MenuPlease: Elegant Asian Dishes at Yuet Bistro

It’s been noted before in this space that strip malls can be an unlikely place to find good food. The many vacancies and low rent in Redding make them ideal for small family-run restaurants. Yuet Bistro is one such place.

Yuet Bistro’s interior is a bit more elegant and stylish than you’d expect given it’s next to a tire shop and there’s a parking lot just a few feet from the window. A long polished bar describes one wall; discreet hanging light fixtures cast a better glow on diners than ordinary florescent lighting. Lacquered chairs and tables are comfortably spaced apart so you don’t feel like your neighbor could just reach over and take a bite off your plate. Service is prompt and ranges from friendly to perfunctory.

So the interior’s nice. But how’s the food? With a menu extended between dim sum, Thai, Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan, Femme de Joie was a bit concerned that the kitchen wouldn’t be able to successfully accomplish everything they advertise. But M. de Joie is pleased to recommend Yuet Bistro for lunch or dinner, or a dim sum extravaganza. Prices are right for a speedy bargain lunch, but this is no fast-food express joint: the cuisine is elegant enough to take a date or enjoy a special occasion with family.

Hot and sour soup – $3.50 cup, $6 bowl or available with lunch specials.

Though it could have packed more heat, this warming and filling soup was nicely sour and was brimming with lots of crunchy julienned vegetables. It was a pleasant surprise to find hot and sour soup is an option to go with lunch specials in place of the ubiquitous egg flower soup.

Singapore style noodles with pork and curry, $8.95

This was the weakest dish M. de Joie sampled at Yuet Bistro. Noodles, veggies, Chinese BBQ pork, and shrimp were all cooked beautifully. Unfortunately, the curry powder wasn’t stirred in thoroughly. About half of the dish didn’t have any curry and tasted very bland, and then suddenly there’d be a mouthful of pasty curry powder glommed onto the rice noodles. Too bad, because the other ingredients were perfect.

Ma po tofu — lunch special, $6.95, including steamed or fried rice and a choice of egg flower or hot and sour soup.

This was a terrific deal — a very large portion of cubed tofu, strips of tender pork, diced carrots and peas in a gingery, not-too-sweet spicy-hot sauce, along with a generous amount of freshly cooked fried rice. Even an unreconstructed carnivore would enjoy this hearty special vegetarian dish with meaty textures. Ma po tofu can be made sans pork for a vegetarian dish.

Salt-baked squid $8.95, enough to serve two or three as an appetizer to share.

Salt-baked squid is not, in fact, baked but rather deep-fried in a light, puffy coating, with lots of browned slivered garlic, salt, fresh jalapenos, and dried chilies thrown over the top and served with hoi sin, sweet and sour, and garlic-chili paste. Femme de Joie could hardly stop eating this delicious, intensely flavored dim sum. Amico del Signore is not a squid fan but he loved this.

Thai tom yum seafood soup, $8.95 for a very large serving.

M. de Joie loved this spicy and warming Thai soup, sour with limes in a strongly aromatic broth and filled with three green-lipped mussels and plenty of squid and shrimp. This is a soup for those who love assertive flavors and unexpected combinations of tastes.

Now that the Cypress Street Bridge is complete and there aren’t 20-minute delays crossing the river, Yuet Bistro is easily accessible from downtown for lunch, or make a special evening reservation and enjoy some sophisticated Asian food in an attractive dining room.

Yuet Bistro, 24 Hartnell Avenue, Redding, CA 96002. 530-222-8322. Open Sunday-Thursday 11 AM – 9 PM; Friday and Saturday 11 AM – 11 PM. Cash, cards; no checks. Ample onsite parking. Vegetarian and vegan options. Beer and wine. See menu at http://www.yuetbistro.com/

Femme de Joie’s first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Femme de Joie
Femme de Joie's first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more or send her an email at femmedejoiefood@yahoo.com.
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9 Responses

  1. Avatar Penny says:

    Too true! All the dishes I've enjoyed there were terrific…flavorful and filling. Thanks for reviewing some I haven't tried … surely on my list for next time! This restaurant is definitely worth patronizing regularly.

  2. Avatar Ken says:

    Yuet is one of our favorites. At most restaurants we usually find something we like and stick to it. We have tried a number of dishes at Yuet and almost all are quite good. My personal favorite is the orange beef, just the right amount of heat. They are more than happy to adjust the spice level based on personal taste. My wife asks for the sesame chicken with mild spice. As you noted the service can be perfunctory, especially when the owner waits on you. All in all I think this is the best and most reliable Asian food in town.

  3. Avatar Jessica says:

    I love everything that is there. Will be going for a birthday celebration. Love all of the foods that are in photo from.

  4. Avatar gamerjohn says:

    I love their dim sum. Good variety well prepared.

  5. Avatar Karen C says:

    Thanks so much for this report. We've had wonderful dinners there many times, but I had no idea they were open for lunch. The Sweet and Sour Soup will hit the spot right now.

  6. Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

    Hands down, the best restaurant reviews anywhere. You inspire me to want to try every single thing you've written about, except for the tripe tacos. I can't take things that far.

  7. Tom O'Mara Tom O'Mara says:

    Yeah, had the Ma Po Tofu and hot and sour soup yesterday – great stuff – will be back for more.

  8. Avatar Carrie says:

    Different strokes for different folks. I love seafood, so when I ordered the lightly sauteed shrimp and scallops with veggies, I didn't expect it to be sodden in thick corn-starchy sauce. Not flavorful at all. The war wonton soup was OK.

  9. Avatar Nonnie says:

    We tried this for dinner one night back in April 2011, loved the food. The family went there to celebrate a birthday, they were all amazed at how delicious the food was, and we have not gone to another Asian dinner house. This is now where we take all our family and friends when they are in town visiting.