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Thursday, June 01, 2023 — Houston, TX

O'Yeah Cafe a hit in RMC

By Jennifer Ding     2/1/12 6:00pm

For those searching for a new lunch option, your answer has arrived. Last week, the O'Yeah Cafe opened at the Owl Cove, where Little Willy's used to be in the RMC.

The cafe offers both Americanized and authentic Chinese menu options, each of which changes daily. The English menu features an entree-style lunch plate, with choices such as orange chicken and fried rice. The Chinese menu consists of the boxed lunch of the day, which contains several authentic Chinese dishes. O'Yeah Cafe specializes in Chinese cuisine made in Sichuanese style.

This project was started by Rice Chinese Students and Scholars Club President Heng Ji. After realizing there was no Chinese food on campus, Ji and other graduate students began ordering from the O'Yeah Cafe restaurant located on Kirby. Since they could not sell directly to students on campus, the cafe created a system to deliver to Sammy's. However, students would have had to go through the process of ordering and paying online the night before. According to cafe owner David Ding, anywhere from 80 to 120 students were ordering lunch from O'Yeah online every day.

According to graduate student Fangfang Wen, the scarcity of dining options has been an issue for some time.

"It was miserable," Wen said. "There are not many choices."

Staff members face the same problem. Tim Jackson, manager of the bookstore and Recharge- U, welcomed the arrival of a new option.

"I've been eating Mediterranean food for three months now," Jackson said.

Ji contacted Housing and Dining last semester to find a solution. Together, H&D and O'Yeah Cafe worked together to rent the Owl Cove to the cafe, work out logistical details and obtain a food permit.

At the cafe's grand opening on Jan. 26, Ji and H&D Director David McDonald watched on as the line of hungry students and staff members grew. According to Ji, the 80 boxed lunches O'Yeah had prepared for the first day sold out before noon. For the past week, Ding estimates that O'Yeah has served about 100 customers every day, including staff members, graduate and undergraduate students.

McMurtry College senior Rebecca Isaac said she has heard positive feedback about the cafe.

"It's certainly a lot busier than the other place that was here," Isaac said. "I've heard a lot of people have tried it and said it was good."

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