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Yum Yum Thai Restaurant (Hackney)

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1 Review

Address: 187 Stoke Newington High Street / London / N16 0LH

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      21.01.2013 17:34
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      Food is good but restaurant lacks a good atmosphere and is very expensive

      Yum Yum is a Thai restaurant on Stoke Newington High Street in Stoke Newington, London. It's a very large and imposing building at the end of the high street before you enter Stamford Hill. It is housed in what looks like an old official building or mansion and is equally vast and cavernous inside.

      It has a welcoming courtyard at the front before you enter the restaurant. This has a few tables and chairs for when weather permits and is pleasantly lit with fairy lights during the evenings. Inside, the restaurant is enormous and seemingly never ending. They also have a large bar in the basement but this was closed when we visited.

      You enter into a bar area with low level seating and a long bar across the side of the room. Here is also a small reception where you are politely greeted and shown your seat. We were a group of 4 going on an August Thursday night at around 9pm. We didn't book and were lucky to get a table as the restaurant was surprisingly full, especially given the large number of covers they cater for.

      The restaurant is dark and attempts to be atmospheric and authentically Thai with it's dark wood tables and chairs and straw table mats. Rather than atmospheric though, I found it to be incredibly loud due to the number of diners both in close proximity and not, but also the hideous music they were playing. This was barely audible over the chatter and served to make the cacophony worse. The music was futile and pointless and personally, I could have done without it as I may have had more chance in hearing what my companions were saying.

      The menu is fairly extensive and ranges from traditional dishes such as Pad Thai and Green Curry though to more unusual things such as stir fried Morning Glory. Now I know what my understanding of morning glory is and I sincerely hope this is not what was stir fried! I didn't experiment to find out.

      I opted for a chicken dish for a main. This was a deep fried chicken in a creamy coconut and chilli sauce. We also had a mixed starter of lots of deep fried things (no morning glory I hope!).

      The starter was predictable and fairly plain. It involved prawns, chicken and something unidentified being put in batter and deep fried. To give it an element of health, there was also vegetarian spring rolls and a measly salad consisting largely of shredded carrot. It wasn't the best Thai starter I've had but wasn't too greasy ad tasted OK if a bit bland. The chicken also borderlined on the dry side. This dish was intended for 2 people and cost £16 - we were 4 and it served our appetites well.

      The main course faired better. The chicken was very crispy on the outside but not dry but succulent inside. The sauce was also very good - fresh tasting but with a chilli kick. My only grumble would be that there wasn't enough of it making the dish itself when accompanied with rice a little dry. I had egg fried rice that was decent and not oily as can sometimes be the case.

      My wife order the green curry which I sampled. This was also very good and flavoursome again tasting quite fresh and with a good kick. It did seem to be more liquid that chicken mind so the polar opposite to what I ate.

      Service was efficient if perhaps lacking friendliness. I think this was probably down to the fact that they struggled to hear over the general volume too. They were attentive and quick to clear plates... Checking a number of times during our dinner if we had finished. Food arrived quickly but not scarily quickly as if just out of the microwave and was piping hot.

      I was surprised at how expensive the meal turned out to be. For 4 people drinking beer, a glass of wine and one cocktail the bill came to £105 including service. The food was good but I don't think really warranted the price rag I over £25 per head. Decent but overpriced.

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