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A word from our kitchen

Lylah, our head cook and the founder of Yim Yam has a long family history around food and cooking. Growing up on her parent’s prawn farms near Bangkok, Lylah learnt from a young age to select and cook the freshest and best quality ingredients. She has lived in both Thailand and Laos, and developed a passion for the nuances of both types of cuisine.

According to Lylah, Lao food is a community based, village-style cuisine, simply prepared, without a lot of coconut milk. The tastes are spicy, earthy, often hot and strongly flavoured with lots of fresh herbs. Lao food typifies a culture based on village life and the welcome of a strong community. Ingredients are produced in local gardens or gathered from the forest, and all meals are shared among with family and guests. Typical Lao dishes on this menu are the Spicy Sausage Plate, Waterfall Beef Salad, Creamy Seafood Coconut Curry and of course, the classic and sensational Green Papaya Salad. Sticky rice is the staple food of Lao cuisine and the perfect accompaniment to all Lao dishes.

In comparison, Thai food can be richer in taste, elaborate in preparation and have a more cosmopolitan flavour. There are many ways to make the most simple or common dish in Thailand. In fact, Thais may well be the French of Asia. Thai people have a passion for food, are all gourmets and culinary innovators, from the humble rice farmer and street vendor, to parents and grandparents buying from the market and cooking for their families at home, to the best chefs in five star Bangkok restaurants. Thais can take something local and simple and turn it into a gastronomic event. Typical Thai dishes are the well-known, Green Chicken Curry, Basil Stir-Fry, Tom Yum Soup and not to forget the famous Pad Thai Noodles.

Lylah has some unique dishes she has either developed herself or is introducing at Yim Yam for you to experience. Yum Yim Yam is a deliciously creamy and sweet warm salad with shredded banana blossom that has to be tasted to be believed, Spicy Sausage Plate served with Luang Pra Bang Dip – the famed earthy, hot chili jam from the former Laotian Royal Capital and the Vientiane Salad, a dish from the streets of the capital of Laos, delicious and once tried, never forgotten.Lylah’s enthusiasm for Lao and Thai food has culminated in the Yim Yam concept.

Originally set up as a take-away kitchen in Yarraville in 2006, demand saw it expand to a full restaurant. In June 2008  a second Yim Yam opened in Moonee Ponds with even more new and authentic Thai and Laos dishes. The original Matt Preston review in October 2006′s Epicure said “The name means “smile” in Thai and dagnabbit if we don’t leave this Yarraville cafe, with its roaring takeaway trade, grinning like idiots.”

Traditional Lao and Thai family meals are centred around three dishes; a curry, a stirfry or warm salad and soup to moisten the rice. Yim Yam also has specials menu with seasonal or unusual dishes, so come on in and try them out!