Upscale Dim Sum Restaurant at The Galleria Sets Closing for Februrary 2020

In a holiday news cycle that’s already been rife with Houston restaurant closing news, which includes Le Mistral, Beaver’s on Westheimer and Conservatory (which is set to relocate and reopen late in the spring) — another joins this list — and it’s a surprising addition. As first reported by CultureMap Houston, Yauatcha, the upscale dim sum restaurant in The Galleria’s luxury “jewel box” building, is set to close on February 16.

The statement provided to Houston Food Finder is as follows:

“Over the past years, Yauatcha has served as an acclaimed dining destination in Uptown Houston, providing signature dim sum, Chinese cuisine and pastries – and hosting an array of memorable events and celebrations against a one-of-a-kind backdrop. We have been privileged to work with one of the finest culinary and service teams in the city and honored by media accolades and the patronage of many loyal guests. Regretfully, we have made the difficult decision to close our Galleria location and will officially cease service on February 16th, 2020. We look forward to welcoming Houstonians in their travels to our other Yauatcha restaurants globally.“

raspberry cake Yauatcha
Raspberry Delice Cake with lychee ice cream at Yauatcha. Photo courtesy of Yauatcha

Yauatcha’s opening announcement three years ago was received with a great deal of anticipation and fanfare for a few reasons. It’s London Soho location had one Michelin Star at the time (it was dropped for the 2020 guide). Another reason was the high-powered reputation of the ownership company, Hakkasan Group, which runs an extensive portfolio of respected restaurants all over the world.

That respect extended to the Houston location as well. Houston Chronicle restaurant critic Alison Cook named it to her Top 100 list, and CultureMap’s Eric Sandler put it at the number 45 spot in his inaugural list this year.

So, what is the problem that is causing it to close? While serving at the restaurant critic at the Houston Press, Cuc Lam may have hit the nail on the head. “Yauatcha’s version of traditional dim sum matches the Bayou City’s home-grown Cantonese cuisine in quality, but certainly not in quantity or value. Houston’s authentic Chinese food scene is hard to beat, but Yauatcha isn’t just offering traditional fare,” she wrote in her review.

Houstonians have a wealth of inexpensive and tasty options, and that may be the reason why upscale dim sum was a tough sell, regardless of how acclaimed or beautiful. Regardless, the one bright spot is that those who are going to miss the restaurant have about six weeks to get in a few last visits.

Yauatcha is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are available online — and it is a fair bet that prime dining times at the restaurant will be booked quickly now that Houstonians know the clock is ticking.

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