HOUSTON -- Yao Ming is a big fan of his mother's cooking.
Everyone else will be able to try it out on Monday when Yao's
parents open the Yao Restaurant and Bar on the west side of
Houston's thriving Chinatown is about three miles away.
Yao's restaurant is a $1.5 million venture that combines Chinese
food with a sports bar. It is owned by Yao's father, Yao Zhiyuan,
and mother, Fang Feng Di, both former members of China's national
The restaurant employs a chef, but it will feature some of his
mother's home-cooked specialties, including Yao's favorite, chicken
soup with shiitake mushrooms.
Three 70-inch televisions are located in the bar so fans can
watch Yao play and pictures of the Houston Rockets' center cover
Yao, 24, a native of Shanghai, China, is in his third season
with the Rockets. The All-Star center is not directly involved with
the restaurant, but his parents did include special accommodations
for his 7-foot-6 frame.
Chairs in a special VIP room are built to fit NBA players and
the doors are 10-feet high so tall customers won't have to duck.