19 E Gay St.
Columbus, OH 43215
A popular spot in the popular Gay Street restaurant corridor in downtown Columbus, Tiger + Lily is primarily a ramen bar, but its staff is talented enough that they can offer good specials across all kinds of Asian cuisine. With a modern, urban flair and a real eye for making a filling meal, this spot fills a very nice place in the downtown dining scene, a nicer Asian Fusion shop with a clean, simple feel and people who make for a really friendly experience. And that food? It’s absolutely splendid.
The menu is mostly focused on ramen and other noodle bowls but a number of other things roll around on the menu. Some of the best:
- Tom Yum Ramen: This is the best of two worlds: Tom Yum Soup is a spicy Thai delicacy with notably hot and sour flavors, usually seafood and veggies. Ramen noodles are Japanese in origin. Topped with veggies and mushrooms, this dish is notably hot. I can’t get enough of it.
- Pho: A special served some days, the traditional Vietnamese pho is all about the broth, and this soup is pretty good stuff! Lots of cilantro and bean sprouts as well as chả lụa, or Vietnamese sausage. It’s typical for this stuff to be spicy to taste, and that’s certainly an option here. I kind of wish it was a regular appearance on the menu.
- Tiramisu: OK, this one isn’t strictly Asian, but it’s on the menu and looked good! Topped with lots of cocoa powder, and with condensed milk and a chocolate drizzle on the side. Delicious and not too soggy! Very happy to finish off a meal with this dish.
The restaurant service is fantastic, staff comes back frequently to check on water and make sure all your needs are met, even when there’s a rush as there can be at lunch hour during the work week. Price points on food are about normal for what you’d expect to see in downtown. And the most important thing, the flavor is there.
Tiger + Lily is a fantastic experience, not just because the food is creative and interesting, but also because what is offered here is unique and definitely fills a niche that’s direly needed in downtown.
I like this place. Not just because it’s got great soups, but because the people and experience overall are just great. Pay this one a visit.
- Ramen is the main dish to try here, some options are spicy, some are meaty but all are pretty good. Not a lot of other places offering this kind of food!
- The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner, though dinner hour tends to be easier to get a table.
- Look for specials that aren’t on the regular menu each day. Also, pay attention to the desserts!