YUU YEN

1166 Glen Huntly Rd
Carnegie, VIC 3163

As great as the Thai food scene is getting in Melbourne these days, I feel like there’s still something missing. Although I’ve had a lot of tasty food around town, I’ve yet to have a meal that transported me to the streets of Thailand like Chat Thai did. Yuu Yen is here to fill that gap.

(1) Interior

(2) Table

Opened by Cookie-expat Kawee, Yuu Yen is a tiny but homely Thai restaurant just three weeks young (probably more like 5 weeks by the time this is posted though), right by Glen Huntley Station. Emboldened by Cookie’s success, Kawee was keen to bring more of the real Thailand to Australia. ‘We cook what we like to eat!’ he declared proudly.

Pulled Pork Spring Rolls ($6.9, 4pcs)

Pulled Pork Spring Rolls ($6.9, 4pcs)

Though I’m not one for icky greasy spring rolls, the Pulled Pork Spring Rolls ($6.9, 4pcs) were a different breed altogether. The parchment-like skin held five-spice pork in aromatic chunks, with a side of sweet chili for dipping. This is actually a spring roll worth eating.

(4) Chicken

Hat-Yai Fried Chicken ($7.9, 4pcs)

Fried chicken is my weakness, and although I’m familiar with the Korean, Chinese, Hong Kong, Japanese, and American styles, Hat-Yai Fried Chicken ($7.9, 4pcs) is a novelty. If I had to compare, I would say this is closest to Korean; the batter is hot, crisp, and sparing, fried meticulously so that the chicken is juicy and tender. It is then gently seasoned with fried shallots, and their (relative) lightness meant that you could easily down a plate, dipped in chili mayo, without noticing.

Red Curry with Pot-Roasted Duck ($15.9)

Red Curry with Pot-Roasted Duck ($15.9)

Red Curry with Pot-Roasted Duck ($15.9)

Red Curry with Pot-Roasted Duck ($15.9)

Our mains were kicked off with a glorious Red Curry with Pot-Roasted Duck ($15.9). Moist, succulent slices of duck were cooked in a rich curry sauce, carefully balanced between sweet, creamy, and mouth-numbing spices. The addition of pineapple and lychees to the usual vegetables made it feel extra ‘street’, and it was immensely satisfying with both Steamed Jasmine Rice ($2.9) and Roti Bread ($3.9).

Smoked Trio-Chili Fried Fish ($16.9)

Smoked Trio-Chili Fried Fish ($16.9)

Smoked Trio-Chili Fried Fish ($16.9)

Smoked Trio-Chili Fried Fish ($16.9)

There was also seafood. The Smoked Trio-Chili Fried Fish ($16.9) carried a punch of flavor, the crisp barramundi fillets drenched in a spicy-sweet caramelized chili jam, and the fresh undertone of coriander root. I found the side veggies lacking however; steamed broccoli and cabbage just doesn’t seem to be a fair companion to the vivacity of the fish.

Char-Fried Prawns with Fresh Mixed Herbs ($14.9)

Char-Fried Prawns with Fresh Mixed Herbs ($14.9)

To finish up, we were treated to a plate of Char-Fried Prawns with Fresh Mixed Herbs ($14.9). The prawns were tossed quickly through a sizzling wok, and the resulting crustaceans were firm and bouncy, with a rich smokiness. Herbs and spices of all manner were used liberally, the complex aromas of peppercorn and basil released by the oil and heat. The only thing I didn’t understand was the portion size; there were only 5 prawns in the entire dish, and that was especially odd given that the duck and fish were both fairly portioned.

(10) Food

Although I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, there is something about Yuu Yen that made it special. It was indeed unlike all the other Thai meals I’ve had around Melbourne, and I can definitely taste Cookie’s influence in the bold, complex flavours. It is worth the trip for sure, especially if you’ve been disappointed with the westernized Thai food Melbourne has offered up so far.

Rating: 14/20 – breath of fresh air.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Yuu Yen.

Yuu Yen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Asian  Carnegie  Just A Bit Special ($15-$30)  Thai  Victoria 



Comments (4)


  • Laura

    on 12 October 2015 @ 11:48 am:

    That last prawn dish looks great Ming! Have you tried Pok Pok?


    • ming

      ming

      on 12 October 2015 @ 08:35 pm:

      Hi Laura! I have indeed tried Pok Pok, though I think I made the mistake of ordering two very similar dishes. I did like it, but I felt like the food at Yuu Yen had a bit more soul :)


  • Fil

    on 19 November 2015 @ 08:59 am:

    Hi Ming, and welcome to my local Thai Takeaway :-). This place also does a discount on takeaway between 5-7pm (10% off). Fil


    • ming

      ming

      on 19 November 2015 @ 08:40 pm:

      You lucky duck! Although I usually tend to prefer to more exotic Thai dishes, I would love to give their pad thai a crack

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