Yo Thai provides a sumptuous array of Asian dishes, fit for fried rice addicts and non-believers alike, writes Paul Fennessy.
AS I PROCEED to sit down for my meal at Yo Thai, the restaurant on Deerpark road which specialises in Asian cuisine, the waiter briskly removes the wine glass from the table. “Too young,” he chuckles, in a misguided attempt to be genial. “You’re very tall,” he then adds, sounding mightily impressed. Unfortunately, he does not stop there and my embarrassment is confounded when he inquires, “Are you 14 or 15?” “I’m 21,” I reply, trying manfully not to cringe.
Thankfully, the food is a resounding improvement on this particular waiter’s attempts at polite conversation. For starters, we order the spare ribs and chicken satay. The former appetiser is served with a side order of raw vegetables including carrots and lettuce and proved perfectly edible, while the ribs in particular were delicious. Meanwhile, the chicken satay was equally delectable, coming deep fried in a gorgeous chilli sauce. And at €6 each, they turned out to be well worth the investment.
For the main course, stir fried noodles and green chicken curry were chosen. The latter dish was again sufficiently concocted, but its extreme spiciness may be off-putting for those who cannot tolerate such strong ingredients.
The noodles, however, were far from archetypal, given that they were stir fried – a refreshing change for students more accustomed to inadequate substitutes such as Pot Noodle. Instead of the usual stringy elasticity associated with this food type, they tasted decidedly crispy and came with a variety of vegetables, along with copious amounts of chicken and beef pieces.
While overall, this course was more than satisfactory, the one minor quibble surrounded the inclusion of mushrooms in the dish. As someone who holds an inveterate dislike of these vomit-inducing fungi, I was disconcerted by the lack of pre-warning of their presence on the menu. Nonetheless, at €17.50 each, these two main-course meals still undoubtedly represented value for money.
The restaurant also emits a pleasant ambiance, as it is agreeably dark and candlelit, as well as being reasonably popular, judging by the evening on which I visited. Though the bland background music – which constituted old Beatles numbers transformed into loathsome, airy fairy type material – was a tad irritating, it could hardly be described as intrusive.
Therefore, Yo Thai is to be recommended for anyone with an appetite for Asian food. Just be sure to ignore the occasional over-friendly waiter, with his annoying bloody inquiries.
Yo Thai, Kiely’s of Mount Merrion, Deerpark Road, Dublin 18. Tel: 01 2888994