Despite failed inspection, Joy Yee pulls through

Quality and quantity of food surpass moderate prices

In+addition+to+Chinese+food%2C+Joy+Yee+is+also+well+known+for+bubble+tea
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Despite failed inspection, Joy Yee pulls through

In addition to Chinese food, Joy Yee is also well known for bubble tea

In addition to Chinese food, Joy Yee is also well known for bubble tea

Pak

In addition to Chinese food, Joy Yee is also well known for bubble tea

Pak

Pak

In addition to Chinese food, Joy Yee is also well known for bubble tea

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After being closed for 9 days in 2017, Joy Yee is alive and hopping with people again. So hopping these days, that I was actually seated maybe a little too close to other customers. But overall, I would say the restaurant provided a large portion of good food, for a moderate price.

Joy Yee promotes the idea of sharing is caring as most items cannot be finished or even dented by a single person with a less than gargantuan appetite.

The restaurant itself provides a happy vibe filled with a majority of Northwestern students and families. Although at first glance it didn’t seem to have enough wait staff members, two or three waiters for the entire restaurant were able to get the job done, and well.

The menu is rather large, both in size and in options. When it came to picking what boba smoothie I wanted, I was unaware of how many different combinations I could chose from. The options take up 3 pages of the menu. I ended up going with the strawberry smoothie with mango popping boba, and it was delicious. With so many different combinations, Joy Yee is definitely the expert on bubble smoothies/tea.

This was not my first time eating at Joy Yee, but this time I think I finally got the menu down and I wasn’t as overwhelmed with the abundant options for both food and drink. We decided to order the seaweed salad as an appetizer. The fresh, salty and sweet flavor combination made the dish very enjoyable. Whenever I go to a chinese restaurant, I always have my eye out for the orange chicken. Sadly, Joy Yee’s orange chicken was a bust the first time I tried it. It lacked the orange flavor I look forward to. Instead, ordering the sweet and sour chicken was a much better alternative. The chicken was moist and the crunch from the fried coating was just right.

Although we were left with a lot of leftovers, this didn’t mean the food wasn’t good. The portions were huge and I wasn’t able to finish it all in one sitting. The price for the sweet and sour chicken was $11.50, which seemed high until I realized that it is reasonable for how much chicken you actually get. We also got Tom Yum soup. This, too, came in a unusually large bowl. Priced at $9.50, the soup was filled with noodles, mushrooms and other vegetables.

Our food came rather quickly and the staff seemed to be on task and focused on pleasing their customers. As the place started to fill up, the privacy started to decrease. Some tables have a little space in between each other (a foot at most), but most are all connected, making it a little awkward to be eating your meal while sitting directly next to a stranger.

Although the space was clean and lovely when I went, on Aug. 16th, 2017, the Evanston Health department decided to stop in for a random inspection of Joy Yee. The inspection found live cockroaches. According to The Daily Northwestern, the roaches were found in the food preparation area, food containers, the ice cream machines, and on walls of the restaurant.

After the inspection, the department closed Joy Yee. A follow up inspection resulted in a “clear” for the restaurant, although, one dead cockroach was in a discarded flour bin. Closed for only 9 days, the restaurant reopened the following Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

Joy Yee serves as a convenient location for students to grab a bite to eat, albeit a big bite. The first location in Evanston, was opened in 1994 and their other locations (Chicago’s Chinatown, Naperville, UIC, and Tinley Park) all opened later. Joy Yee was the first in the midwest to offer Taiwanese bubble tea, which seems a hit item.

I would say the restaurant provided a large portion of good food, for a moderate price. Their Chinese food is loved by many in Evanston, and I will be going back soon when I’m craving Chinese food. Perhaps in a month or so, after I have finished all of my leftovers.

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