Lunch at Yuu Kitchen, London

I’d been looking forward to visiting Yuu Kitchen since the day they opened their doors on Commercial Street. “South-east Asian cuisine with flavours from the Pacific rim.” I’d built it up in my head, read the menu whilst my tummy rumbled, and wondered, after all this time thinking about it, would it actually meet my expectations?

As Yuu Kitchen reached the top spot on that popular review site, number one restaurant in London (out of over 17,000 listed) I wondered if it was all hype, some kind of clever manipulation of the system, some fancy photos that made everything look different.

I was lucky. I’d hoped it would be good, I thought it would be good, but I didn’t know it would be that good!

We sat at the bar, overlooking the open kitchen, we watched the chef working his magic on his line-up of cooking stations, playing the two big Green Eggs like a superstar DJ spinning his 12-10’s.

We sipped on bubble tea, and dined on a feast.

So, what would I recommend at Yuu Kitchen? I know you didn’t ask, but you’ve read this far so you must still be interested.. I hope!

Bubble Tea: At Yuu Kitchen they don’t use traditional tapioca pearls for their bubble tea, they use light, fruity, juice filled bubbles that burst in your mouth with a hit of flavour. Choose from green or black tea with lychee, apple or lemon (I chose apple black tea, and I chose well!)

Salt & Pepper Calamari: Light and full of flavour, with a great texture – no chewiness, hooray! The seasoning was spot on.

Padron Peppers with Yuzu dressing: Green peppers grilled with a Japanese citrus dressing, kind of sour, kind of tangy, kind or moreish.

Butternut & Sweetcorn Dumplings: The dumplings were very good, but it was the sauce that really made the dish for me. Creamy, smooth (so smooth!), velvety, delicious sesame sauce. I’ve never had such a smooth sauce. The consistency reminded me of stirred paint, luckily the taste didn’t!

Baby Back Ribs: I’ve never had a softer rib, I challenge you to find me one! Sticky asian barbecue sauce, chilli, spring onion, sesame seeds, and the softest Iberico pork. A real winner, and I can’t imagine going back to Yuu without ordering these again.

Seasonal Greens with Black Beans: Of course, you must have some vegetables with your lunch, and these are the ones! With a fresh and flavourful sauce, perfect bites of green goodness, and beautifully presented too.

Twice Cooked 7UP Braised Pork Belly Bao: Sweet and sticky with a delicious balance of flavour and a bun so soft you could use it as a pillow. These Bao’s were so good we wish we’d ordered them all! Fill your cheeks, fill your pockets, I really don’t think you’ll find a better Bao for miles.

I honestly can’t wait to go back to Yuu. In the middle of a bustling city I felt like a welcomed regular, like the team were a family and they had a vested interest in their guests and in each other, not just for business purposes, but for a sense of community and comfort. I guess that sounds a bit gushy and twee, but it’s not meant to, I think you’ll see what I mean if you visit Yuu Kitchen, and hopefully you’ll be able to find your own words to describe it. I’d really love to hear what you think.

Yuu Kitchen, 29 Commercial Street, London, E1 6NE

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I was a guest of Yuu Kitchen – this does not in any way affect my opinions or my ability to eat.