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Cambodian restaurant in University Heights sets opening

Tuesday, Oct. 23 is the day customers can poke their heads inside Yey's Cafe.

The restaurant, 3225 Main St., will start in soft-opening mode at 2 p.m.

Soft-opening means it's the restaurant's first days in business, so so dining there may require patience and flexibility. The cafe's menu is inspired by Cambodian cuisine. Owner Jennifer Lay named it after her grandmother, who taught her how to cook Cambodian food.

Customers can build a bowl ($8.95-$9.95) by starting with rice, rice noodles or salad. Then choose a protein, from chicken, beef, meatballs, or two vegan choices: seitan or tofu. Then add a sauce, and toppings like pickled carrots, daikon or mustard greens, bean sprouts, basil or cilantro, peanuts and more.

Artist Chuck Tingley painted a mural inside Yey's celebrating the owner's Cambodian heritage. (Yey's Cafe)

Sandwiches like a Vietnamese banh mi ($8.95) include pork belly, beef, chicken, or seitan with pickled cucumber, daikon and carrots, with cilantro and chili mayonnaise, on a baguette.

Babaw ($7.95) is rice porridge topped with chicken or scrambled tofu, salted soybeans, fried garlic and cilantro. Yey's Cafe will also sell fried snacks like chicken wings in Cambodian red curry ($7.95) and egg rolls ($4.95), in meat and vegan varieties.

Cambodian iced coffee ($4.95) is made with dark roast coffee, coconut milk, and sweet-sour tamarind drizzle. It won't be available the first week, though. Also, meatballs, desserts, and some ingredients might not be available.

To start, the restaurant's hours will be 2 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. Phone: 427-4714.

City's first Cambodian restaurant opening in University Heights

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