Summertime is here, and if, like me, you spent lockdown dreaming of yum cha and sake, I’ve got the perfect place in mind for you: David’s.
It’s a contemporary Shanghainese restaurant inspired by David Zhou’s hometown of Zhouzhang, where the inspiration for his recipes lies. It’s no wonder it’s loved by everyone who visits – not only is the food delicious, but it’s very clearly authentically and lovingly made.
We had the pleasure of attending David’s famous vegan yum cha, and it was undeniably the best vegan yum cha I’ve ever experienced.
With ten main courses and one dessert, we were left full and satisfied – and what courses! It can often feel difficult to have authentic and tasty vegan Asian cuisine, but at David’s, there was nothing to worry about. All the dishes were well-seasoned and perfectly executed. Not only was there more than enough to eat, but there were no dishes that were lacking in taste.
I especially appreciated the Buddha’s BBQ Buns, a vegan substitute for the delicious Pork Buns that David’s also offers. Sweet, soft and easy to tear, they made for an ideal starter. The crispy Veggie San Choi Bao, and the sauce that came with them, are also worthy of a mention.
I also didn’t expect to be surprised by any dishes on the menu – but I was. I’d never had Turnip Cakes or Fried Taro Dumplings before, but I loved them. As a long-term vegan, I applaud David’s for that – it’s rare to feel surprised by a vegan menu, and even rarer to really enjoy it!
Vegan desserts can also be tricky to execute, but the Banana Fritters were a great success. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, what’s not to love?
It’s also worth mentioning David’s amazing drinks menu. Their cocktails were unique to the venue and easy to pair with the meals. My top tip? If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll appreciate their strawberry gin cocktail. With hints of lime and mint that balance the sweetness, you’ll find it to perfectly complement the yum cha courses. If cocktails aren’t your choice, David’s has an array of beers, wines and non-alcoholic drinks. I’ve heard great things about their famous teas.
From setting to courses, David’s yum cha experience is well worth it. It’s clear that they put a lot of thought and effort into the entire dining experience, and everything, from the lovely staff to the amazing dishes, makes it a night that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. We attended the vegan yum cha – and although my partner isn’t vegan, he loved it. They also have their famous unlimited yum cha available, which has delicious options like Ginger Prawn Dumplings and Chicken Ribs available. Whether you’re a meat-eater or a vegan, if you like yum cha or if you’re interested in trying it – I recommend David’s.
Oh – and before I forget, give the sake a try too!
Daniela Koulikov is a freelance writer who loves movies, brunch and DIY kits. You can follow her at @danikoul.
David’s yum cha is running Thursdays and Fridays. To book, simply visit their website.