Don’t judge a book by its cover: a Snapshot of Chef in Ypsilanti
Our team’s pharmacist recommended Chef to me a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until recently that I got to go. I originally tried to go to Thai-Thai on a Sunday afternoon (their Facebook and Yelp pages say they started staying open on Sundays), only to find that they were actually closed. Starving, I opened up Yelp and saw the 4.5 stars that Chef got, and remembered the original recommendation. We drove only five minutes from Thai-Thai to get there, and honestly, were a little worried at its run-down exterior in a sketchy little strip mall. However, the food was amazing, and definitely made me glad I didn’t skip it over just because of how it looked.
The interior is actually much nicer than you’d expect. It was spacious and clean. We started off with the above-pictured “Chef’s Cocktails,” smoothies made from avocado, kiwi, mango, strawberry, pineapple, banana, and honey. These were delicious and very rich. The different smoothie types came separately, and I made the mistake of mixing mine up, which made it just taste like a banana smoothie. I definitely recommend keeping the smoothie ingredients separate and enjoying one flavor at a time.
We started off with a wonderful lentil soup and a salad. The salad was nothing special, but I really enjoyed the sumac sprinkled on it. I think sumac adds a really nice sourness to everything! The lentil soup was very flavorful, much better than you’d expect from its plain appearance.
I got the lamb chops, which were delicious! Char-broiled just the right amount, these were juicy and tender. The garlic sauce that came with the plate was also fantastic, somehow, it had more depth and flavor than other garlic sauces I’ve had.
Fred got the Chicken Shawarma, and said it was quite good. Our friend Shravan got the Chicken Gallaya, which he said was one of the best dishes he’s had this year.
When we first ordered, I was devastated to hear that they were all out of rice pudding for the day. However, by the time we finished our meal, we were told that the Chef had just finished making a new batch of rice pudding, and that we could order it! Hooray, and thank you, Chef!
This rice pudding was amazing, loaded with cinnamon and warm and fresh, it had fantastic texture, thicker than other rice puddings, and I was also intrigued by the addition of ice cream toppings, which were surprisingly good.
Overall, a fantastic meal at Chef Restaurant Mediterranean Grill. I wish they were closer to Ann Arbor! Definitely check them out at Yelp or at their website!