Yumcha Vie is a new joint that opened recently at Kurla’s sprawling Phoenix Marketcity. It’s owned by the same folks who run Bandra’s C’est La Vie, and is touted to offer authentic Chinese food with a focus on tea and dimsums. Unable to resist the temptation, we paid a visit to this Oriental eatery.
First of all, it’s hard to locate stores in this mall, and considering the restaurant is not yet listed in the malls’ elaborate floor plan at the entrance, it wasn’t an easy find. After a few frantic calls we were told that it was by the main entrance we had walked past.
On our arrival we were impressed by the large seating arrangement in this space-constrained city. The seating is divided into three parts — the al fresco opens to the crowds inside the shopping mall; the inside section is divided into tables that seat two-four guests, and cushioned kiosks for larger groups who prefer a more private atmosphere.
For a place that is named after a tea drinking practice in China usually accompanied with dimsums, it was surprising that the popular drink of the Orient doesn’t find much space on the menu.
It lists just five teas, which was disappointing. We inquired about alcoholic beverages, but unfortunately, alcohol is served only on Fridays and during weekends. After a few minutes of pondering, we zeroed in on our order — Lonhjing Green Tea (Rs 120) (the attendant warns us that it might taste bland), Prawn Siu Mai Dimsum (Rs 250), Veg Yumcha Vie Dimsum — Soul Long (Rs 200), Kung Pao Chicken (Rs 300), and Stir-fried Smoked Prawns (Rs 350).
The Lonhjing Green Tea, Prawn Siu Mai Dimsum and the Kung Pao Chicken were first to arrive. With a juicy mix of minced prawns, onions, ginger and mushrooms, the open-top Siu Mai Dimsum set the bar quite high for the rest of our spread.
The Kung Pao Chicken had a sweet-sour taste and was equally appetising. The Lonhjing Green Tea — a huge contrast — was very simple and aromatic but tasteless; we’re sure that green tea lovers will appreciate the authenticity.
Yumcha Vie’s interiors were interesting: a mix of bamboo green walls set against the red brick walls while a large image of Buddha created a peaceful atmosphere.
Next to arrive was the Smoked Prawns and Veg Yumcha Vie Dimsum. While the Smoked Prawns tasted okay, the Yumcha Vie Dimsum as per the norm, was too salty — a dish that the sodium-wary could avoid altogether.
Those who might look for something familiar, we suggest tuck into the Kung Pao Chicken or the Pan Fried Chicken Noodles (Rs 225). Delectable, refreshingly different and dimsum-ey, this place is worth a try.
At 70-73 Underground, Phoenix Market City, LBS Marg, Kurla (W).
Yumcha Vie didn't know we were there.
The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.