As you open the doors of iYara in South Wimbledon you are hit with the most amazing fragrance of lilies. Your mind immediately thinks about the fact you too need to purchase a lily glade plug in but then you realise where the scent of lilies is actually coming from. The restaurant is literally covered in fresh lilies and for a flower loving romantic like myself you really appreciate the luxurious touch that it brings.
iYara maybe small in size but it is not to be dismissed. When I first read that it had the name tag of being the best Thai in South London I knew I had to give it a go being a Thai food lover. One thing I do recommend is making a reservation. For such a small place there is nowhere to wait should you come on a busy evening like we did.
The menu is what you would expect from a classic Thai offering. On this visit we started off with crispy duck spring rolls and Thai fish cakes. I loved the touch of the orchid and crafty carrot work for presentation. Makes it all that much of a royal experience.
Now, I have never had crispy duck in a spring roll but this was an amazing combination of textures and flavours. The duck was so juicy. It was accompanied by a plum sauce which was sharp yet sweet at the same time. The fish cakes were subtle in taste as they always are yet these ones had an almost lemongrass flavour popping through which made them all the more moorish.
For mains we went for the classics which you can always use to compare Thai food. We had the iYara green curry with chicken and then had the Pad Thai with prawns. I can not say they tasted like all the others we have tried as they were both very different from what you would usually expect making you questions how a green curry and a pad thai should taste. However, it was definitely the best version of whatever it was meant to be. The green curry was a lot less spicy and can be more accurately described as mild. It was a lot more creamy and sweet than the others I have had yet I love every mouthful. The meat was super tender and packed full of flavour.
The pad thai was balanced with sweet and sour which is different from your usual as it is always more of one than the other. The prawns were big and juicy and bigger than the ones you would get in any other Thai restaurant. The peanuts ran all the way through the dish so there was a welcomed crunch through the course of eating.
The portions were big so we happily took home the left overs for lunch the following day.
Definitely worth another visit to try the other offering. If you go on a chilly evening like we did it is best to wrap up warm as it can get a tad drafty but this didn’t spoil our meal.
136 Merton Road, London SW19 1EH