Sunday, 12/11/2023 09:51

Koh Yam: your friendly local Thai eatery

THAI TIME: Thai kitchen Koh Yam offers genuine Thai food in Hà Nội. VNS Photos Mỹ Hà

by Nguyễn Mỹ Hà

Cooler weather in autumn makes its call for family, friends or school reunions. Catching up with friends' latest updates around finger foods, especially delicious and new tastes, can be invigorating and joyful. We decided to try Koh Yam, located on the premises of the previous and successful Koh Samui coconut ice cream and Thai desert house. 

With an established clientele faithful to Thai flavours, the expansion was much awaited and welcome. Koh Yam's menu features more than 100 Thai dishes with plenty of tasty finger foods, prepared by a chef with more than 10-year experience cooking Thai food. 

For a starter, we chose the cool seafood glass noodle salad (VNĐ145,000), which was delicious, then came a Pad Thai, which was both tasty and full of nutrients as it has spring sprouts and peanuts. 

SIGNATURE DISH: The Thai version of stir-fry noodles, loved by many Hanoians.

To make the meal last longer as we had much to talk about, we had a pot of fried mushroom with Tom Yum powder, like a mushroom tempura (VNĐ78,000).

The menu still had other finger foods, we want to try when we go there again with kids, such as the Thai grilled chopped shrimp (VNĐ145,000), and crispy chicken nuggets (VNĐ135,000).

A trip to a Thai restaurant cannot be completed without the house salad and dressing. We tried a bestseller, catfish with green mango/papaya salad (VNĐ 138,000). We chose mango for its sour taste, but green papaya offers a sweeter alternative if you don't like it.

Green mango always pairs best with seafood, and southern Việt Nam offers green mango salad with dried shrimp or dried fish. The deep-fried catfish, dubbed the "bird's nest" was crispy and tasted great with the mango. But the fish flavour was not outstanding. Still, it was a great salad.

Other salads on the list looked tempting: grilled pork salad with tamarind sauce (VNĐ128,000) and boneless chicken feet salad (VNĐ119,000). Pork summer rolls with Koh sauce (VNĐ108,000) had the fresh phở pancakes cut into squares for rolling. It was very refreshing after the deep-fried dishes. 

THAI CLASSIC: Green mango salad with fish patties.

The list of mains at Koh Yam looks both big and impressive on sight. Koh Yam spicy pork rib (VNĐ295,000), grilled fillet mignon with Thai Sauce (VNĐ290,000), and the grilled seafood set with Bangkok tamarind sauce (VNĐ225,000) looked inviting at fair prices.

Next time, we'll try the steamed fish fillet with lemon (VNĐ250,000), and the pork hot pot with chim-chum sauce (VNĐ250,000). The special Koh Yam Thai hotpot comes in three sizes, priced at VNĐ368,000, VNĐ468,000 and VNĐ580,000. So don't be intimidated if you only want a small pot with your significant other.

For the moment, we chose to try the house special Koh Yam spicy pork rib island (VNĐ295,000) to share. I didn't know of this dish before Koh Yam, but looking at a waiter bringing the pretty hotpot to the next table, we all wanted to give it a try.

It was actually a big chunk of the backbone, with a little tender meat left on the surrounding ribs. It looked big, but there was a small amount of red meat, set in a delicious stock. Likewise, it was only slightly spicy, so don't let it shy you away if you don't like spicy food. The soup was superb and not spicy at all. 

Next time, I'll definitely try the fish fillet with lemon juice in a hot pot. It looked so tempting. 

RIB: Koh Yam's signature dish, the Spicy Rib Island hot pot on a flame gives a jaw-dropping image, but you're not actually consuming as much meat as you'd think. 

Last but not least, Koh Yam caters to vegans, with a limited offer of vegan dishes on the menu, such as Tom Yum fried rice with vegetables, vegetable curry, pad Thai, stir-fried king oyster mushroom with apricot sauce, stir-fried glass noodle with vegetables and sesame sauce, from VNĐ65,000-75,000 per dish. 

The only wish we had leaving Koh Yam was if that had coconut ice-cream on the menu, or a few sweet broths among many of the Thai popular desserts, like Việt Nam. 

A full lunch shared among co-workers or long-lost friends will set you back between VNĐ200,000 and VNĐ300,000 each. 

Koh Yam on Quang Trung St. is one in a chain of 9 restaurants in Hà Nội, and there are also two in Hồ Chí Minh City. VNS

Thai Kitchen Koh Yam

34a Quang Trung, Hoàn Kiếm Dist. 

Hà Nội

Tel. 096-229-4040

Comment: Great Thai food at reasonable prices

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