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Cafe Review: Yauatcha and Flat White in Soho

It is far far too sunny and wonderful to spend time posting so this is a short one with some pretty pictures.  Before I leave London I am trying to do all of those little things that make London so special once more.  When I worked near Soho I developed a ritual whereby I would have a patisserie from Yauatcha and then get a flat white from Flat White to accompany it.

There was a perfect symmetry to it.  The Asian brilliance of the confectionary and the simplicity of good coffee and good milk; fused.

Then Yauatcha got sold by Alan Yau and they got rid of the Asian high tea area and the patisseries on the ground floor to focus on more base elements of getting as many customers in as they can in rather than offering a multilayered experience.  This is a real shame as the precision and flavours in Alan Yau’s patisseries were something else.  They have, however, kept doing macaroons so I thought these would still go with a good flat white.  They didn’t.

Jen and I bought a whole box of the macaroons and did something we have never done before in the face of a pile of puffy sugar – deposited it shortly thereafter in the bin.  They were terrible.  Rank badly baked off flavoured tosh.

Thank God for Flat White though.  Through all its years it remains what it is.  A shop overflowing with Antipodeans where you can get, served by an Antipodean, a flat white.

You can complicate it with pastries etc. but I wouldn’t bother.  I would stick with what they do so well.  This visit it was as ever, spot on.  The perfect accompaniment to wandering down Old Compton Street.

I also got to take a picture of the door mechanism which has remained the same since it opened.  A bit of old copper with some cups hanging off it.  The barista told me that the cups don’t even break very often and it is the most photographed thing in the shop.

So, Flat White yes.  Yauatcha’s macaroons hell no.   Do their cruddy macaroons speak to a more general running down of standards in the main dim sum area itself?  I have heard on the Twitter winds that Yauatcha’s dim sum isn’t as good as it once was but after the macaroons I wouldn’t risk it and would go straight to Pearl Liang instead (here).

Price – £2.20 for a flat white, don’t even think about a macaroon – Laduree is near by.

PS I’m off to cycle to Tina We Salute you now as writing about flat whites has made me want one (here) – it is awesome.

Flat White on Urbanspoon


  1. Su-Lin

    Try Alisan in Wembley – I hear that Yauatcha went downhill as their dim sum chef went there.

    Totally agree with your assessment of the Yauatcha macarons – they're like pure sugar and didn't taste of any of the flavours they promised.

  2. Greedy Diva

    V funny. I cannot imagine ever throwing out a whole thing of macaroons -they must have been pretty bad! The banana bread at Flat White could have been a good back up!

  3. London Chow

    I thought Yauatcha stopped doing macarons some time back, no? Try Pierre Hermes macarons at Selfridges. There're the best that I have tasted in London thus far. 🙂

  4. Tom

    Su-Lin. Ah hah – Wembley is beckoning on both Indian and Chinese food atm.

    Yauatcha macaroons used to be good. They used to be so novel and interesting. What a loss.

    Greedy Diva – Jen is a macaroon addict so it reall is a surprise. And banana bread is something I have grow to hate the aussies/ kiwis for inventing as that has added several kgs to my weight.

    London Chow – they stopped doing all other pastries but (cruddy) macaroons remain. Don't eat them. And you are right on Pierre Herme!

  5. Jonny

    I remember you, Jen, PT and I also threw away those cupcakes from Bea's of Bloombsbury last year. Those were truly dreadful …

  6. The London Foodie

    I haven't yet been to Flat White which is a real shame, I ought to visit it soon. I cannot believe you threw away the whole box of macaroons… they must have been pretty bad to warrant that!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  7. Siany

    I've thrown out macarons before – though mine were from Belle Epoque. Don't try those, they'll make you super angry.

  8. Tom

    Jonny – true. But I have to say the repeat visit was a hella lot better and I would definitely recommend Bea's now http://bit.ly/abY9Qq

    Luiz – FW is good but it will be as good as the other good flat white places if you know what I mean. I am fairly amazed as well at the macaroons. Jen is a junkie.

    Siany – the real horror is when macaroons are good, they are sooooo good.

  9. LondonRob

    I always reckon macaroons are better looking than tasting – except for champagne flavour!

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