Despite the fact that I married an Asian woman, I don’t eat a lot of Asian foods. I’ve come to enjoy some of the more simple dishes that her family and friends make, but there’s definitely things I don’t even want to try. And sometimes the menus at these Asian restaurants can be extremely overwhelming.
Joy Yee’s in Evanston (and other locations around the Chicagoland area) is a favorite of my wife’s family and they tend to go there a lot, leaving me at home to fend for myself. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when we ordered it to the house that I actually gave it a shot. Funny enough, out of everything they ordered, the only thing I didn’t really care for was the Mongolian Beef that I made them order. It just didn’t seem to have as much flavor as I recall other Mongolian Beef’s at other restaurants. Oh well, there was plenty of food for me to try and I actually found a dish that I really enjoyed.
So last Friday rolled around and my wife and her siblings planned a “siblings dinner” at Joy Yee’s in Evanston, and since I now knew of a dish I would eat, I decided to tag along. When we first got there I was actually surprised with how big and spacious it is. Usually the Asian restaurants that we frequent tend to be on the smaller, more intimate side, but Joy Yee’s is pretty big, spacious, and bright.
We were seated very quickly and immediately handed the largest menus I’ve ever seen in my life, both physically and in regards to the amount of dishes contained within. I really wish I would have gotten a picture of it, but I don’t think I would have been able to get the sheer ginormity of said menus in one photo without having to stand up and move backwards; which I wasn’t about to do. Our nephew 14 month old nephew was there and the menu was definitely bigger than him.
As I said, the sheer amount of items they have on this menu is insane. If I’ve picked up anything from watching shows like Restaurant Impossible, it’s that too many items on a menu is a bad thing, but in this case, I guess not. I was also under the impression that you usually don’t want to put photos of your food on your menu, but again, clearly that doesn’t apply to Joy Yee’s. They even have pictures of every type of bubble tea-type drink you can get; which is essentially the same drink just a different color… yet there were 2 full pages dedicated to pictures of these different drinks. I decided to forego even attempting to wade through the menu and just let Celeste order for me. She knew what I enjoyed the last time we had it, so that’s what she ordered for me.
Beef cubes and tomato rice is what it was called I believe. Basically seasoned beef chunks on top of a bed of orangish rice, and it’s delicious. One person thought it tasted like beef cubes and rice with ketchup, but I didn’t really get that feeling from it. I think it tasted more like a soy sauce/sweet & sour sauce blend, if that makes any sense… and it probably doesn’t and I’m probably totally wrong. I’m not a huge asian sauce aficionado, so don’t hold me to that taste. Either way though, it was a pretty solid dish and I’d definitely order it again. In terms of what everyone else ordered, I honestly couldn’t even tell, but all I know is that the portions are humongous. I didn’t think anything could be as big as the menu, but it turns out that every single meal you order is about the size of that same menu. Needless to say there were a lot of leftovers taken home.
Would I go back to Joy Yee’s… yeah, probably. I’m sure there’s something else on the menu that I would enjoy, I just don’t know if I have the patience to try and figure out what that is. I’m still trying to find an Asian restaurant that can rival the bulgogi burrito from the Chi’Lantro food truck in Austin, TX. So if anyone has any recommendations where they think I might find something similar, please let me know.