Sunday, May 5, 2013

Joy Yee's Noodles

Location: 1335 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607 and 2139 S. China Pl., Chicago, IL 60616
Joy Yee's Noodles on UrbanspoonJoy Yee's Noodles on Urbanspoon
Joy Yee's Noodles on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
When it comes to Chinese takeout, Joy Yee's has become a more well-known establishment, especially for college kids.  This Asian inspired restaurant is not limited to Chinese, and actually serves Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese dishes too.  With several locations in both the city and suburbs (which I have been to all), more and more people are being introduced to their creative twist on the "bubble tea."  These fruit smoothies are incredible, especially during the hot summer days.  Almost any fruit creation is possible, so definitely try them out.  When it comes to the food, I find Joy Yee's sacrificing quality for quantity.  The portions are next to ridiculous... with each entree serving two or three people, easily.  But, the quality is very poor in my opinion.  Tough meat, overly salty dishes, or bland noodles are some of the common themes I encountered.  I would definitely walk 5 miles for these smoothies, but when taking everything into account, I could only give them an overall 3 mile rating.

What We Ate:

Fruit Smoothie/Bubble Tea

Joy Yee's claim to fame is their interpretation of "bubble tea."  Rather than the powdered mix found at several cafes, Joy Yee's combines just about any type of fruit and adds their signature tapioca balls or "bubbles."  Some of my favorite flavors include Mango Berry (pictured), Taro, Triple Berry, and Mango Lychee.  The mango berry smoothie is a perfect mixture of mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.  The dominant flavor is mango, but the berries help to make it a little more tart.  The tapioca balls have a strange consistency.  I like to think of them as a starchy gummi bear.  They don't really add any flavor to the smoothie, but are used for mainly texture.  Only problem I have with the smoothie is the size and price... these are too big and cost $5.00 with tax.  I wish they offered a half size and charged like $3.00.

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

For some reason, whenever I order Joy Yee's for take out, I always get the short ribs.  I think it is because the short ribs are so CHEWY that they should only be eaten in the comfort of your own home (where you can tear at the meat without embarrassing one's self.)  Anyway, the Korean BBQ short ribs is supposed to be their version of Kalbi.  Unfortunately, they fall short... WAY SHORT.  The meat has to be chewier than a leather shoe.  It is impossible to rip apart.  Honestly, they should put a "WARNING:  Choking Hazard" disclaimer on the menu description.  But like I said, I always order it because of the challenge.  The flavor is pretty good... a little sweet, not too salty.  My favorite part is the cartilage near the bones.  I really enjoy the chewing of those pieces and honestly I would rather have more of the cartilage than the meat.  Anyway, I do not recommend this dish to anyone, I am just addicted to it for some odd reason.  It does come with white rice.

Vegetarian Pad Thai

A lot of my vegetarian friends love the pad thai.  They substitute tofu for the chicken and always request plenty of sriracha sauce.  First of all, this dish is HUGE.  I honestly believe it can feed two or three people.  If you order it just for yourself, be prepared for left overs.  The pad thai is simple... and in my opinion it is nothing special.  The noodles are cooked separately and then lightly stir-fried together with a medley of asian vegetables (baby corn, water chestnuts, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots) and of course, the tofu.  They add just a little bit of soy sauce to help tie it all together.  I find it to be very bland and that is why extra sriracha sauce is needed.

Crab Rangoon

Who doesn't love crab rangoon?  These fried cream cheese dumplings have very minimal crab if at all.  Most likely it is finely diced imitation crab... but honestly I couldn't taste anything.  Instead, it was an extremely hot, freshly fried dumpling that has a nice crispy shell.  The cream cheese was all melted inside.  Definitely dip them into the sweet and sour sauce.  Nothing special, but not bad.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
- I have had plenty of dishes here (just before I started writing my blog).  Anyway, other dishes I would recommend are:  Mango Chicken Fried Rice, Beef Cubes over Tomato Rice, Pineapple Chicken and Shrimp Fried Rice, and the Chicken String Beans.
- Share all their meals.  The dishes are large enough for two or three meals.
- Share Bubble Teas/Smoothies!

DON'T:
- After many trips to Joy Yee's, here are dishes I would never eat again:  Fried Calamari, Eel with Baked Rice, and the Fried Vietnamese Egg Rolls.

How far would I walk for this food?


(Disclaimer:  I would walk 5 miles for one of 
their smoothies/bubble tea!)

Joy Yee's Noodles on Urbanspoon Joy Yee's Noodles on Urbanspoon

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