LOCAL Houston | The City Guide May 2017 - Page 21

FOOD | ARTS | COMMUNITY | STYLE+LEISURE Soup Dumplings And then there is the Prawn and Crispy Bean Curd Cheung Fun (shrimp-filled soft rice noodle wrap) – textural contrasts, comforting flavors. Cantonese food at its finest. The aggressively citrusy spicy-wild caught Shrimp Salad with its pyramids of bamboo shoots topped with a crown of micro-greens, shiso and pea tendrils will quickly become the beat-the-summer-heat dish of Houston. Yauatcha is a dim sum house but no carts whiz by – strictly table service. The puff pastry of the Venison Puff – deliriously buttery and flaky, a dark brown glossy, crunchy crust brushed with the thinnest possible sugar glaze and a sprinkling of sesame seed encases tiny cubes of venison in a soothing black pepper and car sui sauce. Thanks to the sugar wash, the first flavor is ever so slightly and surprisingly sweet, the venison filling a savory surprise. And the crunchy Roasted Duck Pumpkins – deep-fried with a fresh micro-sprout as a stem – precious. Yauatcha is a dim sum house but no carts whiz by – strictly table service. You can order all at once or plate by plate. Everything and everyone seems very cool. Even in the steamed dumpling kitchen, where a sit-down bar invites observation. Big woks, boiling water, steam, steam, steam galore. Tiny dumplings loaded into small bamboo steamers. Action. Buzz. Prized seats are these. If you seek a more substantial meal than the little plates of dim sum, Yauatcha accommodates. The Kung Pao Chicken packs a punch that just might satisfy a heat-seeking Texan, with its mound of red chiles. Ditto the aggressively seasoned wild-caught Gulf Shrimp with sweet chili sauce. More mild, yet flavorful, the XO lobster, moist, tender with a soothing, classic seafood-based XO sauce. may 17 | L O C A L 21