Yum Yum Too is tucked away right at the end of Restaurant Row in Hells Kitchen. It is, or rather was, one of three Thai restaurants in the area, Yum Yum , Yum Yum Too, and Yum Yum Three? Last time I visited Yum Yum 3 was on the other side of the road, but that now seems to be a Japanese restaurant. There is also now a Yum Yum Bangkok
I am not going to kid you that this is the most amazing place to dine at for Thai food, it is competent at best and I do quite like eating here, but I only really come here for the cocktails.
I originally came here to this location when it was a different restaurant a seafood restaurant where I dined on pots of steamed mussels, grilled salmon, and bowls of paella, all washed down with copious glasses of Chardonnay.
There was a lovely waitress called Olga who always kept a slice of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake tucked away in case I came in. I would hear people being told that there was no more left and felt my heart sink a little.
Then she would sidle up to my table with another glass of chardonnay and whisper that it was OK she had saved me a piece. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.
It was those dining experiences and moments that made me enjoy dining out in the city and I was really sad when this place became a Thai place and Olga moved on to a French Bistro nearby (different story).
Now I really just come here for a drink when I am in town
Vodka Martini ‘straight up with a twist’
However, they did still keep on serving my cocktail of choice, a ‘Vodka Martini straight up with a twist’, I loved saying that (#suchaloser), Bond has his ‘shaken not stirred’, but this was my thing. I am no real expert in the world of Vodka Martini but I can say that they serve them damn strong here.
At one time they used to give you a free appetiser with each drink, and I used to take advantage of that, firstly to stop myself getting too drunk, and secondly to make the cheque a little lighter, as it was really such good value. Sadly on my recent visits they seemed to have stopped that deal, shame
Since there were no complimentary appetizers to go with my cocktail I had to resort to actually ordering some and paying real money for my dish. I ordered a plate of the ‘Thai Dumplings which with filled with chicken stuffed with crab meat’.
They were OK, not amazing, but fairly tasty, the main flavour being the soy sauce that was drizzled over them. I will admit that when you order them, you do get 4 of them, when they were free with your cocktail you just got 2 of them. So money talks 🙂
Grilled Thai Chicken
I came in here twice on this last trip to NYC, basically as I said for the Vodka Martini, and also from habit. On the first visit I ordered the ‘Grilled Chicken marinated with chili, garlic, lime juice, and roasted garlic paste’. It comes with a fresh salad topped with a little of some other spicy pungent paste, sticky rice and a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
I have ordered this many times over the years and it is probably a fairly safe dish to get here. It does not look very pretty, but I do like the rusticness of the way that they serve the chicken! You get the breast meat, and a thigh piece, both of which come off the bone, you also get a bit of leg on the bone!
The meat is nicely flavoured and the skin is crisp and tasty, you really can taste the garlic and the lime. The chili is quite a light touch and you do need to make use of the dipping sauce if you want any real heat. I hardly ever bother eating the salad, it always looks a bit sad.
I do also like the sticky rice and the green beans that they prepare marinated in garlic and soy and cook with a bit of a char as well
Thai Beef Salad
On the other visit during this trip I tried to be a bit healthier by ordering the Thai Beef Salad. This was marinated and flavoured with lime juice, fresh garlic, cilantro root, and shallots. This actually has really good flavour, the lime and garlic really make the dish quite tangy and the beef is tender and plentiful and had been mixed with plenty of chilli to add heat.
There is a pungent aroma and taste from the fish sauce (nam plac) that permeates throughout the dish and it is that flavour that dominates the plate, the lime makes your taste buds water, and the chili makes them burn gently.
The crunch of the veg on the plate adds nice texture, but the actual lettuce leaf part of the salad is a bit of a let down, the shallot seemed to be more like sliced red onion.
I have always made a point of visiting this corner of W47th and 9th over the years, but on this last trip I think I need to let it go and find somewhere else to get my cocktail fix when I visit the city.
It is always busy so don’t let my thoughts stop you coming here. The cocktails are good, the food competent, and the staff are friendly and always welcoming
Yum Yum Too is located at 662 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Head to W47th and 9th to find it right at the end of Restaurant Row