Yumacha – ‘Oriental Tapas’ – Nottingham (West Bridgford)
My only previous blogged visit to West Bridgford was a meal at Mubcrab that lacked inspiration. In an effort to see if this suburb has better to offer on the food front i ventured back to eat at Yumacha. It certainly has that far east feel, and toes that line just on the good side of clichéd. The menu is quite diverse, a breakfast offering that includes a pretty traditional full English and afternoon tea with cakes such as ‘naughty chocolate’. I personally can’t imagine coming for that sort of food, though they do have a nice outside seating area on Central Avenue. Their oriental tapas had intrigued me most and a friend and I decided to share 6 dishes. For the most part these dishes are those you would find on Chinese or Japanese menus as starters with a handful of bigger dishes thrown in.
All arrived very swiftly and was generally presented well. Steamed scallops were not of the best quality and didn’t have a sweetness you associate with better ones; though the XO sauce had a nice kick and worked well. Vegetable gyoza, the fried sort rather than steamed, had a nice crispy coating, though the contents could have been from a supermarket spring roll. Vegetable tempura actually needed that same level of crispness, the batter a little oily.
The best dish was salt and pepper tofu which had been skilfully cooked, the tofu just the right texture with fresher flavours achieved from the accompanying peppers and onions. Also nice was a monkfish dish, the sauce was a little nondescript but the fish solidly cooked. The disappointment of the meal was teriyaki skewers. Rather than the chicken having been cooked or marinated it was cooked plainly, and dryly, with a token thick gloop of teriyaki as an afterthought.
As Yumacha trades in cakes I thought I should try a dessert. The waitress recommended a banana and chocolate spring roll which was rather attractive when it arrived. There was no sign of any chocolate which was a little odd but the remaining flavours carried rather well and the thin pastry was good.
The cost was pretty reasonable with the majority of dishes around £4.50-6. They also do a number of lunch/set menus that look to represent good value. There was just about enough about Yumacha to think that if I was more local I might revisit. they just didn’t do enough to tempt me back. If thinking about returning I’d be more inclined to visit Bonzai or Shangai Shanghi for my fix of Far Eastern flavours
Restaurant website: http://www.yumacha.co.uk/