Yelo, the hotly-anticipated banh mi shop from Phat Eatery founder Alex Au-Yeung and former Sing chef Cuc Lam, has officially opened in Katy Asian Town.
The restaurant, at 23119 Colonial Pkwy, Suite B-3, was born out of a collaboration between Lam and Au-Yeung that turned into a brief pop-up at Blodgett Food Hall. The restaurant opened quietly the first week of March, and is located right next door to Phat Eatery’s original Katy location.
In September, Au-Yeung opened a delivery-only version of his popular Malaysian restaurant, called Phat Kitchen, out of the Third Ward virtual food hall. Having a delivery-only commercial kitchen allowed more room for experimentation, and soon Lam was joining him for a pop-up version of her own brick-and-mortar restaurant, Yelo, which had been delayed due to the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the partnership with Blodgett Food Hall was short-lived, and in December, both restaurants closed. Pig & Duck, a third ghost restaurant Au-Yeung was hoping to open, which would have focused on Peking duck, is currently on hold.
But in those few short months, Yelo grew a cult following for its creative banh mi toppings and attention to detail. Those include a take on the French dip sandwich piled high with spiced brisket and accompanied by pho broth au jus; a banh mi filled with Phat Eatery’s award-winning beef rendang; and a sandwich filled with char siu xiu mai, or barbecued pork meatballs. In a statement, Lam said she searched high and low for the perfect baguette for her sandwiches, and she sourced herbs and fresh produce from Katy’s Happy Farms of Texas.
The menu also reflects a blend of Au-Yeung’s Malaysian street food and Lam’s Vietnamese heritage, with dishes like vermicelli bowls, Phat Eatery-inspired mango-papaya-shrimp spring rolls and housemade pickled made by the duo. Drinks include Vietnamese coffee made with New Orleans’ classic Cafe Du Monde beans, ube and pandan lattes, and fresh pressed juices.
Thought Yelo was originally envisioned as a diner, it’ll now operate as a grab-and-go destination, with seating for 12 inside, as well as a small patio. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Guests can place orders via counter service, or order online at yelohtx.com to pre-order for curbside pickup and delivery.