Whilst walking along Swanston Street, you may see a big yellow sign with some Chinese words and underneath ‘Vegetarian Cuisine’ in green writing. This is your queue to keep on walking. If you end up travelling up to Level 3 in Noodle Kingdom’s elevator, then unfortunately you have missed the queue and you will be welcomed by Gong Din Lin’s sterile surroundings.
In fact, the list of dishes is so astounding that I can’t even advise you what the name of the dish I ordered was. I can confirm that it was a soup, with bok choy, and Chinese mushrooms with hokkien noodles in vegetable stock. The ingredient that is really throwing me here is the golden coloured puffs of funghi or dumpling.
I’m going to lay it on the line here, I didn’t like the soup, nor the venue that brought to mind a hospital. There was an odd scent in the air and the general feeling of being in that restaurant was bleak. I sat close to the window, spilling my noodle soup on the butcher’s paper, anxious to leave. In one’s view, I will not be returning here. However, those that are interested in vegetarian and vegan cuisine should pay Gong De Lin a visit as there are copious amounts of other dishes to try.
At about 4.00pm on a Friday afternoon a friend and I decided to dine in at Yim Yam’s Thai Laos Restaurant in Ascot Vale.
We parked at Nando’s and thought screw it, Nando’s aren’t going to tow our car if we don’t buy a peri peri burger and walked to Yim Yam’s. We were pleasantly surprised at the wonderful decor and Thai/ Laos art work in the venue. The venue was bright and the table clothes were white, giving the place a fresh vibe and expensive feeling as you sat down. The service was friendly and the food came out quick.
I ordered the typical Thai dish, Satay Vegetable & Tofu Stir fry $12.90 and Bread Roti Bread $3.50. Clearly this was the best $16.40 I have spent on Thai food in Melbourne/ ever. I can see why Matt Preston gave it a good review in the Age in 2006 and so many more Yim Yam Restaurants have opened up since then in the inner-north suburbs of Melbourne.
The steamed veggies and tofu was stir-fried to perfection, and the spicy satay sauce was mild (perfect). Crispy and soft all at once, the roti bread was also perfect.
I tried the Tofu Satay Skewers, costing $6.90, which tasted very much the same as the tofu in my stir-fry, only crispier. Delicious!
As my friend and I had both just come back from a Christmas lunch, we could barely finish half of our food so I asked to get the leftovers as take away. This wasn’t a problem at all, so I also indulged in the number 43- a rich, authentic Thai dish, Vegetable and tofu Green Curry for lunch the next day.
Right this second, I am craving Yim Yam’s and I’m going to try to Yarraville restaurant tonight for take away. I have faith the Yarraville Restaurant is just as pleasing to my taste buds.
I recommend Yim Yam’s to everyone – especially lovers of high quality and fresh Thai food with Laos influences.
I must try the Yum Yim Yam next time, a dish exclusive to Yim Yam’s- a deliciously creamy and sweet warm salad with shredded banana blossom.
BRB calling the Yarraville shop now.
Tofu Don – I like the place, very cool. Perhaps too cool. And trendy. Ordered the Tofu curry. Wasn’t too impressed, was like Don Don’s veggie curry but less fishy and with almonds. So wouldn’t get this again. Also their bowls are too flat to eat the rice out of properly with chopsticks,
Would try the tofu veggie burger next time.
Oh and I love that they sell potato salad, I can’t find this anywhere and Japanese make amazing potato salad! Will also get this one day