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Manchu Café opens on Massillon Road, moves from Jackson

By George W. Davis
Ohio.com correspondent

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Former Belden Village food court restaurateur Jeff Yang has moved his Manchu Cafe to Green Plaza in the former Amber Li's Restaurant location on Friday, July 20, 2012 in Green, Ohio. (Paul Tople/Akron Beacon Journal)

GREEN – A new restaurant is about to open in Green, with the chef dishing up more than just food.

The Manchu Café, which for 15 years has been operated in the northeast corner of the Target/Kohl’s Plaza on Dressler Road in Belden Village, will open Aug. 1 in the former Amber Li’s restaurant in the Green Plaza at the Roundabout on Massillon Road.
 
Featuring a wide selection of popular Chinese cooking, including gluten-free selections and Bubble Teas, as well as some American staples and dishes from the Philippines, the restaurant will be operated by Chinese chef Jeffrey Yang and his wife of 31 years, Jennie. They met as third-grade students in the Philippines, where both were born to Chinese immigrants.
 
“We are excited to greet and welcome our new patrons, and invite those who have been with us for so many years to follow us up Massillon Road to our ‘new home’ in the city of Green,” Yang said, as the new sign went up last week on the south face of the building over the restaurant’s entrance.
 
“Known as Canton’s best kept secret, we are now in Green,” Jennie said. “Thanks to all for loving us for 22 years in Canton” between the Belden Village Mall food court and the Manchu Café.
 
Asked why he and Jennie chose to move their restaurant to Green, the Jackson Township resident said, “Our 15-year lease ends this Oct. 31 and we see this as God’s divine intervention and connection being proposed to us by the new landload.
 
"Most of our clients are from Green and they are so eager for us to relocate to their city. Their support and eagerness stirs us even more excitement among all of us.
 
“With all the expansion occurring right in front of our plaza location, we can’t wait to serve our good food and provide our good services in that area.”
 
Jennie said reservations aren’t required and major credit cards are accepted.
The Yangs have two children: Jeffrey Jr., a resident orthopedic surgeon at Akron General Medical Center; and Julianne, in her third year of medical school at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.
 
More than a chef
 
Not only is Jeffrey Yang a master chef when it comes to Chinese and Asian dishes, he also is a certified classical Feng Shui master, having been trained in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2002.
 
“Feng Shui is not the art of decorating your home with good-luck objects and is not the art of placement of furniture and objects,” Yang said. “And Feng Shui isn’t about interior design and not about living in harmony with nature.
 
“Feng Shui is based on you,” he asserted. “It’s the cause and effect of energies in the environment on you. Everything is based on your birthdate and the facing direction and degrees of your front door.
 
“I do Feng Shui to help people harness good energy, thereby enhancing good health and happiness into their lives. Remember, too, that Feng Shui is not a religion and nothing psychic. It’s all about you.”
 
Yang is more than a chef. He's also a Kong Han Kung Fu instructor.
 
He has his Kung Fu studio on Fulton Drive Northwest in Jackson Township. And he was given the blessing and permission by head master Henry Lo to teach the system called Five Ancestors Fist.
 
Once his restaurant is in full swing, Yang envisions establishing a similar Kung Fu facility next door to his new restaurant. He teaches students from age 5 up, he said.
 
Two years ago, Yang went to China to work with the Kong Han Kung Fu head master to refine his Kung Fu skills. He even took some of his students with him.
 
He also is trained in Tai Chi, a form of Kung Fu that is stretching through continuous movement to promote energy flow and also balances energy of mind [meditation] and body interaction.
 
Tai Chi is a form of Kung Fu dating back to 1000 B.C., Yang explained. Originally 108 movements, Yang teaching the Yang style 32-movement course.
 
Through his skill and perseverance, Yang has been featured twice in the national Kung Fu magazine and once in a Ku Fu Tai Chi edition.
 
Another Yang talent is acupressure massage, which is similar to acupuncture without needles to relieve pain in most all parts of the body.
 
For more information about Feng Shui, Tai Chi and acupressure, phone Yang at 330-353-4453. To reach the Manchu Café, phone 330-494-5889.
 
The Yangs also have three websites for their businesses. They are manchucafe.com, konghankungfu.com and ifengshuiyou.com.