Lunch at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair, London

Saturday had a strong Asian theme this week. Firstly I went along to HyperJapan, the exhibition at Olympia featuring all things Japanese with my daughters who are  obsessed with the land of the rising sun, then we went along to Yuu Kitchen's new restaurant in Mayfair, London for a veritable feast.

Food at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair

 Yuu Kitchen is inspired by the fun and freshness of flavours from Japan, south-east Asia and the Pacific rim to expect an explosion on your tastebuds with spicy, sticky, sweet and crunchy dishes to suit all tastes.

The new restaurant was very easy to find, located at the same address as London's famous ICEBAR in Heddon Street, Mayfair which I listed in my round-up of 5 Cool Things to do Without Children in London.

We were greeted at the door and taken below ground to this stylish hang-out which features art work representing heat and ice on the walls of the atmospheric staircase and continues all around the bar and restaurant which aims to echo the atmosphere of an edgy Japanese street at night complete with neon lights.

Neon light at Yuu Kitchen @Icebar london

A long mural featuring a backlit 25 foot long Asian dragon created by celebrated Hong Kong artist Lun Wong is an eye-catching feature of a long high-top table which can seat 10-12.

dragon mural at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair, London

Many of the booths around the edge of the restaurant feature more art on the themes of fire and revenge. Moody lighting all around and plenty of nooks and crannies and seating options makes this an uber-cool destination for meet-ups with friends, dates and for stylish working lunches.

murals at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair.

murals at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair.

Having said that I took my two daughters aged 13 and 18 along for lunch and it proved to be a great family dining destination if, like me, you have older children who are adventurous enough to try something rather more exciting than nuggets and chips.

madmumof7's daughters

They were particularly pleased to see their favourite bubble tea with popping boba on the drinks menu - grown-ups can add alcohol to this Asian fave or opt for one of the many great cocktails on offer at great prices considering this venue is in the heart of Mayfair.

No kids menu here but a fabulous selection of small plates which proved perfect for people like us who find it so hard to choose from such a mouth watering menu as the one Yuu Kitchen offers.

We could also not resist the lunchbox option which at just £10 for an all in one meal with tasty sticky rice with a selection of toppings which would be fine as a standalone meal for a quick, budget friendly lunch but was equally delicious accompanied by other tasty dishes from the lunchtime menu.

I have a weakness for pork belly so opted for that from the lunchbox menu while my daughters chose a crispy chicken karaage with a spicy sauce and baby back ribs (pictured) in a gorgeous sticky sauce to accompany their rice bowls.

baby back ribs lunchbox at Yuu Kitchen Mayfair

From the small plates menu we added sides of endemame with sea salt, more baby back ribs because we love them and chicken wings with a more-ish sweet and sticky sauce. You can choose a spicy option if you prefer.

chicken wings at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair

We also ordered baby octopus karaage which the girls voted their fave dish of the meal.

Baby octopus karaage at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair London

The girls rounded off their meals with a shared plate of Mochi ice cream. The Mochi looked delicious but I could not eat another bite.

mochi Yuu Kitchen at the ICEBAR London

Some of the dishes were quite spicy but if you are nervous about heat ask for advice from one of the friendly and helpful members of staff.

Considering there was a large party in the restaurant during our visit we could not complain about the speed or quality of service throughout our meal.

Back to the food. Forget that famous chicken restaurant - this is finger licking good food featuring top notch ingredients cooked with the flare and care you'd hope for from a team led by Head Chef Jon de Villa who brings experience and inspiration from his heritage and travels across south east Asia and his time at Nobu London.

I don't think it would be OTT to describe Yuu Kitchen (which also has restaurants in Spitalfields and Kentish Town) as first class food at casual dining prices.

I am only gutted that in my excitement at the lunchbox offer and all too tempting small plates selection we completely missed out on the Taiwanese steamed and filled Bao buns!

Looking at the menu now as I write this I am severely regretting not ordering at least one. Trouble is I'm not sure I could choose between the 7 Up braised pork belly steamed bun, the wagyu with garlic mayo and onion rings, buttermilk crispy chicken or soft shell crab or any of the other delicious sounding buns. I'm also now curious to see what's on offer in the evening if lunch is this good.

I may have to go back......

murals at Yuu Kitchen, Mayfair.

Disclaimer: We enjoyed lunch at Yuu Kitchen Mayfair free for the purpose of this honest review.

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