Wu, who moved here from Shanghai with her family when she was twelve, has a degree in marketing from the U-M business school. She hadn't intended to go into the restaurant business, nor had she intended to settle in Ann Arbor. After college she was all set to move to Hong Kong, where she had a job offer, but her mother, Bin Hua Tsou, needed help. Tsou, who Wu says is better known around town as a popular piano teacher, opened Lucky Kitchen on Plymouth in 1993, not so much because she wanted a restaurant, but to give her godson a job--"His English skills weren't that good," Wu explains. But shortly after Lucky Kitchen opened, the godson decamped to Canada, and Wu stepped into the breach.
At the time, she thought it was a temporary arrangement, but shortly afterward she hired chef Jin Huang. They married and eventually opened a second Lucky Kitchen on East U. They now have two children, the older in middle school. "We're a close family," she says. "My mom helps me out in the restaurant, my dad watches the kids." Wu even counts her brother, who lives in Hong Kong, as part of her support system: "He helps me emotionally and in many different ways."
Passport's grand opening was October 8, but Wu says that a soft opening a month earlier had already resulted in some tweaks to the menu. "Some people have found it to be a little pricey [the bouillabaisse will set you back $29], so we added the happy hour munchies menu, available all weekend and from three to seven on weekdays." And her lunch menu, which currently is pretty much limited to sandwiches and pasta, will soon include some of the dinner entrees.