I got this sinking feeling the other day when I drove past one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, the former Yummy at 25th and Nicollet, and discovered a new sign above the door. The sign said Relax, which made me worry that the place had been turned into a sauna/ massage parlor, until I read the rest of the sign, which promises Exotic Chinese Cuisine. My doubts returned when I saw the restaurant’s new menu, whose cover promises authentic Chinese cuisine, but features two hula girls in grass skirts and bikini tops (actually, one wore only a lei), undulating under palm trees. Has Yummy gone Polynesian? Will I find pu-pu platter on the menu?
Luckily, it turns out that not much has really changed. Employees told me that the former owner, Mr. Chang, moved to Florida and sold the restaurant to his head chef, Jackson Liu. The menu has added a few new dishes, not including a pu-pu platter, but it’s basically the same as when the restaurant was Yummy. The food has actually improved, the employees insisted: the new owner has hired a professional dim sum chef from New York, whereas Mr. Chang used to make the dim sum himself. I tried a few of the dim sum yesterday for lunch (they’re available every day, but the selection is bigger on weekends), and I don’t know if they are any better than before, but they were quite good, and very reasonably priced.