I was greeted with a super kind surprise when I walked through the door and saw Natalie behind the bar. Maaan, that's the kind of welcoming you're lookin' for when you walk into any room. She's such a wonderful person, and she has that job dialed. Because I don't feel like I worded that right, I'm gonna share the message I sent to her when I got home...
"Maaan, shiiiit...It was so good to see you. You made me realize something I really miss...
Seeing you work a bar!
You're so freakin' good at it. There's just a naturalness to the way you move and interact with people. I had come to love watching it just from paying attention.
Do you remember when I used to come into The Falls after shift, grab a ginger ale, and then lean against the wall at the entrance to the washroom hallway? I'd chill out for a bit watching the music, but in doing that repeatedly, I inevitably saw you do what you do. I like watching people do things they're good at, and you're good at being a human, and that translates into the way you interact with people at your work...or anywhere, but I'm not talkin' about anywhere right now. 🙂 You're somethin' alright. Pretty good stuff Natalie."
Greeted by some wonderful
The reason why I say this about Natalie is because that's who you're dealing with as a customer at Yum Son...just this fantastic person who crushes at her job because of her awesomeness.
Me to myself: "Alright, off to a great start!"
Then I look to the left of her to see Brian leaning against the other side of the bar!
Also, me to myself: "Shiiit, lookkit this!"
So my dining experience started at great, and then immediately added in some more awesome, which brought the whole situation to totally stylin'!
Because I am a deadbeat without a phone, I had to get a real menu 'cause I couldn't do the scan thing for an internet menu.
Natalie knows alcohol isn't really my thing, but asked me if I wanted some other kind of fancy drink. I said, "sure." When she asked me what kind I wanted, I said that I didn't care, and that she can just surprise me.
Bring on the awesome! She gets to work, and starts breezing through the drink with her kind summery finesse. (That's when I realized I missed watching her in action.)
Natalie having some fun while whipping up a fancy drink surprise
Dalat Market Soda
Natalie whipped me up a Dalat Market Soda, and when she brought it to me, Brian was up on his little stage perch getting ready to play some tunes. Perfect timing!
He is a musical monument around our community. Brain is always in the thick of things to bring kind melodies to our ears and hearts with his ukulele. Whether solo, duo, trio, or whatever, Brian pops up everywhere...at weddings, festivals, markets, restaurants and pubs, and he even books music for places too. He starts to feel like a piece of home for the amount you see him at all these things you do in the area. It just so happens that he's an excellent guy too, so that's pretty good.
Of course he had to bust into a Ripple by the Grateful Dead for his second tune of the night. Not sure if that was for me, but I was more than happy to be self centred and selfish for a moment and say that he totally played that for me, even though he didn't!
There are a few things that have my number in the food world, and Lemongrass is one of them, so I ordered the Yum Son Noodle Bowl with a Spring Roll (Plant Based) add on. While I was waiting for that, I dove into my fancy-pants Natalie drink, and watched Brian lay down some tunes.
I like that they serve their drinks with a reusable metal straw rather than a disposable plastic one. Nice touch! (The little things, you know?!) The Dalat Market Soda gives a push and pull flavour. I can only describe it as though a tropical rainforest was in unison with a temperate forest in our local BC mountains...the sharp bitterness of the temperate coniferous crossed with the sweet fruitiness of the tropical. (From the forest scent point of view.)
I described the only sip of a mojito I ever had as, "this tastes like what it smells like in a cedar forest immediately after a rainfall." When I said that, the girls I was with were kinda surprised by that reaction, and then all said together that that was an amazing analogy. I don't know if it is, but that is how I described it. This Dalat Market Soda was similar in that context to me, as I could only define it to myself in terms like that of the different rainforests.
The diversity in flavouring came from the sweetness of pureed strawberry combined with the bitterness of grapefruit, and then add in some mint layered throughout. It was yummy and very refreshing!
I saw some of my guests from my hotel who I recommended to come here to see Brian play some music, and eat some good food. They were a real sweet couple. It was nice to see them.
**A side note is that it was so kind to have some live music during this bizarre time of inching our way through post-quarantine while still in the midst of this whole COVID craziness. A little slice of what was once normal...I dig it! (There's those little things again.)
Yum Son Noodle Bowl
The food came in on a vibrant wave. Enticing to the eyes. A nice light looking meal. I find Yum Son to be that way overall though. Their food tends to be light and not overbearing, but also plays to the theatre of one's eyes.
The Yum Son Noodle Bowl is pretty simple in the ingredients offered, but comes together to be completely satisfying. The bed of rice noodles lay that foundational canvass that allows the rest of the colours to come to life. I like the way it sang its own song in front of me before I got into it. It foretold to me of something wonderful about to come while also conveying to my belly not to worry about a heavy load because it was a dish not of that nature.
Lemongrass Grilled Pork Loin...yup, I'm into that! Chicken too?! Alright, that's not bad! For a seemingly simple dish, there was a nice mix of textures on the plate. From the soft rice noodles that melt away quite effortlessly, and the moist pork and chicken, to the differing crunches that the carrot and lettuce offered in comparison to the subtly creamy sweet crunch of the peanuts, you get taken for a nice stroll down Textural Avenue. (Why did I suddenly say that to myself in the beat of Electric Avenue by Eddie Grant?!) I must say, I rather liked the way it came together. I also liked the way the cilantro snuck up from behind like a beautiful little whisper that spoke to the metaphorical listening ear of my tasting senses.
Spring Roll (Plant Based) add on
I admit it, I drizzled the remaining garlic and chili vinaigrette from the spring rolls all over my food upon finishing those little beauties. I really liked the way the spring rolls were done. They had a different interpretation of crunch while not to compromise the freshness of their ingredients inside. Not bad Yum Son, not too bad at all.
Garlic & Chili Vinaigrette
I went back about a week later to get some wings. How could I not do that?! They are known to have the best wings in town by many a local, so it just had to be done. To tell you the truth though, I barely paid attention to them. They were just so good that I shoved them into my face one after another with kind of a reckless abandon. I was quite shameless about it, and was vividly aware of such, but I think it's more than OK to every-so-often completely dive into something eyeballs deep when it is as kind as those wings are that they bring out of their kitchen.
Sweet Soy Chili Pepper Lime Crispy Chicken Wings
Shameless bliss?! I'm totally into that for sure!
Understanding why Yum Son has positioned itself among the top food in Nelson is not a hard proposition to grasp. Next on my list from there are their Bao Buns that I have heard so much about. Sounds yummy!
522 Victoria Street
Hours: 11:30am til late (usually 9:00pm) Daily
Phone: (778) 463-2234
Stuff Writin' About Kinda Guy
I am a simple guy who likes to dream of the impossible and go after it. I have found fun in writing about my journey as well as other things that inspire me too.