pop over to the Yuu Kitchen website for more info and opening times.