I am a freelance Journalist and Content Writer based on the Gold Coast. Along with writing for "Weekendnotes", I also have a freelance Online and Web content writing business, Vision Content.
Published January 16th 2013
Yoki Thai fragrant food for your fixation
Yoki the namesake for Yoki Thai in Runaway Bay, while diminutive in stature has a personality bigger than "Ben Hur". She is the dynamic that drives the cogs, in a restaurant that I believe serves some of the best Thai food to be found on the Gold Coast and with more than 20 years in the business, it appears I am not Yoki's only convert.
In an era where most restaurateur's prefer to be seen but not heard (unless they are earning triple figures hosting their own cooking shows!). Choosing to blend into the background, hovering over service in a nervous, voyeuristic fashion, Yoki enjoys interacting with guests, displaying her uniquely quirky and refreshingly friendly nature.
Always immaculately dressed in beautifully tailored traditional Thai costume, she flits like a butterfly from table to table, seducing her diners with light humour, asking after family members and tentatively testing the atmosphere making sure that the service and dining experience is exceptional.
I recall a visit to Yoki Thai one evening with my husband, when Yoki floated across to our table to acknowledge us, familiar faces amongst the crowd. She stood next to my husband and with a cheeky grin across the table at me, said, "You are so pretty. I used to be very beautiful." With that she then winked, before continuing lasciviously in the direction of my husband, "You would have liked me very much." My husband and I laughed uproariously with our host, those who know Yoki appreciate her wicked wit.
Well-coiffed (Yoki has a beehive restrained with enough product a hurricane would struggle to budge it!), along with a white powdered complexion in classic Thai style, disconcertingly evoking the impression of a living doll. But don't be disarmed by her feminine charms and softly spoken demeanour, she runs her kitchen like a ringmaster, cracking her whip and barking orders in staccato succession turning grown men into whimpering boys at her feet.
It is always difficult to decide on which dishes to order when I dine at Yoki Thai, because of the extensive menu. But as an entrée some personal favourites of mine are the moneybags, (lovely little morsels of minced pork infused with Thai herbs wrapped in pastry fried and then served with a Thai sweet chilli sauce) and the basil dumplings (the dumpling wrappers encasing moist chicken mince with diced fresh basil inside before being steamed until tender and served with a light sweet and sour sauce).
Moving onto mains, the sizzling duck served in a tangy sauce and served on a hotplate will have your tastebuds in raptures, the duck so tender it disappears on your tongue. You have to try this dish even if you haven't been a fan of duck before, you will be impressed. The massaman curry is also a gustatory delight, make sure that you choose the lamb fillet, it is amazing and comes to the table over a flame, with the fillet pleasantly engulfed in an aromatic rich, nutty coconut sauce.
I also love the chicken with cashew nut stir fry, the vegetables stir fried to al dente perfection, with a slight hint of chilli setting the dish off. As a side dish the coconut rice is a must have, soaking up the fragrant sauces so that no enjoyment is lost.
If you can fit in dessert, which is very rare for me as I always over indulge on the magnificent mains, the fried ice-cream is decadent, a crunchy biscuit like shell encasing the rich creamy ice-cream. The banana fritter is also a soulful soujourn for a sweet tooth fragrant and full flavoured.
Yoki Thai is also BYO, which makes dining an affordable option, to be enjoyed more frequently. Open Monday to Saturday for lunch between 12pm and 2.30pm and dinner Monday to Sunday 5pm to 10pm, it is well worth detouring to Runaway Bay on the northern end of the Gold Coast.