The other day something stood out to me in the Student Union — a takeout container taped to a door. Next to it was a menu offering a combo of three dishes for the low price of seven dollars. As someone passionate about good food and good deals, I was immediately intrigued, but the name of the company promoting this bargain was nowhere listed. After asking around, I found out I had been looking at the menu for Taiwanese Yummy, a new vendor serving traditional Taiwanese street food right on campus.
Owner Grace Liu has been running Taiwanese Yummy for over 10 years, serving quality Taiwanese cuisine. Her son, Alex Liu, described how they are determined to introduce more of their signature dishes to the Queens community. While coming to Queens College has been exciting, Alex Liu expressed that, “Due to venue and equipment constraints, some items have not been showcased yet.” That being said, the Liu’s are “committed” to adding some of their “homeland’s specialities,” such as popcorn chicken and Taiwanese beef noodles, to the QC menu.
Currently, they serve a buffet of sweet and sour pork, teriyaki chicken, spicy chicken, steamed egg with pork, fried fish, fried pork chops, chicken with broccoli, and hakka rice noodles. As part of their seven dollar deal, customers can select any two dishes to enjoy over fried noodles or rice, choosing from egg-fried or white; they also sell fried noodles separately for five dollars. I recommend going for the seven dollar box because the amount of food for the price is unbeatable. Liu and her colleague give generous portions, and the reusable plastic container is definitely a bonus. Plus, each meal gets dressed with soy sauce and a bit of chili oil, which was a highlight for me.
I headed to Taiwanese Yummy with friends and ordered my go-to dish: chicken and broccoli with white rice. To top it off, I decided to try the fried pork chops as well. For starters, the rice was delicious — fluffy and hot — and the chili oil had a nice kick that complemented everything else nicely. I enjoyed the chicken and broccoli — the large pieces of broccoli were steamed without being too soft, and there was plenty of juicy chicken stir-fried with the broccoli in a light garlic sauce, which I preferred over the more typical thick brown sauce.
While the pork chop was flavorful, it was cold, very oily, and the breading fell off. Because the vendors lack access to a kitchen at QC, they must make everything but the rice beforehand to be served throughout the day. Various students reported that, for this reason, the food was often served warm or cold, rather than hot.
Despite mentions of the less-than-ideal temperature of the food, students generally reported really enjoying what Taiwanese Yummy had to offer. Junior Kelly Williams raved about the sweet and sour pork, saying it was “so, so delicious” and that, “For the price and being on campus you can’t beat it.” Williams said she will “definitely” be back for more.
Like all food, opinions on the dishes at Taiwanese Yummy varied from person to person. I tried the sesame chicken and thought it was coated nicely with flavorful sesame sauce; however, junior Raamkumar Subramuniam mentioned the sesame chicken, “Had good flavor but some pieces were really hard so [I] couldn’t eat them.” Subramuniam also felt the fried rice was “a little dry,” but the chili oil “really helped and added to the flavor.”
QC partnered with the Queens Night Market (QNM), a popular food fair in Queens, to select vendors that would fit into our campus life. According to Joseph Loughen, QC’s Chief Financial Advisor, price point was a big factor when choosing businesses to serve students. With input from the QNM, administrators and students handpicked vendors that could offer a variety of dishes at an affordable price — and at $7 a pop for two dishes over rice, Taiwanese Yummy is hitting the spot with hungry students on a budget.
I would recommend Taiwanese Yummy to students looking for authentic Taiwanese food when they are short on time or cannot leave campus. Overall, students were happy with their meals and for $7, they would come back again. More than anything, Liu and her son want to give students a sense of their home.
Visit them in the Student Union from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. They take cash, Zelle, and Venmo but no credit or debit cards.