There’s a golden statue of Nang Kwak, the Thai and Laotian goddess of prosperity, which sits next to the kitchen at Yim Yam. As the explanatory poster next to Nang Kwak says, she is known as the goddess of advantages. Well, there are plenty of advantages in dropping by to sample the delicate Laotian and Thai food served at this casual Smith Street eatery.
Disguised as a simple take-away food joint, Yim Yam is in fact the third restaurant from owners Lylah and Guy Hatfield (the others are in Yarraville and Ascot Vale), all of which sport a similar style with a lack of pretence and a focus on simple food from Lylah’s homeland. Thai and Laotian staff are prompt and punctual as they bring dishes piled with noodles and curry to waiting tables, tightly packed into the small venue.
The menu is expansive – some 103 dishes are on offer. Thai coconut pancakes with shredded pork that is textured like fairy floss, papaya salad (with or without salted crab) and green chicken curry are favourites. Your sticky rice will come in a woven bamboo bag. It’s refreshing food, like something you might get from a street vendor in Laos – authentic, refreshing and no frills.