About a decade ago, Yum Yum Tree, a Sushi restaurant in South Delhi, became the talk of the town for its innovative Sushi service. The Sushi would roll down a conveyor belt and added delight to the dining experience for its patrons.
Restaurateur Varun Tuli has come a long way since. He opened the first Yum Yum Cha eatery at the bustling City Walk Mall in Saket, way back in 2014. The origami themed Pan Asian restaurant with vibrant colors, served a variety of Sushi, Stone Bowls, and desserts, which are a specialty in themselves.
The chain at present has four outlets, three in South Delhi ( Khan Market, Saket, and Vasant Kunj) and one in Gurugram ( DLF Cyberhub). The success of Yum Yum Cha has led to a specialized catering unit (Foodinc, originally started way back in 2012) and a delivery brand Noshi ( currently operational in South Delhi).
Ingredients to Success
There is no doubt that Yum Yum Cha has turned out to be a hugely successful brand. In the past five years, they have opened multiple outlets, garnered immense customer loyalty and plenty of accolades from the industry.
So what sets them apart from their peers? One, I believe, is the origami-based theme. The vibrant colors almost distinguish them from any other Chinese, Thai, or Pan Asian restaurant (where interiors are more formal, more red, more classic). They have this whole casual, relaxed vibe to the place, with the food matching up to the mood. The only other place which has managed to do a similar thing is Mamagoto.
Service is not just a benchmark to note the success of an eatery. It is also key to its survival. Yum Yum Cha has managed to do it well and do it consistently. On my last visit, I informed the staff, I wish to switch tables as the air from an overhead AC duct was causing discomfort.
Now you cant move AC ducts, and the best you can do is to switch tables. But the guy replied that he would make sure that the particular section of AC is switched off. Within minutes the draught from the vent stopped. Instead of making his customer move, the guy made the customer comfortable in the present seat. That is what means to go the extra mile for a better service. And it is consistent. I have heard many accounts of excellent service from this place.
Another thing that scores for them is their Menu. There is something for everyone. For Sushi lovers, there are a plethora of options, although I don't like their idea of charging 100 bucks extra if you order two half plates of Sushi together. (one plate has eight pieces. You can pay extra and order two Sushis, 4+4). They also have an excellent looking Sushi Boat and a lavish Sushi Tree for those looking for platters for a group.
I am not a Sushi person, so there are a variety of other options, including Baos, Dimsums(Prawns one are fantastic), cold pizzas, and Stone Bowls.
In fact, I love their stone bowls, which can be customized according to your taste. They also make some excellent starters and Japanese Dumplings. It is through Yum Yum Cha that I was introduced to Octopus. The Takayuki is absolutely soft, and the Octopus does taste good.
I have a sweet tooth, and these guys have really worked hard on the Sugar rush. The Mochi ice creams are something unique, and the way they present the Chocolate Mud Pot in a small earthen pot is quite impressive. The Mochi ice cream comes in plenty of flavors, mango being my favorite.
Unlike several of its peers like PaPaYa, YYC does not have a full-service bar. Instead, you get their own curated soft drinks, most of them based on fresh fruits like Orange, Mango, Pomegranate, etc. These complement the food just well. They are called Fun Bottles and served in glass bottles.
Rates wise, they have priced the food reasonably and at par with other brands in the market.
This is not a fine dining place if that's what you are looking for. A casual, chilled hangout spot for daily Pan Asian fix served well and proper.