Yum! And yum again!

Portrait of Wilaiwan "Vee" Riccardi and her husband, Chef Hector Lopez Diego inside the kitchen at Yum Yum Asian Cuisine.
Wilaiwan “Vee” Riccardi and her husband, Chef Hector Lopez Diego,  are the owners of Yum Yum Asian Cuisine on Castle Shannon Boulevard. The restaurant will serve a fusion of Asian cuisine that includes Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese dishes. They also hope to include a Mexican night in the future.

um Yum Asian Cuisine is moving into 193 Castle Shannon Boulevard, the space that was vacated by Mm Mm Pizza.

Academy Avenue residents Wilaiwan Riccardi and her husband, Hector Lopez Diego, have remodeled the restaurant, located across the street from Hitchhiker Brewing, and are planning a pan-Asian menu with a few Mexican dishes.

Both Riccardi and Lopez have restaurant experience—Lopez previously worked at Lulu’s Noodles in Oakland and Riccardi has more than 10 years experience cooking and serving, here and in her former home of Tampa, Florida—but most recently Riccardi was working in home health care as a certified nursing assistant. The pressures of that line of work took a toll, and she and Diego began looking for an alternative.

“I had to get out of home care,” Riccardi said.

Riccardi came to the U.S. from Thailand and has been around cooking since she was a child, helping out at her uncle’s restaurant in Chonburi, a town about an hour from Bangkok, on the Gulf of Thailand.

“I grew up with food all around me,” she said. “There was always food on the table, and street food, you could smell food from beginning to the end.”

A sampling of Yum Yum’s menu includes duck pad thai; chicken volcano, a breaded chicken breast in a signature chili sauce; Vietnamese pho; Thai tom kha and tom yum soup and Japanese miso. Diego, who is Mexican, will prepare Mexican dishes one or two days a week.

Seating is limited to four or maybe five tables. Riccardi is considering outside seating in warm weather, and of course, the aforementioned Hitchhiker Brewing should make for some good crossover business for both places.

Riccardi plans to open in early April. For hours of operation and more information, call 412-341-1924.

Photography by John Schisler