Spend Locally: Yum Yum Bento

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Emily Joan Elliott for ELi

Yum Yum Bento is located on Grand River Ave.

An ELi reader favorite, YumYum Bento is a family-owned Asian restaurant serving Japanese, Korean, and Thai food located at 1017 East Grand River Ave. in East Lansing. Owned by husband and wife duo, Shanshan Xu and Eddy Liang, YumYum opened in February, just before the pandemic hit here, and reopened back in August.

For Xu, a MSU graduate of the Food Industry Management program, explained that her dream was to have a small business close to campus. After ten years as a stay-at-home mom, she has returned to the workforce and is happy to work alongside her husband while taking care of her family.

Popular menu items include the Japanese bento box – either the teriyaki sauce option or the katsu. Bento boxes are dishes compartmentalized into boxes, containing a full meal, complete with smaller portions of protein and sides. For the teriyaki box, customers can choose their protein: chicken, beef, calamari, or fried tofu. They can also pick two sides from an array of options: house salad, fried tofu, deep fried gyoza, crab rangoon, edamame, spring roll, veggie tempura, or deep fried potato patty.

Liang said the bibimbap and bulgogi are also popular menu items, as is the pad thai. “Not a lot of people order our kitsune udon soup, but it’s very good,” he said.

After reopening in the summer, YumYum also introduced an extended drinking menu, featuring bubble teas and specialty drinks, which have been popular with MSU students. Flavors include signature original boba milk tea, taro boba milk tea, strawberry boba milk tea, jasmine boba milk tea, coconut boba tea, Japanese green tea boba milk tea, as well as hot and cold fruit teas.

YumYum Bento is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, and closed on Sunday. They offer takeout via phone, in-person or online ordering, and delivery through DoorDash.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Shanshan Xu.

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