Yummy brings a menu of Asian and American favorites — including Thai rolled ice cream — to downtown Iowa City

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Amy Huang, manager of Yummy, Dec. 5, 2019. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Yummy, Iowa City’s newest restaurant, opened this week, bringing a wide range of both Asian and American favorites — from Cross-Bridge rice noodles to chicken wings to Thai rolled ice cream — to downtown.

“We have American food, Japanese food and Chinese food all together,” Amy Huang, Yummy’s manager, told Little Village.

Almost everything on the menu is offered buffet-style on the restaurant’s long hot bar. There’s also a cold bar with salads and other veggies.

“You can pick what you want for $5.95 a pound,” Huang said.

The hot bar at Yummy, Dec. 5, 2019. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Some items, like chicken nuggets and dumplings, are immediately recognizable. Others, like black chicken, may be less familiar to those not well-acquainted with Asian cuisine. (Silkie chickens often have white feathers, but they have black bones, blackish-purple skin and dark beige flesh. The chickens are popular throughout Asia for their unique, gamy taste.)

The restaurant’s owners decided to open Yummy in Iowa City due to the large number of University of Iowa students from Asia, Huang explained.

“We know there are students from all across Asia who miss the food they know,” she said. “We want to give them a place where they can find a mix of everything.”

But before anyone can start to fill their plates, they have to walk past the front counter, where the Thai rolled ice cream is prepared.

Angel Li preparing rolled ice cream at Yummy, Dec. 5, 2019. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Also called “stir-fried ice cream,” it’s prepared by pouring the liquid base onto a refrigerated pan. Chilled fruit is added and diced fine, then the mixture is manipulated with paddles until it forms a thin layer of ice cream on the pan, which is sliced into sections and rolled into little cigar-shaped forms as it is scraped off the pan.

As with the entrées at Yummy, there’s a wide variety of ice cream flavors and toppings available.

Yummy is located at 119 E Washington St and is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Yummy, 119 E Washington St — Paul Brennan/Little Village

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