Last Friday we made a long overdue return to Collingwood's Yim Yam. Though they looked busy out the front and it was too cold for the courtyard, a waiter led us downstairs where there were still plenty of tables available. The menu doesn't appear to have changed substantially though it's difficult to tell when it runs to 91 items, many of them helpfully annotated with vegetarian-friendly Vs. (Vegans and others with dietary requirements are encouraged to speak to the staff, though Yim Yam don't guarantee 100% gluten-free food.)
Though I knew I should be ordering something new for the amusement of our readership, I selfishly returned to the toasted rice & coconut salad ($12.90). Sweet and chewy misshapen hunks of crusty rice are as darling as they sound deformed, elevating fried rice to centrepiece status. I really must insist that you order this too.
We backed it up with coconut rice ($4) and Gang Khi Lek ($13.90), "a curry dish made with khi lek (cassia leaves) which are very bitter, but when cooked with coconut milk and curry spices alchemically transforms to deliciousness". Indeed there was no bitterness and plenty deliciousness to be had.
I topped off the meal with a couple scoops of coconut ice cream ($5). The sweet elastic gelato-textured ice cream held the occasional bite of young coconut flesh, and a sprinkling of toasted coconut added crunch and nuttiness - this was coconut in brilliant 3D.
Yim Yam turned out an excellent, low-key meal - BYO and eat vego and the cost's very reasonable too. Though the service was courteous, it wasn't conscientious - a couple of items were unavailable (intriguing Thai waffle, why do you forsake me?), our entree order didn't make it to the kitchen, waiters rarely checked in on the downstairs dining room, and our bill wasn't correctly itemised on our exit. But our bellies were filled with great food, staff were responsive when we hailed them and for the most part we were happy to dine unattended. We're content to keep it casual at Yim Yam.
You can read about one of our previous visits to Yim Yam here. The Collingwood restaurant has since received positive write-ups on Fitzroyalty and foodie about town.
76 Smith Street, Collingwood
(also in Yarraville, Ascot Vale and Moonee Ponds)
veg dishes: $6.90 - $13.90
Accessibility: The front area has a flat entrance but is fairly crowded. Access to the courtyard and other rooms (plus the toilets) require you to negotiate at least a few steps. The toilets are spacious enough but not necessarily designed with accessibility issues in mind. Ordering takes place at the table, then payment is at a relatively high and crowded counter out the front.