I have a love for many cuisines, but I most often veer towards one of my favourites which is Asian cuisine – this involved another venture back into the city to check out Yuu Kitchen in Aldgate. Located just round the corner from Aldgate East station (also within walking distance from Aldgate and Liverpool Street stations), Yuu Kitchen which is headed by Chef Jon de Villa, previously at Nobu, Nobu Berkeley and Zafferano, is inspired by the fun, and freshness of flavours of Pan Asia and the Pacific Rim. The ambience at Yuu Kitchen is casual and relaxed, with bright and colourful walls, adorned with funky comic-book and modern-manga style pop art murals by Hong Kong artist Lunatic.
The menu is divided into categories: Bites, Crunch, Grill and Wok, Fish, and Bao – served sharing style. They usually recommend 3-4 dishes per person, but if you’re a big eater, there are plenty of tantalizing dishes that will satiate your appetite.
We were seated at the counter where we could watch the chefs at work – great for those who like a bit of interactive dining.
I never say no to bubbles on a weekend, especially when it’s blue (!) prosecco – I called it ‘Smurf Juice’. They also have a selection of interesting cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, including bubble tea – we tried the lemon and peach bubble teas which were cooling and refreshing with fun popping bubbles.
We started with a few nibbles to whet our appetites. The Tuna Tartare had a slight hint of spiciness from the spicy coconut miso, mixed with pinenuts, creamy avocado and onion. Edamame beans were tender and are always a great snack, and the Okra Fries were fried in a light and crispy batter, accompanied by a more-ish sichimi mayo dip.
I love a good larb, which is a type of meat salad. Thai Chicken Larb was one of my favourite dishes – the meat was finely minced and really fragrant and well-marinated, mixed with peanuts that added some texture, and eaten together with crunchy rice paper crisps. I would have personally preferred to have a bit more spice to it (I love my spicy food), but it generally had a good level of heat.
The mushroom dumplings, otherwise known as pot stickers, were nicely seared on the side, and had a good, flavourful filling. I don’t very often eat offal, but I do make an exception for hearts, if they are cooked well – the grilled duck hearts, coated in a BBQ sauce, were really tender and meaty, topped with some crispy chips and pickled red onions that added a bit of sharpness to it.
The Baby Back Ribs marinated in an Asian BBQ sauce was another favourite of mine – smokey with a good depth of flavour, and the meat was extremely tender and easily came off the bone with each bite. They were also chopped up into bite-sized pieces so it was easy to eat without getting messy fingers.
Another fish dish was the Grilled Horse Mackerel which was well-seared on the skin until it was slightly crispy (nobody likes soggy fish skin), accompanied by a citrus-y ponzu dipping sauce. Eggplant (or what I usually refer to as brinjal or aubergine) may not be for everyone, particularly if you have ‘texture issues’, but I personally love the mushy texture of a well-cooked eggplant. The eggplant was wok-fried in a white miso glaze which had a pleasant sticky and sweet flavour.
Despite being so full from all the savoury dishes, there was obviously space for dessert: a mini dessert platter of matcha and vanilla mochi, banana spring rolls, and coconut ice cream. Simple, satisfying and a sweet end to our meal – I would have happily scoffed a whole tub of that creamy coconut ice cream.
Another place to star on the map if you’re looking for some tasty Asian fusion food in Aldgate (you can read about my previous visit to Shikumen Aldgate here). Thank you to the manager Fabrizio, the chefs, and staff that took great care for us during our visit. If you think that the food looks and sounds delicious, they taste even better in real life, so why not book yourself in for a weekend treat? Besides a la carte, they also offer the YUU Brunch every Saturday from 12.00pm – 4.30pm and Sundays from 2pm, where you can enjoy 10 courses from their set brunch menu + bottomless bubbles for only £35pp – check out the menu on their website.
The Cheekster, signing out x
- I was invited to review, but views remain my own.