Although I live south of the river Thames it’s seldom I ever need to visit Croydon. Pictures of relatively new restaurant Yumn Brasserie’s burgers enticed me into making the not so long journey to South Croydon, a family birthday being the perfect excuse. So we all went along 4 of us plus my 3 children. Yumn Brasserie’s cuisine can be classed as modern French, the clue being in the title!
As soon as I walked into Yumn, I fell in love with it and started worrying about my children being out of place. Then I saw a kids menu which immediately made me feel better. The decor certainly has the wow factor and sets the scene for a fine dining restaurant. But is it fine dining? Not quite but it’s certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the type of restaurants that are fully halal. I say fully halal as I’m assured no alcohol is used in the cooking which is a rare and fantastic thing for this kind of food. There is a dubious looking Champagne and Sorbet course but apparently you can substitute with a mocktail. Yumn also declare their love for local and seasonal produce. So how is the food?
Best Dish: Profiteroles from the kids menu (£2.95). These took a while to come, and then when I tasted them I realised why; they were freshly baked in-house. Delicious..order even if you don’t have kids! In fact all the three choices of kids meals (£7.50) — roast chicken, burger and fish&chips were all great quality large portions, and were enjoyed by the kids (and the adults who finished them off!).
Disappointing: Scallops starter (£10.50): A plate of 3 scallops presented beautifully felt a bit scant, hoping that the taste would make up for it, it didn’t. The scallops were just about cooked, and I can probably make better scallops at home. Do I sound like your Aunty?
Recommended: Yumn Burger (£13.50). This burger comes with a hefty 10oz patty. The good news is that the beef is really well seasoned and moist. The bun was way too dry though, by half way I took the top half of the bun off and ate the rest. More thousand island sauce was definitely needed too, with a bit of tweaking this burger would be on point. We also had the pulled meat burger which believe it or not was too meaty for any of us as it has the 6oz patty and pulled beef..perhaps just having the pulled beef would produce a better burger?
Service: Very slow. It was a Friday night and the restaurant was full so food arrived after an hour of us being seated but it took them about 20 mins to come and take our order. Anything that we asked for took ages, even an extra spoon.
Other dishes ordered included the Josper Fusion Grill (£15.50) which was really dry and lacking spice of much flavour. The cocktails were fantastic, refreshing and hit the spot. I ordered a Mojito (as usual) which was sweet, tangy and fizzy in the right proportions, I enjoyed every drop of it. We ordered 5 different cocktails and they were all super yummy.
I really loved the Yumn Brasserie menu, there’s lots of variety and interesting dishes on the menu like ‘Surf n Turf’, Chateaubriand steak which I’ve never seen a halal version of in England and roast duck, so I would like to visit again to try something else. One thing that didn’t sit with me very well was the big halal sign on the menu and then the recommended wines under each item. I felt this is unnecessary and just odd.
The restaurant, the food and the menu looks the part but the management needs to improve combinations/flavours and the service. Whilst there’s no doubt that the ingredients used were fresh and of good quality, Yumn hasn’t quite got it yet. However with some trial and error, Yumn could become a really special place. I am eager to try their Sunday Brunch menu which is more reasonable at £21.95 for 4 courses.
Halal Status: All meat and dishes halal as stated on menu. Alcohol: Y, Pork: N.
Address: 69 – 71 Southend
Tel: 0208 681 2336
Parking: Available on side streets after 6.30pm.
Cost: £££ The bill came to £120 for 4 adults and 3 kids. On Sundays there is a special £22 four course meal.