Restaurant Review: Yuu Kitchen. This restaurant is a joint venture by Stephen Lowe (General Manager) and Jon de Villa (Head Chef and previously of Nobu). They bring you a surprising eclectic menu featuring authentic Japanese cuisine with flavours from South-East Asia and the Pacific rim. If you’re looking for Japanese fusion restaurants in London or places to eat dinner on Commercial Street you must try Yuu Kitchen.
“Treat your taste buds to a riot of sensational South East Asian flavours, London style, while you share a series of small plates with your mates,” Homegirl London
Yuu Kitchen Dinner Menu
The focus is on sharing small plates (3-4 per person) so make sure you take a bunch of friends with you to this restaurant. They also serve some fabulous cocktails, so a celebration night will be perfect at this place. The menu covers most tastes whether you prefer Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese or Filipino cuisine. The flavours are intriguing and tantalising so you’re in for a real treat.
Japanese Potato Salad
Under the ‘Bites’ section they have Japanese Potato Salad which we tried, and both enjoyed it more than we thought we would. I mean, it’s potato salad so how nice can it be? Really nice is the answer. With little pieces of potato, cucumber and kimchi mayo it was a surprising delight. We also ordered the Grilled Cauliflower with sweetcorn, jalapeño dressing, shallots, garlic chips and chives which was perfectly cooked.
From the ‘Grill and Wok’ list we settled on the Sweet and Sticky Eggplant. This was absolutely delicious, with a subtle sweet taste which didn’t overpower the dish. Baby Octopus Karaage (Japanese frying technique), Chicken Karaage and Baby Back Ribs are also featured.
Sweet and Sticky Eggplant
‘Pinoy’ is the collection of Filipino inspired dishes. We went for the Empanadas which were stuffed with shiitake mushroom, sweet potato and ancho inspired vegetables with a wonderful spicy pineapple salsa dip. Meat eaters might want to try the Bistek (Sirloin Steak), Crispy Pig’s Ear or the Pork Sisig Lollipops. We were going to order the Cassava Fries, but we got a bit over excited about all the lovely options and forgot about them! I’ll put those on the list for next time.
The ‘Bao’ options are well worth trying. These Taiwanese steamed buns are actually vegan and are stuffed with veggie, fishy or meaty ingredients. Many have mayo, so you can ask for that to be left out if you’re a vegan. We sampled the Crispy Broccoli Bao with pickled red cabbage, roasted garlic and aioli. The Mushroom Bao was filled with shiitake mushrooms, hoisin mayo and carrot pickle. The buns were fluffy and super cute! These are designed to eat as one per person, but we did manage to cut them in half to share. Other fillings included Soy and Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, Crispy Soft-Shell Crab, Crispy Tofu and a few more.
The Mushroom Bao
Homeboy tested the ‘Raw’ Spicy Tuna Tostado. He couldn’t stop praising this plate of yellowfin tuna on crispy tortilla with pickled radish, spring onions and spicy mayo. Other Raw options were Scallops, Charcoal Salmon Tataki and Wagu Tartare.
Spicy Tuna Tostado
We didn’t get around to ordering any items from the ‘Crunch’ listing because we wanted to save room for dessert. We did discuss the Vietnamese Ssam which are corn, mushroom and noodle spring rolls wrapped in lettuce with house-made sweet chilli sauce. The Beetroot Dumplings with water chestnut, chive and goma sauce was also tempting.
Banana Turon Dessert
The dessert offering is concise but delicious. Try the Banana Turon which are small spring rolls filled with banana which comes with ice cream. Or you can try an Ice Cream Bao or Mochi Plate. To give you the idea of price points Bao Buns are £5.50-9.20, Raw plates are £8-15 and Desserts are £6.50. Drinks include wine, beer, cocktails like The Drunk Calamansi or try a Bubble Tea.
Mojito Served in a Teapot
Yuu Kitchen Interiors
The interiors feature an expansive bar and an open kitchen. You sit up at high tables which are suspended from the ceiling on chains. Some of the walls are decorated with illustrations by ‘Lunatic’ which are influenced by Manga, Asian fashion and comic books. Elsewhere you will find industrial touches including a polished concrete floor and exposed air con pipes. Check out the cluster of bird cage style wicker light shades which is visually stunning.
Yuu Kitchen Information
To find out more about the restaurant go to the Yuu Kitchen Website. The restaurant address is 29 Commercial Street, London E1 6NE. The nearest station is Aldgate East. Current opening times for lunch are Wednesday to Friday 12.00-14.30, Saturday 12.00-16.00 and Sunday late lunch through to dinner is 14.00-22.00. Other dinner opening times are Monday-Saturday 17.30 until late.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London food images, exterior and interior photography from the restaurant. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me, Puja McClymont for organising the visit and for Fabrizio for looking after us at the restaurant.