This Saturday that passed was very hot, felt like we had skipped Spring and went right into summer. With that being said, I was quite thirsty by the time we had entered the Hyde Park Corner Shopping Mall. We made our way to the lower level of the mall toward the So Yum restaurant, where we were greeted and welcomed by Keith, the hospitable maître d’, and seated by our waiter, Amigo.
First things first…yes, I mean drinks
I needed a few minutes to study the drinks menu to decide on what I thought the best cocktail would be to quench my thirst; but I also wanted it to look pretty at the same time….yeah, typically me, if you know me!
After some contemplation, I decided to order the Pink Grapefruit and Mint Cocktail: Tanqueray gin shaken with pink grapefruit extracts, fresh mint and lemon. Served tall and charged with tonic water. I was a bit reluctant about the tonic water as I am not a fan. Thankfully for me, I soon found out that this cocktail was both refreshing and delicious….and it looked pretty too!
There is an excellent variety of starters to choose from on the menu. I chose the spicy fish cakes, which was…well, spicy but still delicious. If you have a preference for spicy food, I would definitely recommend trying this out.
My husband ordered the crispy prawn spring rolls, which was prepared to perfection, crispy on the outside with succulent prawns on the inside. This was complemented with a delicious sweet chilli sauce…..extra chilli, of course.
Both of the starters brought back fond memories of our trip to Thailand, with familiar tastes and flavours.
How could we come to So Yum and not have dim sum, I wondered? Nope, I had to try them. I chose the “gau” – prawns as well, with three variations of soy sauce. I had only tried dim sum once before, a few years ago, too long ago for me to remember the experience.
This time however, I have to say that I am unfortunately not a dim sum fan. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there was anything wrong with it – I think it’s an acquired taste – the texture is unique. It was well presented and I think if you have never tried dim sum, you should, just for the experience of it.
The menu compromised of a wide variety of Asian-fusion dishes. Amigo advised against the Thai Green Curry or the Red Curry, as the restaurant has been using a new coconut milk and customer feedback has not been positive. They are busy rectifying the situation, so I would recommend checking with the waiter before ordering these items. However, I did appreciate Amigo’s honesty in this regard.
After much deliberation, I opted for the Peking Duck, which was served with mandarin pancakes, cucumber, carrot, spring onion and hoisin sauce. My husband ordered the Beef Basil which was stir fried beef with basil and chilli – hot of course, extra chilli to be exact.
My husband, who had never used chopsticks before, somehow learned to do so within a minute or two and managed to finish his entire meal with only chopsticks. According to him, the use of chop sticks is highly recommended, as it definitely adds to the dining experience.
I, on the other hand…well literally – the right one, thoroughly enjoyed my meal, even without the use of chopsticks. The duck was cooked to absolute perfection, with a slight crisp on the edges and delicious succulent meat inside. The pancakes lined with the hoisin sauce and folded with the veggies and Peking Duck was divine.
With multiple drinks, starters and a main meal, I don’t usually have space for dessert. But this was an exception…so I opted for the cheesecake, one of my absolute favourites. The preparation and presentation was perfect, and an ideal accompaniment to my meal.
My husband ordered a mango sorbet, which, in his opinion, is the perfect dessert after a spicy Asian meal. It was extremely rich in flavour, with a delectable texture and vibrant colour. 100% real mango flavour…… there was no indication of artificial colourants or flavourants.
As we were there somewhere between lunch and dinner, it was not too busy, and there were only a few patrons. I liked the general ambience…the setting was definitely intimate, and should be quite enjoyable in the evenings. You have the option to either sit inside or outside of the restaurant, depending on your mood and personal preference.
Amigo smiled and greeted and correctly placed our orders, which we didn’t have to wait too long for. I do however think more emphasis is required on customer service. Not just to serve customers, but to go the extra mile – to say and do the things that makes them want to come back. The type of service where you are offered other options, or affirm meal selections. We also had to wait long in between servings to place the next order, so more attention could be given to refilling my glass before I ask for it, for example.
My husband gives it a 4 out of 5 and I give it a 3.5 out of 5. I would have given it a 4 if the service was above average, as I have absolutely no complaints about the food. I would most certainly go back to try out some of the other interesting things on the menu.
SO YUM Contact Details:
Lower level, Hyde Park Corner
Cnr Smuts Ave & William Nicol Dr
Hyde Park, Johannesburg
011 325 5360
Disclaimer: We were hosted by So Yum but my honest opinions are my own.