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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Qixin Yu returns to his roots

Egg drop soup with wonton from Plum House. [Photo by Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17]

A review of Plum House’s new Chinese menu

By Anastasia Gayol Cintron ‘17 and Mari Otto ‘17

Collaborative Writers

Plum House, the restaurant nestled comfortably on Cattell St. recently initiated a whole new cuisine into its menu, making us love it even more. Popular for its fresh, cost effective sushi and teriyaki specials, the amiable family bestowed College Hill with the ultimate gift: Chinese food.

When we say Chinese food, we are not talking about the greasy, heavy dishes we get delivered to our dorms after a late night. No, we are talking about fresh, flavorful and easily the best Chinese food we’ve tasted.

For the appetizer, we opted for the egg drop soup, which came in a large serving and was simply egg-credible. Seriously, once you go egg drop you never go back. One bowl nearly fills you before the main course is even served. For the entree, the competition was fierce—the “dinner combo” chart presented several great deals in which for a price under $10, customers receive an egg roll, pork fried rice, and one of multiple entree choices.

Mari: Sticking with the basics, I ordered the shrimp and broccoli. You will not be disappointed. The vegetables and the shrimp had a perfectly savory and sweet taste. The shrimp was fresh and was cooked to perfection. Also, dining with other friends who ordered beef and chicken dishes, there was nothing but, “mmmmm’s” all around the table.

Anastasia: Additionally, the fried rice was completely grease-free and while I usually call for a soy sauce accompaniment when I order fried rice, this rice had so much flavor, it required no additions. Along with the crispy egg roll, nothing about this meal left me feeling heavy—as is so often the case when overdoing it with Chinese food.

Plum House has been anticipating the Chinese food addition to their menu for quite a while. But, with the broader meal plans at the college this year and the addition of sushi to the meal exchange this semester, they decided to expand their menu.

Qixin Yu said that these tactics can “kill the restaurants, kill the business” on college hill. He saw a slump in his business with the addition of the sushi bar in Lower and, while it is a no brainer to want to escape the dining hall and have a fresher dining experience at Plum House, the cold weather has recently confined us to campus.

Yu has been a chef for over 25-years and has cooked Chinese food at his previous restaurant with healthier and fresher recipe altercations at Plum House. He makes sauces for various dishes from fresh and on-the-spot mixed ingredients, which is out of the norm for fast food Chinese restaurants—Plum House is the diamond in the rough.

There is another layer of pride that comes with the addition of Chinese food to the Plum House menu for Yu. Yu’s family can be seen eating lunch and dinner at the restaurant.

He knows he is serving quality food to his customers because he is eating the same food himself, and serving it to his family.

“Why are we eating? Because it’s tasty,” Yu said. “We are family–that’s why we can do everything right.”

His youngest daughter’s favorite thing on the menu is the fried rice and lo mein and his older daughter likes chicken dishes and the hot and sour soup.

While none of your Plum House favorites have left the menu, many more choices have been added without a sacrifice in quality—a difficult feat. In addition, and unsurprisingly, with its great prices and enhanced selection, Plum House has never been more crowded. We went four nights in a row, including a Saturday—we got the last table and the restaurant was so packed that we were given tea mugs for water glasses.

For the cherry on top of the perfect, cost efficient meal, Plum House now offers fortune cookies at the door for those who are superstitious foodies. Plum House 2.0 receives 5/5 Stars.

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