Dim Sum and Desserts

Wednesday, March 29th was the grand opening of Yauatcha Houston, a famous Michelin-starred dim sum tea house and patisserie from London with only one other location in the United States. Its concept revolves around “offering contemporary Cantonese dim sum, patisserie inspired by European culinary techniques and Asian ingredients, and an extensive range of teas, wine, and cocktails;” and I was fortunate enough to snag the last reservation slot for its grand opening…

Inside the restaurant, its clean modern lines are enlivened with bright blue, green, and red, softened with touches of Asian-inspired elements, and romanticized with dim lighting and a ceiling that resembles a star-lit night sky. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner. If you’re unfamiliar with dim sum, it can get overwhelming because there’s a large selection of items to choose from. All dim sum restaurants I’ve been to provide pictures of the food, but this place doesn’t. There are pre-selected courses to choose from, but I thought is was excessive for two so I had our server recommend us the most popular dishes instead:

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Venison Puff $9

The first one to come out was the Venison Puff. This is the most popular item at the original London location. The deer was sweet and not gamey at all.

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Crispy Duck Roll $9

Second dish to come out was the Crispy Duck Roll. If you’ve ever had Peking Duck before, this is what it reminds me of, but instead of a bun, it’s an egg roll shell. The chef was generous with the meat and it was moist without compromising the crunchiness of the egg roll.

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Prawn and Crispy Beancurd Cheung Fun (Steamed Rice Roll) $10

I’m very particular with seafood and normally apathetic to steamed rice rolls, but this was my absolute favorite! The prawn made up the bulk of each bite (unlike all the other dim sum places), and I don’t know how the chef did it, but he was able to preserve the crispiness with it wrapped in a saturated rice roll.

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Char Siu Bun (BBQ Pork) $5

I also had no preference for BBQ pork buns before, but this came in a close second. It comes out steaming, has the perfect bun-to-meat ratio, and the BBQ pork was flavorful.

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Scallop Shui Mai $10

I was not a fan of the scallop shui mai, but my SO loved it and he has a wider palate range for seafood than I do.

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Top – Rasberry Delice $12; Bottom – Tropical Dome $12

And finally, I tried the ever-so popular Rasberry Delice and decided on the Tropical Dome for an unsweet option. The presentation was beautiful and the pastries were crafted with a multitude of textures and complementary tastes. The Rasberry Delice tasted like a soft red velvet and the Tropical Dome was very tart, but refreshing.

Yauatcha stands for “Yau-,” part of owner’s name, “-at-,” with, and “-cha,” tea. It essentially means to enjoy tea with the creator of Yauatcha. I was not in the mood for tea, but 40+ teas are offered here to complement the dishes.

There are many dim sum restaurants in the Houston area, but this place is in a league of its own because the chef brings a fineness and creative flourish to many of the staple dim sum dishes. I’d rate this place an 8/10 for taste, service, and atmosphere and will definitely be here again…I already have another reservation set!

Featured image by Ellie Sharp

Dim Sum and Desserts

Sex on a Canvas Review

Finally…the hype of Valentine’s Day is over! I hope everyone was able to enjoy themselves, whether it was staying in to avoid the chaos or deciding to have a traditional romantic restaurant dinner; though when it comes to these kinds of things, I’m always looking for something out of the ordinary to do. So this past Valentine’s Day, after being swept off my feet with an early morning rose delivery and an unforgettable dinner at Da Marco from my boyfriend, I decided to surprise him with a Love is Art Couple’s Paint Kit that lets you paint each other and transfer it onto a canvas to create an original work of art.

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On the website, there are a variety of paint colors and canvases you can choose from starting at $60. You can choose up to four colors in a kit, and if you don’t like the color combinations available, there’s an option to customize what colors come in your kit. There are black and white canvases, along with special edition canvases too. I chose the Cosmos Edition Palette #6 ($79), which comes with a black canvas and blue, teal, purple, and white paint. It says the canvas is “screen printed with stars,” but that shit just looks like tiny white paint splatters.

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Shipping is fast, and it’s delivered to you in a 25in x 3in tube. Along with the

  • 3.5ft x 4.5ft cotton canvas and
  • four 4oz all-natural and non-toxic (vagina-safe) paint bottles, it also comes with a
  • 10ft x 12ft plastic drop to protect surfaces from paint
  • two pairs of disposable slippers (surgical shoe covers),
  • a loofah, and
  • instructions

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We spread out the plastic drop and placed the canvas on top, then shook the paint bottles over the canvas and us to create drops and splatters. A tip is to warm the paint up (I let it sit in front of a space heater) beforehand.  And from here, I don’t have to give you the play-by-play of what happens next…

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This was our end product, and I’m in love with it! If you want to hang it (it’ll be a great story to tell if your guests asks where you got it from.), you’ll have to order their stretcher bar set separately for $36 or you can go to a craft store and have it done there. Their stretcher bar set comes with two 48in and two 36in bars so that means about 3in on each side of your canvas will be not be showing (something to consider when painting). The website also offers a simple online video tutorial to set it up.

The only negative part about this kit is showering off the paint. It was a bitch, and I was still tinged with enough blue the next couple days for my boyfriend to sing “I’m Blue” each time he saw me. Other than that, we had a lot of fun, and I think it would make for a playful and unconventionl date night activity.

Sex on a Canvas Review

Online Flower Delivery Services

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I don’t think there’s anything more capitalized on this day than flowers. No matter what any girl says about her preference towards flowers, she WILL appreciate the gesture of having flowers delivered to her (bonus points if she receives it in front of other females). Here, I’ve compiled a list of online flower delivery services whose aesthetic can be deemed “Instagram-worthy” and is beyond the norm of 1-800-Flowers and also can be delivered nationwide/to Houston:

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1.) thebouqs.com

At The Bouqs, you can choose from 1.) their Farm to Table option where flowers are cut the day you order and shipped from one of their farm partners, preserving the flowers’ freshness, 2.) their Artisan Florist option where you are supporting local florists, or 3.) their Subscriptions option where you can have flowers delivered on a schedule throughout the year.

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2.) bloomthat.com

Bloom That offers a curated selection from partners around the world to deliver what’s in season. Gift baskets are also available to add to your bouquets to up the “aww” factor.

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3.) teleflora.com

Teleflora sends their orders to local florists to arrange instead of having pre-packaged flowers delivered in boxes that could damage or dehydrate the flowers. They also have an overwhelming selection of flowers to choose from for your main girl, your side girl…

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4.) farmgirlflowers.com

Farmgirl Flowers is limited in their selection because they only offer daily bouquets, but that means they don’t create waste…perfect for the environmentally-conscious.

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5.) fleursprive.com/venusetfleur.com/themillionroses.us

I’ve been obsessed with the Parisian flowers-in-a-hat-box-design ever since I saw them a couple years ago on Tumblr, and I’m quite disappointed there isn’t a florist in Houston who does this by now. On top of that, many of the shops that are on top of this trend don’t offer delivery to Houston, except Fleurs Prive, Venus et Fleur, and The Million Roses, that I’ve found at least. Even then, Venus et Fleur only delivers the square box option and all three only deliver their preserved roses. This is definitely on the more expensive side, but it’ll be worth your money because these roses last up to a year.

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6.) roseshire.com

Roseshire’s roses are also delivered in a box, but doesn’t have the Parisian flair as the previously mentioned. The packaging is still very elegant and the roses are arranged in a way that satisfies my OCD-like tendencies. Each rose also comes with its own capsule of water to ensure its quality.

If you know of any other online flower delivery services that deliver to Houston that should be on here and I missed, please let me know!

 

Online Flower Delivery Services