CloverCelebrates: Lunar New Year at Ypbor Yan/Emerald City in Ann Arbor
We came here to celebrate Lunar New Year on Friday night, and even with the expected holiday rush, it was beyond crowded. We even ran into some of our friends dining here with their families! Every single table was packed, and there were groups of 15 still waiting in the entryway. Luckily, we had reservations, and so were seated promptly. Unfortunately, that was the only prompt part of the evening. All of the wait staff were running around, trying to take care of the huge parties. We ended up writing down our orders on a napkin, flagging someone down in the hallway, and putting our requests in that way. It also took some work to get water and drinks, and it took almost an hour before our first dish came out. Granted, the potstickers we ordered were amazingly delicious, but it took yet another twenty minutes before our second dish came out, which was also quickly demolished. I’m not sure if the kitchen was just really backed up, or if this was some devious ploy to maintain our hunger level and thus season the food with the sauce named starvation, but it got to be tiring after a while. To Ypbor Yan’s credit, everything was delicious and authentic! Make sure to come with someone who reads/writes/speaks Chinese, because my attempts at using Google Translate on the specials menu came out with some dish involving “bamboo wind furosemide hairpin pork”. The restaurant was at least courteous enough to cancel the rest of our dishes that apparently hadn’t even been cooked yet when we decided, after 3 hours, that we should probably head out. Also, it was ridiculously cheap: my cocktail was $3.25, and the whole meal, with gratuity included, was $11/person. Overall, we experienced less than optimal service, but it was the New Year, and the food was amazing. I’m desperate enough for good, authentic Chinese food that I’d be willing to come back some day when it’s not crowded, because these dishes were seriously bursting with flavor. Check them out on Yelp or at their official website! And 新年快乐!