Internationally acclaimed dim sum Chinese teahouse YAUATCHA played host to an intimate private dinner on Monday, March 27th for the Rothko Chapel’s Cultural Ambassador Lynn Wyatt just two days before the restaurant opens in the Galleria’s newly built “jewel box.”

In celebration of the Rothko Chapel’s 45th anniversary, style icon and renowned philanthropist Lynn Wyatt invited guests to join her for an evening of lively conversation, entertainment and elaborate five-course dinner that 15 lucky guests won’t soon forget.

Hakkasan Group’s stunning new Houston outpost – which opens to the public tomorrow – is partnering with the Rothko Chapel to become a long-term supporter of the nondenominational center for contemplation. With a diverse collection of world-class hospitality brands across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia, Yauatcha’s parent company Hakkasan Group is enthusiastic and well positioned to help the ecumenical center’s mission to promote international, cultural, religious and philosophical exchanges.

The company will kick off its newly formed partnership with a sizeable donation to the Rothko Chapel’s gala – dubbed A Grand Occasion – taking place at The Astorian on May 11th honoring Lynn Wyatt and Sissy Farenthood and chaired by Lori Cohen & Christopher Rothko and Gayle & Mike DeGeurin. Funds raised by the Grand Occasion gala will support the Chapel’s rich program offerings and help maintain the landmark building and grounds.

At last night’s intimate celebration for 16, beautiful young “Umbrella Girls” donning ornate Chinese costumes and decorative umbrellas greeted guests as they arrived to the restaurant’s entrance at the “jewel box” – the new stand alone building in front of the Galleria.

“As the Chapel’s Cultural Ambassador, I am here to give Yauatcha and Chef Ho Chee Boon a proper Texas welcome, and we are excited that Hakkasan Group and Yauatcha want to help the Rothko Chapel and its mission to promote human rights and religious tolerance around the world.”

With that, the guests began an unforgettable culinary journey with a first course that included water prawn and zucchini dumpling; poached chicken Beijing dumpling in homemade vinegar; Shanghai siew long bun with pork soup dumpling; and the Kura Mi Ami Martini – one of the restaurant’ signature creative cocktails consisting of Absolut Elyx vodka, gin, umeshu and junmai sake.

Next came the second course and scallop shui mai; prawn and crispy beancurd cheung fun; crispy prawn dumpling with plum sauce; and venison puff with a wine pairing of a 2016 Vincent Delaporte Sancerre from France.

The third and fourth courses dazzled the exuberant party with crispy aromatic duck with spring onion; cucumber and homemade pancakes; Jasmine tea smoked pork ribs; Stir-fry Malaysian kwetio noodle with prawn, scallop and peanut; Seared redfish with homemade soy sauce; Spicy aubergine, sato bean, okra and long bean with peanut; and egg and scallion fried rice. Lavish wine pairings accompanied both of these courses as well.

As is her custom, Lynn Wyatt switched places with a guest at the other table of 8 for the dessert course – a tropical dome with coconut dacquoise, passion fruit & pineapple; raspberry délice composed of raspberry, Manjari chocolate and lychee; blue mountain black tea with red grapefruit rinds that is only available at Yauatcha Houston; and a Tropical 75 cocktail selection for good measure.

During the dessert course a show stopping customary Chinese Lion Dance by performers wearing elaborate lion costumes mimicking the majestic lion proved to be icing on the cake for the group who placed crisp $10 bills in the lions’ mouths for good fortune.

The lucky 16 celebrating this rare occasion included Rothko Chapel Director of Advancement Thuy Tran, Sanford and Susie Criner, Tony Chase and Dina Al-Sowayel, Danny and Isabel David, Mike and Gayle Deguerin, Pierce Bush with girlfriend Sarabeth Melton, Brady and Alexandra Knight, Marcy Taub Wessel and Dorothee Potocki DeChaudenay.

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