Alan Yau recent opening is a Bangkok cafe in London, called Naamyaa Cafe which is located in Islington. It is a restaurant that serve food with Bangkok inspiration, but if you stripe it all down then to me it feel just like Oriental cusine with a slight twist.
When I walked in to Naamyaa Cafe it instantly reminded me of Cha Cha Moon (another restaurant that was bought to us by Alan Yau). But Naamyaa Cafe lightings are brighter which gives us that feel of a cafe. Unlike Cha Cha Moon or Busabi Eathai it has banish the communal tables for individual table. That definitely gets my thumb up.
The menu has a range of starters, rice noodles, salads dishes. There is even suki set which is a Thai styled hotpot. There are even burgers and fries on the menu, which is interested. The name of the burger does not seem to be any thing special, but it does have me wondering would there be a Oriental twist to these burgers.
We started our dinner with the pandan chicken wings. Although maybe be we should have gone with the waitress suggestion for the BBQ wings. But we wanted some thing with more oriental flavour that we choice the pandan chicken wings. They were dry mini chicken wings and we could not taste any pandan.
Satay Gai which is basically a chicken satay. It is not a dish that I found special but I prefer this over the chicken wings.
The interesting dish that evening was the White Bait, which is not a usual dish that you will find in London. It is defintely a good dish for a snack.
After starting our dinner with some dishes from the small plates and snacks, we moved on to our next course. We each ordered a dish for ourself and there was a range of noodle and rice dishes.
I want for Hainanese chicken rice which was served with the expected soya sauce, chilli sauce and a bowl of chicken soup. I felt the plate of chicken and rice with slices of cucumber was missing something and lacking presentation.
You have the option to add a fried egg to your dishes but I requested for a boiled egg which the restaurant was happy to do. Half of the egg plated with the chicken rice just seem to make this dish look much happier.
In terms of taste it would not be the best Hainanese chicken that I have had in London. But at least it was a corn-fed chicken and not just a normal boiled chicken. I found the chicken soup that come served with the dish was too oily.
Apart from the white baits, the stir-fried soft shell crab rice was another interetsing dish. Although I personally think there was too many large quatity of sliced cucumber in the dish.
For this dish we added a fried egg which I think is a good combination with the dish.
We finished our meal by sharing a slice of pandan cake sereved with ice cream. It was a beautifully baked soft pandan cake, but I personally preferred it if it was not as sweet.
Overall the food was okay but I felt that some of the Chinese dishes are better left to have in London Chinatown. However, there are some dishes which are more unique and would be a reason for me to return.
It is a nice casual restaurant with rice and noodle dish around about £10 per dish. However,
The service that evening does need improving as it was very slow and took us a while before we could get attention of staff. However, with a few disappoint points it is a nice casual restaurant which is opened in the morning for brunch to evening for dinner.
407 St John Street,