Friday, 30 January 2009
For all those mountain goats (or the mildly out of touch) yum cha is Cantonese for ‘drink tea’. Like several places I’ve been to now for the first time, Yumchaa was ‘stumbled’. Stumbled upon on my way to Flat White on Berwick Street; so coffee was put on hold this afternoon in favour of tea.
The interior belongs to the school of shabby chic like Fernandez & Wells, but possibly more half baked. Unlike cafés that specialise in coffees, Yumchaa lacks the tingling of the nasal passages that one gets from roasted coffee beans. An interesting thing to note, ladies far outnumber gents as customers (not that I’m complaining!).
As per usual with discerning cafés of late, posh sandwiches and serious cakes are on full display to impress and make total mockery of that word, diet.
A daunting display of teas (from green to white) is displayed in cute little milk jugs for one to sniff and peruse.
The friendly young lady who served me suggested that I try her favourite of Blueberry Hill.
This tea was floral and bewitchingly fragrant, it was an absolute delight to drink. My qualm with drinking this sort of concocted brew is that I start to possess a certain complex. I mean this blueberry thing is the antithesis of my other fave, the builder’s brew; it’s all too girly and the frivolity of it all seemed to be at odds with my masculine disposition. Thankfully this kind of blind panic was short lived, the tea was a perfect brew for the rather wondrous lemon drizzle cake.
Sky’s the limit as far as the stomach is concerned when consumption of this wonderful tasting cake is unrestricted.
Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said for the Chocolate Cake, the first slice was hopelessly dried out and hard; methinks stale. The young lady replaced it without fuss, I think with hindsight alone she knew she shouldn’t have served that in the first place. Naughty.
The replacement slice whilst fresh, was ok and not exactly mind blowing. Maybe the stale slice put a damper on the rest of my afternoon here. Badly kept cake aside, I’m coming back for the teas (30 at last count) and the civility of the whole place.
Yumchaa is a near oasis of calm compared to Flat White. If one tires of the boisterousness of the latter Yumchaa is decidedly heaven sent. The following analogy might be weak but it spells true- canines head to F-W but felines prefer Yumchaa.
45 Berwick Street
London W1F 8SF
Posted by bellaphon at 19:48