Some combinations just work really well, such as small share plates with chilli/coriander/Asian flavours and beer, so it’s no surprise that the plant-based modern Asian menu of Yulli’s Byron Bay, the restaurant started by quirky brewery Yulli’s Brews, has proved so popular. And, with the return of yum cha on Saturdays and Sundays in September, it’s only going to get better, as the restaurant, which restricted its opening hours to five days per week during the last series of plagues, floods and staff shortages, returns to operating seven days a week.
The brewery is famous for its amusing cans, and whilst everyone has their favourite, I particularly like the blurb for ‘Slick Rick’s Rampaging Red Ale’ (eg ‘Rick’s the sports car you once wanted but couldn’t afford’). But, like the cans, the thing about the Yullis’ restaurant in the centre of Byron is that everyone will like something different about the place.
For people like me, a ‘not-for-health-reasons’ vegetarian who likes one beer, then on to the wine, there was plenty to like. With my wife, a gluten-free eater who prefers kombucha, we shared a banquet for two, and we both found highlights in the many dishes (there were so many that for $44 each this was very good value). I’m looking forward to returning next month when the yum cha is available. It’s ideal for those people who agonise over the menu in an unfamiliar restaurant, scared of ordering something they don’t like. Yum cha also takes the stress out of finding a restaurant that suits everyone; with yum cha, you’re almost guaranteed to find something you’ll love.
Another virtue of the Yulli’s restaurant in Byron is the three different eating spaces: one with the al fresco vibe, outside under the umbrellas on the footpath; one in the courtyard by the pool; and the third indoor space, which is ideal on a cold day, but also places you closer to the bar (with Yulli’s beer on tap of course) and the buzz of the interior at night.
If you’re going out at night with a group it’s a great place, with engaging staff, cocktails to go along with the beer and wine, and the sort of vegetarian menu that’s interesting, different and tasty, so that those who don’t normally order vegetarian will hardly notice it’s all plant-based.
If it’s your first time, I’d recommend getting the banquet just to get a taste for the place, and of course once the opening hours return to seven days a week from 3 September, try the yum-cha.
Yulli’s Byron Bay
(dine-in, licensed and
3/8 Byron St, Byron Bay