I was in downtown Ypsi last week and walking out of a poetry slam event at the Riverside Arts Center with a friend when I realized how hungry I was. Being in the downtown area and being a vegetarian, I couldn’t really think of any good go-to restaurants that wouldn’t be super expensive.
The friend I was with suggested we walk to Encuentro Latino, a Guatemalan restaurant around the block. I said okay, and then we were on our way.
Unfortunately, Encuentro Latino was closed for the night. It was truly heartbreak for my stomach as we got up to the doors and saw that all the lights were turned off. But after considering how hungry we were, we vowed not to give up. Walking around the corner, a lit-up place caught our eyes. Our pace quickened, and soon we were opening the door and soaking up some amazing smells.
We had arrived at Wok Mandu, a new restaurant in downtown Ypsilanti - across from the College of Business - which serves up authentic Nepalese and Himalayan cuisine.
I examined the menu with scrutiny, looking for vegetarian options. I was delighted to quickly find many and eventually decided on stir fry. You get to pick your protein, vegetables, sauce, and type of noodle. I got tofu, water chestnuts, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions on top of udon noodles, all soaked in old school stir fry sauce. It was only $7.99! My friend eventually decided on their okra with a potato dish, which came with soup and naan as well.
After ordering, we sat down and waited for our food. I quickly noticed how clean the dining room was. I also noticed that Wok Mandu seems to attract a lot of locals, as the people who came in seemed to have a good rapport with the workers. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait very long for our food. In just about ten minutes, our food was set down on the table before us. It all looked amazing.
My first bite confirmed what my eyes had already told me, and I savored every last bite of the stir-fry. The sauce, noodles, vegetables, and tofu created a wonderful combination - warm, filling goodness. My stomach thanked me for not giving up after seeing Encuentro Latino closed up.
Wok Mandu opened Dec. 27, of last year, so it's only in its third month of business. I encourage you to support the restaurant with your patronage due to it being a local one-off business and a provider of great food.
The only complaint I have is that our food was served with plastic utensils. It’s neither a sustainable nor environmentally friendly practice to throw away so much plastic, and I encourage Wok Mandu to switch to metal or hard plastic silverware that can be washed and continually re-used.
With that said, I still encourage you to try out Wok Mandu. They have an extensive menu and cater to vegetarians and vegans. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
I rate this restaurant 4 out of 5 swoops.