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2009 Gordon Ramsey voted Yum Yum, Stoke Newington the second best Thai restaurant in the UK. With his reputation at the moment that doesn’t mean an awful lot although it did give me quite high expectations. Arriving at Yum, Yum on an early Wednesday evening it was encouraging to see the restaurant was already quite busy, especially given its location from central London.

The décor and dining areas are clean and bright, there is a large water feature with big fish swimming about, dark wooden dividers, floor tables and cushions as well as your normal table and chairs . You can imagine this was quite something when it opened but nowadays the likes of Gilgamesh and Shaka Zulu make the décor of most restaurants seem quite tame.

First impressions of the menu was that it was slightly over priced, £8.10 for a Papaya Salad and £8.20 for Pad Thai seemed quite steep for Thai food but you get what you pay for! With that in mind we ordered Papaya Salad and Thai Spring Rolls to start followed by Pad Thai, Chicken Green Curry and Coconut Rice. During the evening the restaurant offers half price cocktails between 6pm and 7:30pm these seemed to be going down a treat. We didn’t get to try them, as LondOntheinside had over indulged the night before, so nursing a hangover we stuck with the water.

The starters were a little on the small side, but hey they were starters. The papaya salad was crunchy, sweet and fresh but I would have preferred a little more of a spicy kick. The Thai Spring Rolls didn’t taste of much except basil, they were supposed to be filled with vegetables but we didn’t seem to find anything else other than basil and rice noodles in ours.

For mains the Pad Thai, again a little on the small side for its price was just an average Pad Thai. Nice enough, although it would have been better if they had cooked it using a little less oil as the noodles were quite greasy. The green curry was nice full of vegetables, including courgettes and peppers which I have to say I have never seen in a Thai curry. The portion of rice for £3.20 was again quite small, we cleaned our plates but still left feeling hungry, not what you’d expect from a two course meal.

Overall I would say the meal was average, Thai food is meant to be cheap, fresh and spicy but I feel Yum, Yum have catered too much for Western tastes and the food lacks the vibrant flavours of Thai spices. Would I go back? Well I am not in any hurry, there are plenty of better, cheaper Thai restaurants (no mention necessary – Busaba Eathai) and if I find myself in Stoke Newington looking for Thai I think I will try the Thai Café on Northwold Road. It certainly doesn’t look as posh but I think that was a lesson learnt from Thailand the ones who didn’t look great, served the best food. As they say beauty is not only skin deep!

Yum Yum, 87 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH