Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chinatown Foray and Joy Yee Noodles

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin
Our gastronomic foray to Chicago’s Chinatown was a triumph and we came back laden with delicious food. As we approached my apartment, the bf suddenly said, “What’s that smell?” I sniffed the air cautiously and an image of tauge (beansprouts to all the non Malaysians) fried with soy sauce materialized in my mind. The bf was amazed by my fantastic olfactory abilities...I told him it’s because I am Chinese and can sniff out Chinese food anywhere. Then it hit me, hmmm..fried tauge today, the aroma or stink (whichever rocks your boat) of fried kiam-hoo (salted fish) last week, the faint scent of incense...our neighbor must be CHINESE. Hah! Must arrange a stakeout to confirm my suspicions.
Anyway, back to the Chinatown trip, I must say that we take a drive down south pretty often but I haven’t in the past been able to get decent pictures for a blog. Today we visited Joy Yee Noodles ( and Feida Bakery. Due to it's large size, I am going to split this blog into two parts.
Walking along the shops of New Chinatown
Joy Yee’s has always been a favorite of ours and we had eaten there many times in the past. They serve a wide variety of asian fare and although I cannot say that each dish is authentic, I can certainly confirm that it is GOOD! To detractors that complain about the lack of authenticity of the Chinese food, it is not a Chinese restaurant. Now, shut up and eat. It’s been a while since we’ve been there because we found a new dim sum restaurant that took over as THE favorite. I’ll save that for another blog.

Joy Yee’s has always been a very popular restaurant and it is always packed when we’ve tried to eat there. Patrons go through this ritual where they push past a sea of people standing in front of the front door and put their names down on a waiting list to be seated. Then you either stand waiting along the wall, in the restaurant, where mobs of people continually push at you to get to the list or you can wait along the wall outside, where is it pleasant in spring summer and hell in winter. No matter the time of the day, there was always a line.

It was a pleasant surprise to walk right into Joy Yee’s today and immediately ushered to a table. Actually, the ever vigilant bf spotted a crowd nipping at our heels and rushed into the restaurant to secure a table, whilst gesturing to me to hurry up and come in. I was taking pictures-lah, damn kiasu. Ok-lah, I admit that I was grateful for his speedy reaction because every table in the restaurant was filled after that. It seems that the congestion at the original Joy Yee’s in Chinatown has eased due to the opening of 3 other locations in the city (see list below)

The service was quick and efficient and within minutes, we had already placed our order. Our drinks came shortly thereafter. Joy Yee’s is famous for its bubble teas, fresh fruit freezes and smoothies. I ordered the Watermelon freeze with tapioca balls. The bf had green tea smoothie with tapioca, which was marvelous but contained a generous amount of half and half (not for weight watchers or people with high cholesterol). My watermelon freeze looked rather anemic but it did not compromise the taste. I love the crisp, fresh taste of watermelon as it reminds me of home.

We had Butter Fried Squid as an appetizer. Entrees were Malaysian Style Seafood with Baked Rice (the bf) and Korean BBQ short ribs (me). Here are the yummy pics:

Green Tea Smoothie and Watermelon Freeze

Butter Fried Squid. I did not like this dish because it was too buttery for my tastes but the bf loved it. The batter was crispy while the squid was tender inside.

Malaysian Style Seafood with Baked Rice

Korean BBQ short ribs

What a whole lot of food. The hungry bf is already digging in.

Korean BBQ short ribs AFTER I was done with my meal. The only complaints I have about this dish is that it is not something you can eat politely in public. I prefer to eat this in the privacy of my home where I can scrape my teeth againts the bone to got all of the meat. Which is what I will be doing for dinner tonight.

The bill, USD 35.94 without tax. Not bad for a huge meal like this. Plus we will be fed for then next two meals.

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