Yum Som (CLOSED)
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A Leadenhall Street spot specialising in Asian-inspired dishes.
Please note, Yum Som has now closed. Time Out Food editors, September 2018.
Healthy eating may be all the rage now, but it can still be hard to find thrilling salad options at lunchtime, especially when it’s cold out and your stomach’s crying for comfort food. Luckily, now there’s Yum Som.
Let’s get the cons out the way first: this cafe-restaurant-takeaway is perched on a rather unlovely bit of Leadenhall Street, and is only open on weekdays, clearly targeting the city crowd. But it’s a large, calm and aesthetically pleasing spot (designed by Russell Sage, who also worked on Dishoom and The Grain Store), dominated by a sprawling counter with fresh ingredients on display. Describing its food as ‘fresh Asian flavours’, it nicks culinary inspiration from all over. There are Vietnamese-inspired baguettes,Malaysian laksa noodle soups, and a selection of sweet snacks.
What people were really queuing up for, however, was the salads, all at £6. Choose from a range of inventive options, like Napa Slaw – pork belly, rice noodles, cashew and tamarind – and Som-O Classic, prawns, rice noodles, pomelo, peanuts and sweet lime. We ordered Tofu Yoyo, bursting with fragrant herbs and salad leaves, topped with sesame seeds. You dig through this for the good stuff beneath, in this case lightly-battered tofu and soba noodles tossed in an impossibly creamy, sticky-sweet sesame dressing. Ripe avocado and juicy cherry tomatoes added further contrast and bite. Combined with a pleasingly umami-ish miso soup (£2), it was a feast – and filling to boot.
Work near Leadenhall Street? It would practically be a sin not to try this lovely place. And if you don’t work nearby, think about sneaking out for a long lunch.