After Exmouth Market, Hoxton Square is perhaps my favourite place for eating - the odd beggar aside, it's great people watching on a summer's day.
As usual, we wonder round the square, looking at the menus and dithering.
And then the specials board outside Yelo tempts us in with promises of duck or seabass for under £7. The vibe is cheap (metal tables) and cheerful (bright yellow laminated menus). Our New Zealand Sauvingon blanc (£16.95) is served in glass tumblers of the kind you get in school canteens. I kinda like that, and for the sheer incongruence, wish we'd ordered champagne.
The Thai dim sum (£3.95) features two plump dumplings of chicken and two of pork. They are dense, with none of the delicate flavour fireworks I've had in serious dim sum joints, but they aren't too bad. And I enjoy sprinkling them with crumbled peanuts and chilli flakes from the table's condiments selection (I skip on the pickled chopped carrots though).
But I am jealous of the husband's tom kar galangai soup (£3.95, which is packed with creamy, herby, coconuty flavours, absorbed into sliced mushrooms and a couple of juicy prawns, with a strong kick of spice.
There are lots of big prawns in the salad -- especially considering the modest £5.45 price tag -- piled upon zestily-dressed leaves, onions and tomatoes. My only complaint is that the plate is too small - at least one prawn ends up as a casualty on the floor.
The special features well-cooked seabass (complete with tail!) in a green curry sauce (£6.50), though note that rice is extra (£1.80 for coconut rice).
All in all, it's not a romantic or lingering kind of a place, but seems like a good bet for a delicious and keenly-priced meal. They also do takeaways (so you can save on the booze mark up and sit on the grass) and deliveries.
Yelo, 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU; Tel. 0207 729 4626; www.yelothai.com
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