Sunday, 25 May 2014

Yumchaa Café: London - Review! + A summery bank holiday

A summery bank holiday Sunday... & a delightful trip over to Yumchaa Café: Tottenham Street, London. 

 Happy days...

Yesterday was simply the most fun, & spontaneous day out ever.
For starters, I got to spend it with this beautiful girl: AMY!!

And, on top of that, it was just super sunny, and so, so warm. We had such a chilled out, girly afternoon sunbathing on the steps of UCL with the lovely Yuan, reflecting on first year and reaping the opportunity to have mini photo shoots in between sips of our frozen frappes; whilst simultaneously warding off nosey pigeons who were coming waaaay too close for comfort (Although we will blame that on the chip eating chick behind us).

We also got round to planning the final details for our week in Italy - which is looming becoming excitingly nearer!  (Praise the lord that the university Wi-Fi works outside). Bring on Venice, Florence & Rome!! We simply cannot wait!!

We had also gotten the chance to visit the amazing Yumchaa café in Fitzrovia – this was actually great, since I’ve wanted to go there for ages (it’s just so pretty!) but have never really got the chance to visit it before.  We were in the mood for a lunch that was both light and cheap (student lyfe, ha). We were actually just en route to M&S food for a classy ‘not just any’ sandwich type-of lunch, when Amy spotted these elegantly squared white windows just off of Tottenham Court Road belonging to the cute little Yumchaa café, and remembered that she had actually been there before so it was guaranteed to be a second-time scrumptious. We were totally sold out on this and headed straight over. I was actually surprised when Amy described it as a café – doesn’t ‘Yumchaa’ sound like an upmarket sushi bistro?  Nonetheless…

The inside of the café is pretty cool. It is just so white, clean cut and airy. The counter is directly perched at the far end of the café so that you can see it as you walk in, but it means that you also have time to look around the place/check out the seating situation (there was plenty) before the staff jump on you. I thought that this was kinda nice; since I can’t really stand hose café’s where the counter is pressed right up to the adjacent entrance and you feel under pressure to order something right away. Here however, the staff were super welcoming and let us dawdle around + eye up all of the food for a bit before we were ready to order (we are 2 of the most indecisive people ever, so the fabulous cake selection was destined to be tricky).

I asked the woman at the counter if she was cool if we took photos and she said this was fine (I know that some places can be a bit funny with it), so we just used this an excuse to delay our decision making.
Soon enough, we both addressed our uncompromisable sweet tooth’s, and took the chance to go halfsies on a generously stuffed falafel wrap duo, in addition to 2 cheeky slices of cake mania….

If I’m being honest, the brownie had originally looked kinda dry and not very dense or rich (Love my stodge). I’m not even too sure why I got it since at the time I was actually battling a carrot cake and butter cream-type craving…but omg! How wrong was I…it was dense, fudgy, buttery, moist and just…purely heavenly. It tasted like milk chocolate – and not just cocoa! Maybe they had put chocolate chunks in the recipe?

Even though it was super rich, it wasn’t as sickly as some brownies that I have had – such the ones I’ve bought at borough food market which must be about twice the size (somehow!). But then again, this isn’t that surprising since brownie recipes are so easy to vary but create a product which can’t really change that much in appearance…If you decide to get this then, beware: I’m 90% sure there were nuts in it, so be ask before you buy. The picture really doesn’t do this brownie justice. Go and try it for yourself!

Amy chose the chocolate velvet cake with icing. I had a taste of it and it really was literally pure velvet - just so ridiculously smooth and moist, – is that even possible for a crumbly cake? I don’t know! But Yumchaa struck the balance perfectly. Not too sweet either! (And as I say, we have utterly unrivalled sweet tooth’s, so this is really saying something!).

As you can tell, I have stuck to the dessert first rule, but here’s our yummy falafel wrap half. Amy had hers toasted. I don’t know why I didn’t either, but I kinda semi-regretted my decision half way through…*note for next time*.

We didn’t actually try any of the loose leaf tea which they are apparently famous for – but this is definitely something to go back and try!

The atmosphere of the place is so lovely! Pure tranquillity! The design is based on simplicity and minimalism, but in a detailed kind of way. The end of the restaurant where the counter was had a load of really unusual décor + design on the walls; I especially liked how the ceiling & lighting were done, I guess this is the trend nowadays!

There was also a bunch of folk chilling out with their laptops, teas and coffees since they have free Wi-Fi – I only wish I had known about this place during term time! Yumchaa is such a breath of fresh air in contrast to the mainstream coffee chains and bakeries. But then again, maybe it was only quiet since it was a sunny bank holiday Sunday- it’s hard to imagine that this place wouldn’t be popular as a working lunch spot.

Then something funny happened. We walked out after our beautifully satisfying afternoon tea – only to march straight into Starbucks to buy 2 giant frappes. I blame Amy - but Amy blames Happy Hour -(The amazing buy one - get one free frappe deal which conveniently started as soon as we walked in).

The little guy behind the counter had the nicest eyes ever. We have no idea who he is, but he was just so friendly and couldn’t stop smiling at anyone and everything. We can just call him eyes man of TCR Starbucks who fills cookie crumble frappes so high with chocolate cream that they overspill through the lid + explode all over your hands and pale denim jeans (fab life experience). Definitely not complaining though, the frappucino’s were 100% perf...

Frappucino’s. Quad. Sunshine. Friends. Can a summery bank holiday Sunday even get any better than this? We definitely felt sorry for all of the people who were still drifting around the campus going to and from the library…studying is a tough life.
Yuan joined us for the last half of the afternoon :)

It was so peaceful. Uni was pretty quiet since the majority of exams are slowing down here now. The air smelt like summer. You know that tropical, grassy + humid smell that lingers in the air right after sunny BBQ’s and long afternoons at the beach? That was all around.

All in all:
1.       Spontaneous meet ups are the best.
2.       Triple that if it’s sunny.
3.       And triple that if you are with the best company.
4.       We will definitely return to Yumchaa to try the carrot cake, teas, and the Wi-Fi.

Today is bank holiday Monday. Its 7am and I’m writing this before a 9 hour waitressing shift. Fun times! Hopefully the weekend will keep me going for the rest of the week! L

Have you been to Yumchaa? What’s your experience of it? Is there anywhere else in London comparable to it that we can try too?!

Did you do anything special this bank holiday weekend?

Tash xo

1 comment:

  1. Great review of the place! food looks super yummie!