Last week, I had the most entertaining meal of my life. A group of around 12 men arrived at the Yo’Thai, an Asian restaurant attached to Kiely’s in the south Dublin suburb of Mount Merrion, to line our stomachs for a stag party.
We had booked the Teppanyaki table, where a chef cooks your food in front of you. It’s quite a show: lots of pots, pans and jars thrown in the air, acrobatics with food, fire, and laughs from the two chefs.
The Teppanyaki menu is more about the shiny lights than the food itself. For €33.50 per head, you get a starter and a main. We had a combination of fish, beef and chicken, cooked up with fried rice right in front of us. The food was flavoured with some Asian and not so typically Asian tastes: as well as soy sauce, we noticed garlic butter, wine, and – I think – even brandy being thrown into the mix. Somehow it still worked: really juicy and bursting with strong flavours. There’s also a starter of miso soup for everybody, as well as a selection of grilled vegetables.
This is a restaurant with a sense of humour. When our group of 12 arrived to line our stomachs for a stag party, we were greeted by the maitre’d who asked us all for our names. For the duration of the meal, he remembered each and every name and looked after us as though were guests in his own home.
The service here is second to none. Nobody needed to ask for anything: water and wine were topped up throughout the evening. The waiters seemed to appear magically without being called, although none of us had that awful sense of the staff lurking around watching us.
A few years ago, we mentioned to the waiter at the Yo’Thai that it was my sister’s birthday. The entire staff came out to sing happy birthday and, 20 minutes later, we were in stitches: they were still there, with songbooks and guitars belting out Abba songs. I think they still do this. Any excuse for a show.
With the stag party intent on drinking the restaurant dry, the divided bill worked out at about €60 per head. I think that €33.50 for a starter and a main is probably about right for what you get: good food, great entertainment, and outstanding service. The Yo Thai also do a special lunch menu: €12.50 for two courses.