I had seen it forever, but it never quite caught my eye due to its lack of physical appeal — and maybe because I'm tired of seeing yet another new Asian food place overtaking a failed fast food joint in Springfield to cash in on the cashew chicken-crazed folks in town.
But after reading various local restaurant review Web sites, I knew it was time to try Yum Yum Bowl. Several restaurant-goers touted it as a good, cheap Asian restaurant — not that attention-getting in my book; however, they also said it and Ocean Zen have the same owners. That caught my attention.
Stepping inside, customer's begin by choosing their dish from a contemporary menu along the wall before sitting in the dining area. They didn't completely redo the interior of the restaurant, but they cared enough to install stylish light fixtures and did some more with-it decorating than some of the new Asian places in town have done in the past.
The food is pretty inexpensive. I ordered a lunch portion kung pao chicken, which was served with fried rice and two cream puffs (a.k.a. crab rangoons). It was $5.95. Rachel ordered a combination dish; she always asks for the dish with the most vegetables. We could have ordered a bowl — hence the name — but we went with the specialty side of the menu.
My kung pao chicken was absolutely wonderful, and the fried rice and the cream puffs were all tasty, too. The sauce was perfectly spicy, and there was no concern of MSG, since they don't use it in anything. (You know Rachel asked.) We both ordered lunch portions, and were both completely satisfied. If we had ordered the dinner portions, they would've only cost us a dollar or two more — and then we would've had leftovers for dinner.
Rachel wasn't as head over heels for her dish as mine, but she wants to go back because we had only a positive experience with the food and service. They have a drive-thru, too, we will definitely be trying.
If you're an Asian food lover, and you're in Springfield, give Yum Yum Bowl a try. You won't be disappointed.
RODNEY KING, 47
6 years ago