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Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets opened up a restaurant in Houston called Yao Restaurant and Bar. We haven’t been there yet because when it comes to Chinese restaurants in Houston there are dozens to choose from. Not long ago there was a groupon deal which helped us make the decision to finally try the place out. I’m usually iffy on places opened by a celebrity, but I was open minded and gave it a try.

The inside was done simple with a touch of elegance. The dress is casual, I’m not sure how the evening crowds are, but in the afternoon it was very casual.

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Since our groupon was for $30 we decided to try out a few of the menu items and order enough to take home for leftovers. We started out with the Singapore-Style Satay Chicken $5.95 (4 skewered grilled chicken glazed with Satay sauce. My opinion is to skip this. The chicken was dried out, over cooked and didn’t have any flavor. The dipping sauce was good.

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We also split a bowl of Hot and Sour Soup $2.95. I really enjoyed this, it was nice and thick and full of flavor.

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The entrees came out as family style with 2 large bowls of rice. The General Tso’s Chicken $11.50 (Sautéed chicken with jalapenos, sweet peppers, vinegar, and sweet soy) seemed a little dry and over cooked. The sauce was good, but nothing outstanding.

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Next we had the Orange Peel Chicken $11.50 (Crispy chicken tossed with sesame seeds in sweet sesame sauce). I would order this again. The orange isn’t overpowering and it had a nice thickness to it.

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Our last dish was the Curry Chicken with Onion $10.50 (Sautéed chicken in coconut curry sauce and onion). D wasn’t over joyed about the dish because it had a lot of onion and not as much chicken, we both liked the flavors.

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If you need some extra heat ask for their chili sauce it’ll light you up, a little goes a long way.

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Would I go back? Ummm probably not. It’s not a bad place it’s just similar to the place right around the corner for me so why should I have to drive in town? The waitress we had was like a tornado she came and went so fast you have to pretty much talk fast or else she was gone and you wouldn’t see her again for a while. The food came out fast and they package up your leftovers quickly tableside for you, but the place just didn’t wow me when we have so many Asian restaurants in town.

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