YAH SO – THORNTON HEATH
Average price pp: £20-£25
Yah So, a newly opened bar and grill located adjacent to Thornton Heath High street.
Pictures of Bob Marley and boards of Jamaican parishes were featured inside, along with
bold, vibrant colours that instantly remind you of the Caribbean. A beautiful sink has
also been incorporated inside, so you can wash your hands there instead of going to
the bathroom. Easily the best restaurant design that I have seen.
Now onto the food! I was there at the launch night and sampled some of the menu. You can’t go
wrong with a traditional rum punch! It was sweeter and fruitier than other homemade
ones I’ve had, but this actually made it better, and I enjoyed it very much. Another cocktail
named “Caribbean Dream” was a good dream! It was my friends drink but I wished it was mine.
Exotically mixed it tasted like Heaven and everyone on my table agreed.
A lady kindly let me taste some of her BBQ jerk pork with rice and peas. I’ve been really
loving jerk pork lately and this made me more of a fan. The smokiness from the BBQ flavouring
and the spiciness from the jerk were the perfect combination. For myself, a vegan/vegetarian
Ital stew with rice and peas. For someone who loves meat and has it in nearly every meal,
this was a nice change and very healthy.
I visited Yah So two days later once they had officially opened. Already having sampled
two cocktails and being super impressed, I decided to go for something non alcoholic:
the Mango Madness mocktail. Rich in colour and also rich in flavour this was very energising.
I mean I love anything to do with mangoes. Who doesn’t?
Looking at the food menu I was intrigued. I liked that they put their own Caribbean spin on
traditional European foods, for example the bruschetta of ackee, sun blushed plum tomato
and avocado. Bruschetta being from Italy, and ackee being native to West Africa but heavily
consumed in Jamaica, this dish was unusual but did not fail to deliver. Very light and very
Furthermore, I have two words for the “Pull It Offa De Bone”… Truly Scrumptious! This was
pulled jerk chicken en croute with a cheese gratin. The melted cheese and jerk chicken tasted
amazing together, and the pastry added that extra crispiness.
The vegetable soup was a real Caribbean soup. It was delicious and wonderfully presented.
The peas in this is what did it for me, they were smooth and added a nice texture to the soup.
This also hit home for me as it reminded me of my mum’s own cooking.
As a calamari lover, my face lit up with pure glee when I saw it on the menu! Crispy on
the outside and soft inside it was made well. It could have been hotter in temperature though.
Nevertheless, the dipping sauce made the calamari even more tastier. Those who eat
calamari often know that the sauce is very important, if it’s not right it could ruin the dish
An exciting “Ital but vital salad” had me curious when I saw the ingredients. I have never
seen a salad made like this before. And who would have thought that pumpkin, beetroot
and pine nuts could make a such a powerful mix. Well they do. It was tangy from the beetroot,
slightly sweet from the pumpkin and a roasted flavour was given off from the pine nuts.
A unique taste which I was super impressed by!
Next up, the Bruk Mi Back Ribs. With four options to choose from, I chose jerk BBQ style.
The meat was cooked nice, I just found these to be too salty.
Moving onto the mains, jerk belly pork soaked in apple cider served with apple puree and a
mini apple tart. The puree was sweet, thick and smooth which tasted pleasing with the pork.
I also liked that the pork didn’t have too much fat. On the side of this main, I had a tossed stir
fried rice and peas, this spiced up a custom rice and peas which can sometimes be a bit simple.
Finally dessert. A chocolate Brownie with rum sauce beautifully embellished with cream and a
physalis fruit. The brownie was soft, and good-tasting, but the rum sauce, for me, was too strong.
Nevertheless, the cream was a nice addition to the meal and went well with the brownie, it also
helped balance out the rum sauce!
Summary Ultimately, I was highly impressed by a majority of the dishes that I had to taste at Yah-So. The service was slow and could have been more efficient but I believe that this issue was due to them being newly opened. On the other hand, staff did remain professional, friendly and apologetic, therefore, I would still strongly recommend as a restaurant to try. I believe it will do very well and I will visit in the near future to give an updated review! Stay tuned!
Ultimately, I was highly impressed by a majority of the dishes that I had to taste at Yah-So. The service was slow and could have been more efficient but I believe that this issue was due to them being newly opened. On the other hand, staff did remain professional, friendly and apologetic, therefore, I would still strongly recommend as a restaurant to try. I believe it will do very well and I will visit in the near future to give an updated review! Stay tuned!
All drinks mentioned
Ital but vital salad
Pull it of de bone
Bruschetta of ackee
Jerk pork belly