Xmas with Henry VIII’s turkey

Forgive me while I gobble, gobble, gobble.
Forgive me while I gobble, gobble, gobble.

It was 1526 AD when Henry VIII, not known for dieting, sat down with one of his several wives and tucked into turkey. What had this innocuous bird, whose fame before this time amounted to being able to say gobble, gobble, gobble, had done wrong? And was Henry’s turkey the forerunner of Sesame Street’s Big Bird character?


The reason why we eat turkey at Xmas is actually quite practical. Xmas has been the excuse for large dinners with family and friends and so the overworked cook had to find some beast large enough to feed the horde.

The farmyard would have to sacrifice something and it would have to be large. The next factors in the chase to fill Henry’s ample girth were milk and eggs, all of which had usefulness all year round and so not so suitable as a special dinner.

The queue formed behind the boar, the goose and peacocks. Which one would draw the short straw? Practicality dictated the gobbler, and so the plan was hatched and axes sharpened. The turkey became the fall guy.

By the time it was 1621, the Pilgrim Fathers felt a celebration was in order and once more the turkey was lined up for the chop. America had wild turkeys and so the tradition of the Thanksgiving sacrifice began. And turkeys became paranoid.

Some centuries after H VIII, the turkey tradition found its way to Pattaya and we descended on Yupin’s restaurant in the Jomtien Complex to sample her take on the British tradition. Being the practical lady that she is, extra turkeys were ordered to keep the Xmas memories into January, allowing people like me who missed the December 25 celebration to enjoy it on the following weeks.

Remembering that the turkey dinner was designed to feed a horde, Yupin divides the turkey into white and dark meat and then piles on the trimmings. Brussels sprouts (perhaps excluded next year after Brexit) were there, plus green peas and snow peas and a novel breadcrumb dish with raisins and cauliflower. Two gravy boats, with one being the traditional cranberry sauce and all at B. 450. Yupin’s turkey is definitely recommended, but stocks are naturally limited.

A large plate of pasta.
A large plate of pasta.

I sat and slowly enjoyed the (post) Xmas dinner, washed down with Quincho, an interesting Chilean red (after giving it time to breathe). And at B. 795, a most inexpensive tipple.

Yupins continues to amaze with high quality food at very reasonable prices. Little things such as the Himalayan pink salt grinder show the depth of quality and thought to be found in Yupin’s. The menu is also photographic and easily perused. And spend some time with the décor and its amusing theatrical masks.

What did we choose? The sizzling garlic prawns (B. 320 we end up ordering every time), and steaks, as ordered by two of the team, were excellent and cooked to order. A perennial favorite is the NZ lamb at B. 495 and Argentine fillet beef is B. 595 for 250 gm.

200 grams of tender beef.
300 grams of tender beef.

European main courses range from B. 310-495, Thai items around B. 210.

The excellence of the total dining experience keeps this restaurant at the top of our list. We are confident you will not be disappointed.

Yupins, 413/42 Jomtien Complex, Thappraya Road. Parking inside the complex, or plenty street-side (best suggestion). Be aware that the top end of Thappraya is a favorite spot for police checkpoints. For those who travel with GPS, the coordinates are 12.901719, 100.869066 (not that you really need coordinates to find Thappraya Road). Open six days 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. closed Wednesday. www.yupins.com, telephone 038 250 394 (definitely best to book – it was packed on the night we did the review).