Restaurant News & Reviews

'Yum' is their promise

In the mood for something yummy? Two new Asian restaurants promise to deliver just that. They tell you so right up front, in their names.

Yum Yum Thai Cuisine (1861 N. Harrison Ave.; 677-1166; opened late last month in Cary's Harrison Square, in the space formerly occupied by Shanghai Garden. Owner/chef Ketkanok Kambang also owns Thai Villa in South Hills Plaza -- which, coincidentally, celebrates its 10th anniversary this month.

At her new restaurant, Kambang's menu offers more than a dozen soups, appetizers and Thai salads, from the ubiquitous saté and fresh basil rolls to less common fare such as the deep-fried vegetable dish, pak tod. You'll find all the usual suspects -- and a few unusual ones, including an exceptional vegetarian selection -- among the chef's broad offering of curries and noodle dishes, too, as well as an assortment of "chef's favorites" such as roast duck with pineapple in red curry. Kambang has given a few of her dishes catchy pseudonyms such as Shrimp Bikini (wrapped in wonton skins and deep-fried) and The Abyss (mixed seafood curry), but you shouldn't have any trouble recognizing your favorites. Clear descriptions, including the default spice level (which can be adjusted to taste), are given for all dishes. Yum Yum Thai Cuisine serves lunch and dinner daily.

In Garner's Cleveland community near Interstate 40 and N.C. 42, Yummi Japan (87 Glen Road; 772-8871) is open daily for lunch and dinner in Swift Creek Plaza. The restaurant is geared to takeout but does offer a small seating area. At any rate, Yummi Japan is by all accounts a welcome addition to the local scene, where Japanese restaurants are scarce.

The menu is limited but covers the traditional bases of sushi, noodle soups and steakhouse fare. According to early reports, hibachi dishes in particular are living up to the restaurant's "Yummi" billing. And you can't beat the prices. Everything on the menu costs less than $10.