Walking north down 9th avenue around 45th street, you might notice something a little odd. Look, there’s a restaurant called Yum Yum. Walk a couple more steps and look, another place called Yum Yum. Then cross the intersection at 46th street and yup, you guessed it, there’s a place right on the corner called Yum Yum. What’s going on here?!
What makes the situation even weirder is that the restaurants aren’t directly next-door to each other–there are other places in between them. My first thought was that this Yum Yum wanted to expand but couldn’t rent out locations next to each other so they just made do, but upon closer inspection, I realized that they all had different names. Yum Yum Bangkok, Yum Yum Too, and Yum Yum 3.
Reading their website, I found out the story behind it all. The overarching company is called the Yum Yum Group, and they decided to open 2 more locations in order to meet the demand of their customers. I thought that the proximity of these three places and similarity of their names just meant that they were all the same, but not so. According to their website, Yum Yum Too serves “ever changing Southeast Asian Fusion,” while Yum Yum 3 specializes in Thai noodles and dishes.
After walking with a friend down 9th ave, looking for some Asian food, we decided to stop and do some yelping on our phones. Then out of nowhere a random guy on a bike stopped right by us asked if we needed help. 1) Woah, that was very kind/assertive of this guy. 2) Most New Yorkers will give you directions if you need them, but I’ve never known one to just stop riding a bike because we looked like we were searching for something. We could’ve just been hardcore focused on our texting! That’s plausible enough in this city.
Well, we ended up telling him that we were just trying to find some good Asian food in the area and he promptly recommended Yum Yum, saying that it was right up ahead and we couldn’t miss it. Yeah, it’s hard to miss something when there are three of them in a row! We decided that this guy seemed so eager to help that we might as well take his suggestion, and we made our way to the cluster of Yum Yums. We ended up going to the one furthest north/away from where we started because it seemed to be the least packed, even though all of them had plenty of people inside. I guess Yum Yum Group was right in deciding that their patrons needed more Yum Yums in their life!
Yum Yum Too offers a dinner special where you can order off a prix fixe menu and get a soup, appetizer, garden salad, entree, and dessert…all for around $17. That’s a steal! I chose the galanga coconut soup, spring rolls, flat noodles (I wish I could remember what kind specifically but I can’t), and coconut sorbet.
Definitely a filling and delicious meal, made even better by the affordable price tag. That stranger on a bike did not steer us wrong! If you don’t go with the prix fixe option, you’re still in for a good meal on the cheap with noodle dishes priced around $7 to $9 and most other entrees being around $11 to $13. There’s also a lunch special where you can get three courses for around $8. Yum Yum: the restaurant that keeps on giving!
Now that I realize that each Yum Yum is actually its own separate thing, I’ll have to go back and see how the others compare, but I’m sure they all stick to they same goal of being affordable, which I salute. After all, a restaurant group must know what they’re doing if they can open three places called Yum Yum in Hell’s Kitchen, all next to each other and all filled with customers. Go Yum Yum!
Galanga coconut soup, Thai garden salad, spring rolls, flat noodles, coconut sorbet
662 9th Ave
New York, NY