Get Yourself to Basil Babe: Pop-up Turned Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant 

With a soft opening still under way, the newest restaurant in Ypsilanti is the work of mother-daughter duo Haluthai and Vasanna Inhmathong and is located at 701 Cross Street, just across the road from Eastern Michigan University.

Haluthai was born and raised in Ypsilanti and is an EMU alum. Vasanna was born in Bangkok and formerly owned Ann Arbor’s Siam Square for over 20 years. 

What started as a pandemic pop-up serving great dumplings around town now has a comfy home of its own.

Check its Instagram or Facebook page for hours – for now. A grand opening event will be coming soon. They also post menu updates and more to their social media accounts. 

Our family visited on a recent Tuesday evening and once I saw that day’s menu had khao soi, a coconut curry noodle soup, I knew there was no other option for me, a khao soi aficionado. 

And who can resist pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles) and pad kaprow (a spicy basil stir-fry that gave the restaurant its name), or a couple of deep-fried spring rolls? We got those, too.

The place was hopping (even at the early bird/uncool parent hour of 5 p.m). Every seat was filled by the time we finished our meal. 

The khao soi brought me back to when I had it in a roadside stand in northern Thailand more than a decade ago – it was comforting, delicious and exactly what I needed.

The pad thai was perfect. We even pretended to fight each other for the last bite of pad kaprow. 

They also sell an assortments of drinks and desserts including  cocosquash and coconut pandan pudding cups. To drink, they serve Thai iced tea and coffee.

The whole meal definitely elevated the average weeknight dining experience. Even our son loved it and he is one of those kids who doesn’t really eat. Go!

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