Ying Yang Asian Gastro Bar
The buzz: New modern Asian restaurant Ying Yang Asian Gastro Bar attempts to strike a harmonious balance between original Thai (and Asian) recipes and modern twists. This dichotomy is also reflected in the restaurant’s décor. It’s owned by a group of celebrity friends, Nat Myria, Aum Atichart and Art Sajjakarge, while cocktails are created by a bartending team led by Fahbeer Suchada, a finalist in the local leg of the Bacardi Legacy Competition this year.
The décor: A good hangout vibe. Allan Namchaisiri, president of Zen and the person behind the restaurant’s concept, boasts of balancing “nature and destiny.” The venue contrasts dark, masculine tones with white Chinese-style ceramic art, white large communal tables grant customers a chance to encounter new acquaintances. The room also emphasizes symmetry; with large mirrored walls offering a sense of infinite space. What’s more, the orange spotlights put the white dishes in sharp contrast to your black table.
The food: Asian flavors are the focus, obviously. Food comes in very small portions not ideal for sharing. Opt for the tom saep (duck meat in spicy soup, B125) before moving onto a meat option like the Singapore cracker cups with minced pork, tofu and bamboo shoots (B99) or the confusingly named Cigarette Rolls (pork slices with minced spinach and chili sauce, B69). If you’re vegetarian, try Ying Yang’s mushroom salad (B85). Or if you’re after something heavier, opt for their five-course set menu which takes its inspiration from the signs of the Chinese zodiac.
The drinks: The drinks menu also offers cocktails that reference the 12 astrological signs. For example, those born in the year of the snake are encouraged to try the Madam White Snake (tequila, aloe vera, honey, lime, B199). Otherwise, try something like the recommended Superior Beer Butter (B320) featuring Bacardi superior rum, butterscotch liqueur, peach syrup, lemon juice, and beer. There are a few wine by the glass options starting from B270. Beers are Singha (B99), Heineken (B125) and Corona (B225).
The crowds: Mostly foreigners after a taste of Asia, but some office-workers and youngsters just hanging out, too. Tanyarat Kanjanarat
Modern Asian restaurant Ying Yang Asian Gastro Bar attempts to strike a harmonious balance between original Thai (and Asian) recipes and modern twists. Unfortunately, the results are mostly sub-par, a real pity since the service and décor are just the opposite. Instead of following tired industrial trends, the space goes for a glossy elegance that makes use of shiny black surfaces and antique Asian décor pieces. It’s a long, spacious room, with the mirrored walls giving it a feeling of even greater vastness and the ample space between tables offering a welcome break from the normal noisy, crowded mall-based eateries. Depending on what’s afoot on CentralWorld’s plaza, the ground floor view can also offer some nice people watching opportunities, too. Service is equally polished: a lakorn-worthy cast of ridiculously polite and handsome boys. But as we said earlier, the problem is with the food itself. The menu alone is a bit odd, with its numerous dishes heaped with pork floss or incorporating either tofu or steamed eggs. It’s also organized according to Chinese star signs, a completely unnecessary gimmick. Dry, less-than-fresh scallops, oily fried rice, a tendency to use too much salt, a dish made up of two sad and overcooked shrimps on top of a heap of deep-fried noodles—there’s really not much to recommend here. In fact, it’s probably better to think of this place as a bar where you can nibble on Singapore cracker cups with minced pork, tofu and bamboo shoots (B99) or munch on Cigarette Rolls (pork slices with minced spinach and chili sauce, B69). There’s plenty of booze to wash it all down (wine by the glass from B270), and even creative cocktails (from B199) by Fahbeer Suchada, a finalist in the local leg of the Bacardi Legacy Competition 2013. Ying Yang opened to a storm of paparazzi flashes as its celebrity “partners”—actors Nat Myria, Aum Atichart and Art Sajjakarge plus astrologer Kachapa Tancharoen—introduced Bangkok to their high-gloss concept. Unfortunately, food seems to have been an afterthought for the glam dream team. Today, Ying Yang sits pretty and empty, its 15 minutes of fame very quickly forgotten. Corkage charge B1,000.
|Address:||Ying Yang Asian Gastro Bar, 1/F, CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-10pm|
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