Yummy Yummy lives up to its name
Thanks to recommendations from the Chowhound board I went to Yummy Yummy on Irving Street and I have to say it lives up to its name.
Located a few blocks west of Seventh Avenue, the décor is simple and the service is good. They don’t take reservations for groups less than five and we were warned if we were five minutes late we would lose our reservation.
We started with egg rolls that were deep fried and crispy and were pretty good. Then came the beef carpaccio. It was at the Slanted Door level. Fresh, flavorful and tender. It was so good we ordered a second dish.
Then came another highlight: Salt and pepper crab. Wonderfully cooked. No one had a problem cracking the shell to suck out the last bit. Everyone else loved the catfish, but I have to wimp out here. I just don't like anything with small fish bones. The only problem with the clams was that being clams there wasn't a lot of meat. The prawns were a mixed lot. The first one I tasted was great. The second was mushy and didn't quite have the flavor.
There were other dishes. Maybe the only dish that misfired was the last one. The table next to us got a sizzling platter of beef. We looked at it, pointed and said, "We want one of those." The beef just wasn't tender and didn't have much flavor
Now in the small world department, two others in the group of five besides me are Chowhounds. Larry Stein came and brought friend Julie. In fact, that's them arriving below if the picture uploads. And while we were eating Julie recognized Chowhound Mark Seiden and sent over a glass of wine.
The five of us were cork dorks. It was an excellent night for wine and Yummy Yummy charges only eight dollars for corkage. Julie brought a 2005 Schoffit Chasselas Vieilles Vignes. . It goes well with Vietnamese food. Larry brought a Trimbach riesling (From the 1990s but I spaced on the year.) I brought a 1990 Weingut Max Ferdinand Richter Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese that was nice and the only dud wine of the night, a 2005 Stadlmann Ziefandler Classic. I loved the 2004 and 2005 Stadlmann Mandel Hoh, but the classic was just to acidic and without much pleasant flavor.
The real stars of the night for wine for me, though, were two Weinbachs brought by Fred, another member of the group. Both were slightly off dry. One was a 1993 Cuvee Theo Riesling. The other was a 1983 Tokay Pinot Gris Cuvee St. Catherine. I thought it was a blend of grapes but Larry pointed out it was just Pinot Gris. Hands down the best pinot gris I've ever had. If pinot gris tasted like this I'd drink it all the time.
We had several excellent dishes and got out of there for $40 each including corkage and a tip. It’s a great place to eat and to bring wine to drink.
1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
On our last visit there it was in the $20 range, and it was awful. Partly our fault, since the crabs in the tank looked dead, but when our waiter suggested it and we asked him if they were recently caught and fresh, he assured us they were. Total waste of money, and frustrating that they denied there was a problem when we complained about how bad it tasted.
I'm sure it's good when fresh, but just make sure you check the tank at the back near the kitchen door/bathrooms before ordering!
Like I said, somewhat our own fault--there were about 3 equally unappealing crabs in the tank. I assumed they had another tank in the kitchen since the waiter was so specific in suggesting that we order the crab, but after tasting it I think what you see is what you get.
Your sharpie question isn't that off base--many asian restaurants with live seafood tanks will respond to specific requests if they aren't super busy.
I've enjoyed a lot of meals at Yummy Yummy, although I've never tried their crab either, and it would not have occurred to me to bring wine there. The banh xeo and banh khot are both very good too. It's a warm neighborhood spot.
I found the Banh Xeo to be quite average, but I'm partial to a crispy crepe. The filling was mostly bean sprouts though, with few shrimp and fatty pork.
The sizzling platter of beef turned out to be Bo Luc Lac, aka Shaking Beef, which we fell victim to. It was totally underseasoned, and could have benefited from a lemon pepper sauce which is served at other places.
The imperial rolls were good though.