Monday, January 04, 2010
Yum Thai: The Best Thai Restaurant in Seoul by Charlie Brennan
By Charlie Brennan
As the owner/chef of a small Thai food business back home I have been disappointed to find Seoul Thai eateries failing to deliver on even a basic level.
In truth, I have stopped visiting Thai restaurants in Seoul and will only visit following a specific recommendation. Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I urge you to visit YUM THAI near Sinsa Station.
Our appetizers cheerfully signalled the start of fine dining experience. Fresh spring rolls were an excellent start; uncooked, the fresh vegetable contents cleared the palate whilst the sweet chilli sauce provided a pleasant foretaste of what was to come. The deep fried spring rolls were plain in flavour but had a crispy texture. The king of the starters was the prawn balls, which took me straight back to the land of smiles.
The dishes arrived in perfect order. The Stir Fried Vegetables with Oyster Sauce and the Stir Fried rice with Seafood both seemed a little bland at first. The smokiness of the Oyster Sauce was absent and lacking in saltiness. However, the more I returned to these dishes, I came to appreciate the simplicity more each time. Both dishes would be great as a complement to a spicier dish and at YUM THAI there are quite a few.
I recommend the Red Curry with Roast Duck and pineapple. This dish has beautiful, lush coconut milk broth that smells of citrus. The richness of the duck is offset by delightful chunks of sweet pineapple. The Chilli Chicken was also superb, if I thought the chef had lost his Oyster Sauce bottle, he surely found it now. The dish is spicy, smoky, salty. This was another dish that brings back the memories of Thailand.
My personal favourite was for the Paneang Beef Curry. Never have I achieved in my own cooking a sauce so thick and so creamy as to taste- it tasted as if it was filled with a million bubbles. The Paneang Beef Curry flavours: Kaffir lime, chilli, the velvety coconut broth, the crisp vegetables and savory beef all rushed to the fore and staged a coup on my tongue. I for one laid down my defences immediately and surrendered to pure delight.
Go out Sinsa Station Exit 1 and walk straight for about 3 minutes. Across from J-Tower.
The best Thai restaurant in the city.
Here are some other blog posts on Yum Thai: