Houston, Texas: a city with a restaurant scene arguably most famous for its barbecue ribs and brisket, cooked low and slow over hickory or applewood smoke, and Tex-Mex, that unique fusion of Texan and Mexican flavors born out of the cross-border rail travel which occurred towards the end of the 1800s.
However, what many people residing outside of the city may not know or appreciate is how diverse Houston’s burgeoning restaurant scene is. Sitting comfortably next to the city’s many celebrated smokehouses and Tex-Mex taco stands are restaurants offering Creole and Cajun food influenced by the complex and soulful cooking of nearby Louisiana, Greek tavernas specializing in homemade gyros stuffed with citrusy chicken flecked with herbs and doused in minty tzatziki, and Vietnamese eateries slinging out bowls of nourishing and meaty pho.
Much of this can be attributed to the availability of quality ingredients and the city’s multicultural population: indeed, Houston has been described as “if LA and New Orleans had a baby” by Todd Romero, an associate history professor at the University of Houston.
The food scene in Houston is flourishing, continuously evolving and expanding, welcoming restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world. These include, most recently, Yauatcha Houston, Hakkasan Group’s Cantonese dim sum teahouse. It is the second Yauatcha restaurant to open in the United States after the launch of Yauatcha Waikiki earlier this year, with a global presence in both London and India.
Located in the Jewel Box at The Galleria, Yauatcha Houston echoes the design of the flagship restaurant in London’s trendy Soho with signature blue glass detailing, a twinkling ceiling, and exposed brickwork studded with flickering candles.
Headed up by Executive Head Chef Ho Chee Boon, the menu embodies the traditional Cantonese teahouse, where friends and family gather to enjoy dim sum with tea, cocktails, and conversation.
“At Yauatcha, we seek to blend fresh ingredients with classic techniques to create new taste sensations that will delight the palate,” says Chef Ho, who is excited to introduce Yauatcha to Houston. “We have crafted the Yauatcha Houston menu to reflect its refreshingly diverse local culture and rich culinary heritage.”
Many of the dim sum are inspired by culinary techniques celebrated in the city whilst retaining Yauatcha’s signature style, such as the jasmine tea-smoked pork ribs: meaty ribs simmered in rice wine flavored with ginger and cardamom and smoked over jasmine tea leaves with Chinese herbs.
Yauatcha is not only known for its dim sum. The extensive cocktail list combines spirits with teas, fresh fruits, and herbs, while signature patisserie by esteemed pastry chef Graham Hornigold fuses Eastern ingredients with classical Western techniques.
In such an exhilarating restaurant industry, Yauatcha Houston will be a unique and exciting addition to the blossoming city.
Yauatcha Houston is now open. To make a reservation, visit the website.