Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Yum Restaurant, nor is this a sponsored post. This is an honest review and recipe recreation. I paid for my (expensive!) meal with my own money. Okay, okay, it was my husband’s money, but you know what I mean.
If you’ve been to Yum Restaurant and loved their complimentary Mint Lemonade, rejoice, my friend. Because I’ve figured out a way to recreate that minty, lemony goodness at home. Mmmhmm, yessiree.
Before I get into the recipe, let me back the lemonade truck up and give you a quick intro to Yum Restaurant, just in case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about.
Yum Chinese and Thai restaurant, originally a Lahore-based restaurant, opened its first Islamabad location at F-7/2 Market on May 21 just before Ramadan. After Eid-ul-Fitr, My family and I visited in late June for lunch and to check the new place out.
Yum restaurant shares its space with English Tea House and Chashni sweets, all a part of Yum Group of Restaurants. Yum Chinese and Thai is on a mezzanine floor, an architectural style I haven’t seen in many restaurants in Islamabad. This brings in lots of beautiful light and makes the space seem large and spacious. (Forgive me, I’m not an architect, but I think “mezzanine” is the correct term to describe the way it’s built. Any architects that have been there, please correct me if I’m wrong.) I appreciate that they opted for a more beautiful, breathable space rather than using every square inch to cram in more diners.
The interiors are thoughtfully and tastefully designed, the furniture is attractive, the decor well thought out. An exception to this are the pictures on the walls, which seem like they were pulled straight from a Google Image search. I can forgive them this, because they’ve done something that I haven’t seen in any restaurant in Islamabad: There is a picture window on the second landing looking straight into their kitchen.
This kind of transparency speaks volumes about a restaurant’s confidence in the quality of their food. We’re coming fresh out of a time where Islamabad restaurants were being sealed every other day due to health code violations, so this is a very bold step in the right direction. Not to mention, it is a wonder to behold.
Now this is poetry in motion—the hustle and bustle of the men in the kitchen, the orders coming in, the huge flames from the chef working the wok burner. I regret that I only managed to get a few quick shots and didn’t think to take a video to share with you all. I could have stood there all day watching. Except, you know, I was hungry, and we hadn’t even ordered our food yet.
As we were seated at the table, we were served this wonderfully refreshing mint lemonade. I’m not sure if they will switch it out to something else in the winter months or even stop the practice altogether when the novelty of a new opening fades. I hope they do continue because…well, look at it.
It is, quite simply, YUM.
The rest of our meal was lovely as well, the food was well prepared and tasted fresh. My only critique is that, the food was pricey, but portion sizes were small as compared to other Chinese restaurants of the same calibre as Yum Restaurant. So if anyone is planning on going there, be prepared to pay a bit more, and you might need to buy a dish more than you would normally need to.
If you get a chance to try Yum Restaurant out, let me know what you think. I’m also curious to know if they’re still serving the complimentary Mint Lemonade. If they aren’t, well, boo. But no worries! Here’s how to bring a little bit of Yum Restaurant home.
(Psst…and if you want to recreate another Islamabad dining experience at home, check out my copycat recipe for Street 1 Cafe’s Sticky Fingers.)
Yum Restaurant Mint Lemonade Recipe Notes
Use the freshest, greenest mint (pudina) you can get at the market. If you are not planning on making it right away, wash it well and place in an ice water bath; this will help it keep for a couple of hours.
If you live in Pakistan and are buying from the local vendor, try to buy your pudina as early in the morning as you can because that is when their greens are the most fresh. If you go later in the afternoon, you’ll get a sad, yellowy looking bunch (true story).
I hope you make the mint lemonade and I hope you found it as refreshing as my family did. Oh, and if you want to try another awesome drink in these last lazy moments of summer, check out my Vegan Mango Milkshake.
Yum Restaurant Mint Lemonade
If you loved the mint lemonade at Yum Restaurant, here's the copycat recipe to recreate that lemony minty goodness in your own kitchen!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves (loosely packed)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Simple Syrup
- 4 cups water
Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring intermittently until sugar dissolves completely.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Put mint leaves, lemon juice, salt and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp simple syrup in a blender.
Blend, starting at low speed, then increase to high until the mint leaves are finely blended.
Add four cups water, then blend again until well combined. Check for sweetness. Add more simple syrup if needed.
Strain into a jug and chill in fridge until ready to serve.
Leftover simple syrup can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge.
If your blender can handle it, you can blend ice cubes in with the water so that you can serve it right away. Just make sure you decrease the water amount to compensate, or else it will water down the flavor.