Despite the name that make it seem like an Asian restaurant for kids, somewhere you’d probably get an action figure with your meal or something, Yummy House is anything but juvenile when it comes to the food they’re dishing out night by night.
Nestled in a strip mall, seemingly, ripped straight from 1979 on Waters Avenue, Yummy House serves classic Asian-American fare for decent prices like any of the bajillion Chinese restaurants in the area, but does it with a sense of detail and originality that’s second to none.
While likely my favorite cuisine, there’s definitely something to be said about the complete and utter lack of originality when it comes to take-out style Chinese food. I almost feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone or something grabbing a quick, Chinese meal at seemingly any take-out joint in the Bay Area. You peruse the same menu, view the same specials, eat the same, pre-meal egg roll, it’s like every one is a carbon copy of the other, save the name on the storefront and not much else.
Which is exactly why Yummy House deserves every ounce of praise it’s been getting over the past year. Yummy House isn’t turning the idea of Chinese cuisine on its head, or trying to be PF Chang’s 2.0 (thank god), but merely taking meals under the loose category of Americanized Chinese food and crafting them with an appreciated attention towards nuance and flavor.
Egg rolls at Yummy House look more like the spring rolls you’d get at a Thai restaurant. They’re light and flaky, not chubby and tumorous like the pre-frozen rolls at any faceless takeout joint. Flecks of salty pork and bean thread make for an interesting marriage and the dipping sauce, while plain, orange, and syrupy like anywhere else, is a nice addition.
Yummy House’s Korean BBQ pork, a hulking plate of sliced, sweetly-marinated pork is beyond delectable. Tender with bits of savory fat in every few slices and coated in a sweet, red glaze, the BBQ pork is a simple dish, honed to perfection and, consequently, savored down to the last bite. The burps afterward even tasted good. I wish I was kidding.
BBQ beef fried rice was a light mixture of long-grain rice, scallions, egg, and bits of beef. For less than eight bucks, you get a ton too. Fried rice always seems to be a venture in how much grease and odd-looking meat a Chinese restaurant can acceptably put in a dish before anyone says anything, but the fried rice at Yummy House was light with a blast of flavor like I’d really never tasted before; not mindblowing-ly, out of this world delicious, but different.
…And that’s Yummy House’s ultimate strength. They could easily make a buck reading from the same recipe book almost every low-cost Chinese restaurant in the Bay Area reads from, but they play by their own rules, to be nauseatingly cliche. The food I tasted at Yummy House was rich with flavor and spice that dance on the palate as opposed to fat and crude carbs that just fill the stomach. It’s food for food lovers and a much-welcome presence in the pantheon of 813area Chinese restaurants.