Tom Yum Thai & Sushi
104 Patricia Avenue
Dunedin, FL 34698
When Sia and I first moved to Clearwater we had a hell of a time finding a sushi restaurant. From Sia’s tireless research using Google reviews she eventually found a couple acceptable places. Tom Yum was one of those joints. Our first experiences with Tom Yum were via take out.
The prices are average for a sushi place. We both liked the ‘cute’ way they store their silverware/chopsticks in a rolled up napkin with custom embroidery. The restaurant had a number of Buddhist accoutrements, and a very warm interior. As you can see on their sign they have a fat cat waving at you, and to stick with that theme they did have a number of ‘golden paw waving cats’ that many eastern restaurants favor. I’ve considered purchasing some of those cracked out golden cats for my apartment so that I can have frighteningly-large-eyed, ever-waving cats greet any visitors to my humble abode. You’ve gotta make a good first impression, right? Really though, are these statuettes on LSD?
To start we ordered Tuna nachos. The concept was unique to me and the presentation was dead-on but the implementation was slightly off. First, when eating nachos I’ve come to expect something hot or warm in temperature. Due to the Tuna being uncooked the nachos were fairly cold, which is foreseeable. Next, the sauce that the tuna was tossed in was almost cloyingly sweet. Again, this was slightly unexpected as I’ve grown accustomed to cumin and hot peppers getting involved with nachos. The nachos were topped with a spicy mayo that had a kick and really pulled the dish back into the “nacho” realm. In the end, the dish was very good but I felt that the term ‘nachos’ brought me to expect something different from what I received. Despite all my nit-picking and bitching, I would order this dish again.
For our second course we ordered a spicy tuna roll, and a dragon roll. From what I can recall, and I most certainly could be wrong about this, every sushi joint I’ve been to serves these same two rolls. The spicy tuna roll is basically tuna, nori (seaweed wrap), and some hot mayo (and sometimes cucumber) and the dragon roll varies from restaurant to restaurant. This particular variation included salmon, tuna, and white fish with an imitation crab center. Both rolls were crafted fairly well and both were delectable. In retrospect, after describing the ‘dragon roll’, I think it may have actually been the Rainbow Roll. I could be mistaken either way as it has been nearly 10 months since I ate at Tom Yum.
For round three I ordered “Mother In-law Beef ” which was described as ‘real Thai!’ The dish was essentially chopped beef stir fried with basil, green beens, and chilies. Just as the menu forewarned, this dish was hot. The chilies didn’t have a kick-you-in-the-teeth-wasabi effect, but rather a slow heat that gradually built up in your mouth and left you gasping for water. The heat was great and I would gladly order this again if I was in the mood for something hot.
I would give Tom Yum a higher rating, but the service we received was terrible. Twice, I had to remind the waitress to get my drink (after waiting 15 minutes when it became apparent that my drink was not coming), and not to be a dick but she bombed as a waitress. Likewise, she took our drink order, never showed up with the drinks and after being reminded and showing up with the drinks disappeared for 20 minutes before taking our order. I know people have off days, or perhaps are learning the ropes but it wasn’t busy in the restaurant, and the carry out orders didn’t seem to be coming in at an overwhelming volume. One of the other waitresses paid more mind to our dining experience by asking how we were doing or if we needed anything else when it became clear out waitress was a no-show. By the good grace of previous experiences and the quality of the food Tom Yum isn’t pulling a one.
-Matt in Clearwater