Yen’s Chinese Food

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This is NOT Mr. Yen’s! 

Yen’s Chinese Food is located next to the Subway on Ingram Mill Road just South of Sunshine.  I’m pretty sure this spot used to be Lucy’s Chinese restaurant before Lucy’s moved down the road.  On Sunday evening I stopped there after visiting with my sister to pick up some take-out.  My wife and I had seen Yen’s earlier in the day while driving by and decided we should try it sometime.

 There are a lot of choices for Chinese food in Springfield (duh!).  I do not generally like the AYCE buffets we have in town and prefer a place where I can order from a menu.  We were not adventurous tonight and decided on the Sweet & Sour (SSC) Chicken or Cashew Chicken (CC) ‘special’ for $4.95 which included fried rice, two crab rangoon and an egg roll.  My wife wanted SSC while I took an 1/2 and 1/2 SSC & CC.  According to the large menu on the wall, all chicken meals are ‘all white meat’ – which I prefer.

I noticed a family of 4 sitting down when I got there – it appeared as they had just ordered.   After I ordered, I heard a lot of banging and clanging from the kitchen, which I took to mean that they were cooking everything to order.   While I was waiting (and it took about 20 minutes), I noticed the family getting their food brought out as it was getting done.  They seemed to be enjoying it.

When I got home with my takeout, I noticed that the $4.95 special deal had about 8 pieces of chicken plus the other goodies – which turned out to be just about the right amount for dinner for us – a very good value for the price.  What was  a real surprise however, was that this was really good food.  The SSC sauce was very nice – not too sweet or thick & gooey like you find it at other places and it had a great flavor.  The CC sauce was nice as well – it had something in it that made it extra tasty, I couldn’t put my finger on the what the flavor was that was a bit different than you find elsewhere.  Rice was good, the crab rangoons were good as well – although like most other Chinese restaurants, it was just cream cheese fried in wonton skin – no crab in sight – but hey – fried cheese what is not to like.

The egg roll, was an extra special surprise.  It may be the best one I’ve ever had in Springfield.  It had to be hand made at the restaurant and came with the spring-roll type of wrapping.  The ingredients were fresh and tasted very good – there is no way this was frozen and dropped in a fryer like you get at too many places here in town.  I’m kind of an eggroll critic.  When I was growing up there was a restaurant close to us called the Chopstick Cafe who had the best eggrolls in the world, so every eggroll I’ve met since then has had to compare to that.  I’ve been on a search for a great eggroll since moving to Springfield and this one while not quite as good as the Chopstick Cafe – was still very good. 

The interior of the restaurant was clean but tired looking.  New carpet and some touches of trim would brighten the place up.  But I have a feeling that what they aren’t spending on decor – they are putting into their food.

I’m going to have to go back and try some other things from the menu – if the SSC and CS and eggroll are any indication – I’m betting that their other menu items are going to be something special as well.   I’ll let you know.

Yen’s Chinese Food

1834 S Ingram Mill Rd – (417) 883-7799

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