Tom Yum is one of the go-to places for authentic Thai food. They're also great at whipping their namesake, the Tom Yum soup which we featured in one of our YAMU Loves pieces. We hadn't reviewed them for a couple of years though, so we dropped in a few days ago to see what's new and what's not.
What used to be a two-storied building has reduced into just the bottom floor now, as OneUp All Day Breakfast occupies the first floor. The furnishing is minimal and neat, with rather uncomfortably clunky chairs that makes maneouvering your seat quite impossible. That aside, the rest of the table settings are quite nice with fresh flowers to spruce things up. The restaurant is run by a husband and wife duo, and the kitchen staff are Thai, so you know you're getting legit Thai food at the very least.
Service was pretty efficient even though it was a one-man show with the husband taking care of orders and the tables. Nothing to complain there.
There's a small selection of soups, fried rice, and meats to choose from, including an interesting array of desserts. The prices are quite expensive though, with a single portion for meat alone closing in on a thousand rupees. We went for a Chicken Thai Fried Rice (Rs. 700) and Sticky Rice (Rs. 350), and picked a portion of Grilled Beef with Thai Sauce (Rs. 850) and Garlic Chicken (Rs. 750) to go with both. The rice portions are just enough for one person, while the accompaniments are sufficient for 2 or 3 people, a size I found weird in case someone wanted to dine solo.
As far as taste and flavours go, we were satisfied; the fried rice had crispy bits of chicken in it and was nicely made, the sticky rice quite... sticky. Perfect to practice eating with chopsticks, if there were chopsticks.
The Garlic Chicken was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside: it did seem lightly tossed in oil, but it wasn't overdone. The beef on the other hand, looked great in the menu's photo, but what we received looked completely different. It didn't have a marinade, and was more like fried bits of chopped up beef. What shone through all these were the dippings which accompanied the meats: intensely flavoursome and quite overpowering in chilli and acidity, they were amazing.
The beef came with a lemon and chillie dip, and the chicken with chilli in vinegar; we basically doused the beef in it to disguise the meat's blandness.
Oh, we also had a Spicy Beef soup (Rs. 950) which we liked — it looked a bit like gravy but had a lot of lemongrass and spices going on, and helped clear our sinuses. The soup itself was great but the beef in it was mediocre; most of it was gristle, so that was disappointing.
We finished off with a creamy Coconut Ice Cream and a Thai Iced Milk Tea. The former was reminiscent of Samaposha (according to Dili). Garnished with cashew nuts, it's a refreshing dessert albeit an expensive one at Rs. 500. Presented in a green mason mug, our Thai milk tea (Rs. 500 too) looked murky but tasted just about alright.
It's a generous portion, but was slightly watered down and not as flavoursome as the one at Nara Thai for example.
With added taxes, our total was just over Rs. 5000. The food was nice, but doesn't give you value for money in either portion size or quality; and 5000 bucks for two people (without getting separate appetisers, drinks, or desserts) is quite a lot.
Ed Note: The owner of Tom Yum got in touch with us to point out a couple of discrepancies, including
"Gristle" is incorrect to describe the beef. Its really beef offal and is an integral if not main part of this delicious Thai beef soup.Its the beef offal that adds taste.Beef offal and diced beef makes up Tom Zap.
Grilled beef with Thai Sauce- the beef is meant to be bland! If the beef has taste already there would be no point in the sauce. Beef, chicken etc is always thinly sliced so as to enhance flavour Thai style. Quite different from Sri Lankan beef or chicken curry where pieces are large.
Expensive Thai food.
Tom Yum specializes in Thai street food. We think it's some of the best Thai around.
සිංහල වෙන නැත්නම් හොඳේ… ඇයි අප්ප, බඩ ගින්නට කන්න කියල ගියා… මෙන්න එනව හුණ්ඩුවක් වගේ කෑම එකක්. යකා නගින්නැද්ද කියන්නකො, ඈ…
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