In a cautious world, naming a restaurant “Yum Yum” could be seen as a bit of a risky move. Like naming a plane “Icarus”, or naming a petrol station “Kaboom”. Indeed, a name like “Yum Yum” carries a hint of overconfidence, but in the years since their Stoke Newington branch has been around – (and their new Walthamstow branch has opened), Yum Yum has become a popular, family-friendly Thai eatery in the East End. Keen to discover the reason for this popularity, Steak and I headed over for a comforting Thai meal.
After scrolling through the fairly extensive menu, we had decided to start with a plate of seafood dumplings. To our dismay, the dumplings proved to be dense, stodgy and lumpy – suitable for hurling through a jeweller’s window, or splitting open a human skull. Not only did this make them somewhat unappetising, but also incredibly exhausting to eat, and by the time we had chewed through the last piece, I had developed a jaw that could rival Popeye’s.
Seafood dumplings (£7.75)
Fortunately, the main courses fared somewhat better. The Thai green curry – ordered on this occasion with prawns, was thick, rich, and smooth. Best of all, it carried a deep aroma and a subtle essence of coconut, and together with the tender prawns and the soft, sticky rice, it delivered comfort with every bite.
Green curry (£7.75), Pad Ke Mao (£8.65), and Pad Ma Kam (£10.95)
We had also ordered a plate of Pad Ke Mao – spicy flat rice noodles with prawns, which were soft, full of flavour, and carried a moderately intense amount of heat.
Pad Ke Mao – (Spicy noodles with prawns) (£8.65)
Sadly however, my favourite Thai dish – chargrilled duck in tamarind sauce, significantly let down the show. Though the duck pieces possessed a very slight crisp, they lacked tenderness, and proved to be rather dense and gamey. The tamarind sauce also lacked vibrancy, and fell rather flat, whilst the accompanying broccoli was so rock hard, that it did not seem to have been cooked or prepared in any way.
Pad Ma Kam – (Chargrilled duck in tamarind sauce) (£10.95)
Value For Money: 2.5/5
Generally, starters range from £3 to £8, mains cost around £8 to £10, and desserts cost around £7. Our own bill amounted to approximately £40-£50, and whilst this was not wholly unreasonable for the volume of food that we had ordered, we did feel that overall, the food was of a rather mediocre calibre. As such, it’s questionable as to whether the food at Yum Yum – as reasonably-priced as it may be, is worth the expenditure.
Service on the other hand, is warm and welcoming, and you should find that staff members remain attentive throughout the duration of your meal.
Decor / Ambience: 3.5/5
Though the food at the Walthamstow branch is a little hit and miss, the restaurant itself is rather well put-together. The decor is crisp, contemporary, and attractive, and would do well to host a special occasion or family get-together.
Sadly, despite the cordial service and the attractive set-up, we both felt that the food at Yum Yum wasn’t particularly – well, “yum yum”. Perhaps their popularity lies in their cheap and cheerful nature and their family-friendly environment, but for us, Yum Yum did not prove to be a memorable or positive experience, and for that reason, it is not an establishment that either of us could actively recommend.
Halal status: The chicken, lamb, beef, and duck served here are halal. Alcohol is served on the premises.
Address (Walthamstow): 202 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, London, E17 4BS
Address (Stoke Newington): 187 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH