Shop G06, 323 Castelreagh St
Ph : (02) 9280 0013
Sun – Thu: 1100-0100
Fri – Sat: 1100 – 0200
Yok Yor has one of those misleading type of addresses. If, as I did, you launch yourself up that general vicinity of Castlereagh St, expecting it to be immediately obvious, you’ll not find it. Number 323 is a large well-known building, with frontage on three streets. It is on the Campbell Street side, opposite Chilli Cha Cha, that you’ll find this small eatery, its front completely obscured by building work paraphernalia on the day of our visit.
The first thing that strikes you about Yok Yor is its small size. Not uncomfortably so, as tables are decently spaced, but some furniture rearranging would need to occur if there were a number of even medium-sized groups dining there.
Situated at the ‘far’ end of the plethora of Thai restaurants in the Pitt and Campbell Streets area, it is open for quite long hours. The space is informal, and the large menu, with most items clocking in at under $10, reflects this.
I met up with a friend for a lunchtime catch-up, and realised that at least three-quarters of the times we meet for a meal, he orders pork, and if there are dumplings involving pork, he’ll order those.
Twas ever thus…his first pork choice was Kanom Jeeb ($4.50), steamed pork and prawn dumplings with fried garlic and soy sauce. They looked rather like Siu Mai to me, but he enjoyed them thoroughly, particularly the sauce, which added a piquancy which lifted the dumplings.
One of my favourite dishes is the Vietnamese savoury pancake, Bánh xèo. The presence of Kanom Beaung Yourn ($9.50), Thai crispy crepe filled with shredded prawn and coconut, served with cucumber and red onion relish, left me no choice. I had to order it.
Kanom Beaung Yourn
Obviously not quite the same as its Vietnamese counterpart, but with the same core concept, this is a sufficiently large serve to be able to be shared between two. The crepe was crispy, the balance of the filling good (and not dominated by bean sprouts as ‘filler’), though the prawn wasn’t exactly 'shredded', and the coconut not a dominant note. A simple and enjoyable entrée that I’d be happy to eat again.
Kanom Beaung Yourn
I decided to go back to basics, and chose Pad Thai Beef ($8.50) as my main. I hadn’t actually eaten a Pad Thai for over a year, so it was as good a time as any to have one.
This photo does not do justice to the size. It was very generously sized, easily enough for two people to share. Tending towards the sweeter end of the Pad Thai spectrum perhaps, but with a large dash of lemon, quite enjoyable.
Moo Kum Warn
The pork fiend chose 'Moo Kum Warn ($12.50) - sliced grilled pork scotch dressed with nam jim keaw and served with Chinese broccoli, for his main. The broccoli was served, with ice cubes, in a separate bowl. We admit to being somewhat confused at first, as we could work out that meat should be wrapped in the leaves, but the taste combination of cold, slightly damp and basically tasteless greenery with the meat wasn’t all that appealing, so he just skipped the leaves and ate the meat, which he declared to be juicy, perfectly cooked, the nam jim’s hot, sour, salty and sweet notes well balanced.
All up, we ordered one dish too many, but the food was consistently enjoyable. Yok Yor is a welcoming eatery, best suited to quick casual dining, and such good value that when we left, we made plans for a second lunch so that we can make some headway into other items on the menu.