Pink Piggy owner, Echo Shao, didn’t move to Grand Rapids from China ten years ago with the intention of opening up a restaurant. Quite the opposite. She moved here as an executive, with a corporate job in the textile industry.
For Shao, sharing her mother’s recipes has more to do with her desire to become more entrenched in the community. It’s a labor of love.
The former space was occupied by the longstanding Chinese takeout favorite, Foo Yen, which offered an extensive menu of traditional Chinese food.
While Shao intends to keep some well known traditional fare on her menu, the space is far from traditional and most menu items deviate from the norm. For example, her scallion pancakes are served with a Peruvian-inspired creamy cilantro dipping sauce.
“We don’t use cream or cheese in China,” Shao said happily, waiting for a reaction to the appetizer found on a portion of the menu titled, “Piggy Nibblers.” Other eclectic items include lumpia (Filipino style spring rolls), Piggy Rangoon (sans the imitation krab), house special potstickers (delicious and her mother’s recipe) and some curiously labeled sandwiches served on bao buns called, “Piggy Pillow Talk.”
The menu also features cold Beijing noodles, and a half-dozen or more familiar chicken entrees: sweet and sour, orange, sesame, General Tso’s, Kung Pao, to name a few. There’s also a decent selection of braised beef and pork offerings as well as a wide variety of beverages including some traditional teas, Vietnamese coffee, Malaysian MILO (a chocolate malt beverage blended with condensed milk) smoothies, milk teas, bobas and specialty drinks of all flavors.
The space is inviting and contemporary, with a huge tv on one wall and plenty of seating. Shao can’t wait for the place to be filled with community members just hanging out and having a good time she said and added that the restaurant would not be there without the help of her friends and her husband, Kevin.
Pink Piggy, located at 2230 Wealthy St. in East Grand Rapids, is open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Stop in or call ahead at (616) 805-3949.