Asian tapas, fusion style
|Wok fried eggplant with miso glaze|
Japanese sake cocktails, manga murals collaborated with Hong Kong artists, baos, and chicken wings…Asian fusion food is so hot on the plate in London’s food scene right now. Here’s another one for you, only this Asian tapas restaurant comes with a powerful background. The head chef, a born and bred Australian who have thrived the “London Dream”. He worked in the Nobu for a good 8 years before joining the Bone Daddies empire. Are there any influence from these two gourmet giants? Yes, but only the good ones.
|Filipino style sticky wings with adobo and spring onion|
|Grilled octopus with ginger and garlic|
Grilled octopus: Ginger, garlic, vinegrette. Hmm, fresh octopus, where done carefully and not overcooked, is the most scrumptious sea creature on planet Earth. Many people still find the image of this eight-tentacle monster pretty gross, but we Asians have a long history of savouring them and there are so many ways you can enjoy it. From being an appetizer, to featuring in main course, octopus is so versatile. So if you are new to this, don’t be afraid, and especially be rest assured in Yuu Kitchen, the presentation of its grilled octopus is so elegantly done. The texture is tender and firm, not mushy or rubbery. That plus the sauce, simply wakes your stomach up and literally preps you for a feast.
|Hawaiian themed salad of mixed raw fish, |
sesame citrus dressing and corn chips
|Asian baby back ribs|
Asian baby back ribs: We had a chat with the chef about this. Because we couldn’t work out how did the chef pack so many flavours into these little cubes of ribs, still keep the juices and the tenderness. The meat tore right off the bones! Well the answer, is time. The big fat rack of rib is marinated in five spice (but in its whole form, rather than powdered form) and 7-up(!) for hours. This allows a graduate, subtle process of margination, and the 7-up breaks down the tough structure which you often find in ribs. Then it is taken to the green egg, the trendy indoor barbeque in a form of a gigantic green dinosaur egg, and be grilled and charcoaled properly with sticky glaze.
|Grilled fish bao|
The wok fried eggplant: It is fried with miso glaze, which is an adaptation of my all-time favourite Japanese dish, nasu dengaku (なす田楽), where a juicy eggplant is cut open lengthwise, and the naked flesh is smeared with sweet miso and spring onion before being fried and brown with aroma filling up the entire room. But this sweet, soft, savoury, succulent eggplant pieces are just beyond imagination, and honestly, I think it might have topped the traditional nasu dengaku. Cutting the eggplant into small pieces assists the absorption of the sauce, and the crunchiness of the toppings complements the texture of the eggplant. I couldn’t resist putting these bite-sized pieces of goodness into my mouth, one after another, it was unstoppable.
|Sweet soy glazed beef sticks|
All in all, I had a beautiful evening. The use of manga-style mural reminds me of Bone Daddies, but this décor meets the vibe of Commercial Road/Brick Lane neighbourhood. Price-wise is what you’d normally expect from a tapas place in London, the variety pushes up the costs, but I consider it all worth a try. It is still early days (when I visited, it has merely launched for 2 months), and there are still a few development points (e.g. the cocktails contain too much Asian gimmick), but I would love to go back again.