First Date Redux.

My first meal with Baseball Boy was in the parking lot of a Subway off of Cleveland Avenue. This past Saturday, we finally got to visit the restaurant he had intended to take me to on a first date: Ying’s Teahouse & Yum-Yum. Had things gone as planned, I would have been very impressed with both Mr. Baseball Boy and his choice of restaurants. Subway was okay, too, I guess.

I found Ying’s to be both modest and delicious. You don’t go to Ying’s to see and be seen. Rather, you go to Ying’s for excellent food at reasonable prices. You also, it seems, go to Ying’s to get a pot of jasmine tea served upon dishes that your stepmom used during your childhood. These suckers are unbreakable.

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Ying’s, unlike other tea destinations in Columbus, does not charge for a refill of hot water.

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I was curious when I ordered these rolls stuffed with pork as a starter. It was difficult to wait until they cooled off to devour them, but after one scorching bite, I managed to slow down.

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I ordered the Mushu Pork served with four pancakes, mainly for sentimental reasons. When I lived in London for a summer, a group of coworkers and I would consistently end up at Chinese restaurants after the clubs closed. Our late night meals always included two things: pancakes and Special Tea.

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Special Tea, to the novice, is simply beer served in a tea pot during the hours that it’s no longer legal to serve alcohol in London. Even without the help of Special Tea, I found Ying’s Pancakes (and accompanying sauces and pork) to be delicious. Prized leftovers, these make.

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Baseball Boy ordered Singapore noodles. With large chunks of vegetables (including tender red onions I kept stealing from his plate), this dish was a winner.

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And finally, the cookie. Perfect for dipping in the leftover tea, these not-too-sweet, flaky cookies kissed with a nut were on the house.

Great food, these little touches, a casual atmosphere and the aforementioned reasonable prices make Ying’s Teahouse & Yum-Yum a winner, whether you go there for a first date or on a Saturday evening after a day of gardening. A restaurant (and a date, for that matter) that takes me seriously when I show up for dinner while covered with a layer of mud, while tolerating my incessantly photographing every dish on the table? Awesome.

Ying’s Teahouse & Yum-Yum
4312 N High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43214
614.262.7587

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5 thoughts on “First Date Redux.

  1. anne says:

    This looks great. I’ve been meaning to try that place forever. The pictures of Moo Shu Pork sealed the deal. I’m there.

  2. Jaydubs says:

    I LOVE Ying’s–but I have to say, you missed out on one major thing: Their dumplings are what they’ve really built their reputation on. They’re great on their own, or, if you’re willing to go for something spicy, they’re terrific in a bowl of hot and sour soup.

    I’m drooling just thinking about the place.

  3. Jean says:

    I cannot wait to try it! I miss terrific Chinese food since relocating back to the Midwest where eating anything beside hamburgers, out, is dangerous.

  4. halfb8ked says:

    I have to disagree whole-heartedly with your review. Granted, I’ve only been to Ying’s once, I found the food to be boring and mediocre, nothing special at all. And, for mediocre, there are hundreds of places in Columbus serving Chinese food for lower prices.

    But, the tea was good.

  5. Baseball Boy says:

    In response to HalfB8ked:

    I can see how someone could leave with that impression. 85% of what is on the menu at Ying’s is your standard American/Chinese fare—presumably because operating a 100% authentic Chinese restaurant in Clintonville would be difficult from a business standpoint.

    Ying’s is known, as another poster commented, for it’s dumplings and spicy noodle dishes which are (allegedly) more authentically Chinese. Plus, the free almond cookie and the bottomless tea pots are unique features.

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