Outcome: Majority Verdict
Ratio Decidendi: Don’t let the gimmicky name and hard hats worn by the kitchen staff fool you, Yok Yor is a legit Thai food joint serving street-style food. The place is packed with locals (well internationals) all happily chatting in Thai inbetween mouthfuls of rice and noodles and unlike most places in Australia, their ‘spicy rating’ scale is configured to Asian taste buds (as I found out the hard way).
Scope of discovery: Boat Noodle Soup ($9.90) , 3 ‘chilli rating’ level spicy rice noodle Soup, Durian Sticky Rice.
Case Note: Best rendition of kuay tiow Reua (aka boat noodle soup) that I’ve tried. The broth here sets this place apart – there’s no mistaking the bold beefy flavour, and they haven’t skimped on the herbs and spices either. You only have to look (and smell it) to know it’s legit. Generous with ingredients but the kuay tiow seemed to disappear all too quickly – probably the only gripe that I have about this.
Embarrassingly I can’t remember the name of the dish I ordered on my first visit (below). I was after something a bit different and thought the combination of rice noodles with thai eggplant, sliced cucumber and beansprouts in a spicy sauce fit the bill nicely. With the 20-20 vision of hindsight I should have gone the conservative boat noodle soup route, but after the waitress warned me about the spicyness, I couldn’t help myself (I love my chilli).
To be honest I don’t remember all that much about the dish – other than the profuse sweating and being on the verge of tearing inbetween sips (or should I say gulps) of milk tea. I’d like to think that I have a high tolerance for chilli but this was quite a different level. Despite the balancing effect of the cucumber and beansprouts, I struggled to appreciate the underlying flavours as the heat overpowered everything for me. I wouldn’t go so far as to say don’t order this – there will be others with a higher tolerance – but let’s just say you’ve been warned! I’ve learnt from trying clear soup tom yum that colour isn’t always indicative of heat – but the redness in the gravy tastes exactly what it looks like.
Obiter Dicta: Desserts here appear to be a level below the mains. I haven’t yet found one that I’d order again, the closest contender being the durian sticky rice dessert (and even then I suspect it’s more down to my love of durian). Unlike the traditional mango and sticky rice which is served in a ‘deconstructed’ fashion, this was more of a sweet soup served warm with bits of durian and sticky rice. No complaints, but nothing to really blog about either.