THE MEANING OF YEN CHING
Perhaps the name “Yen Ching” offers hints of the restaurant’s long-standing success. The Chinese characters that make up the multifaceted “Yen Ching” symbolize gold and the forging of prosperity and wealth. Yen Ching also means “City of Sparrows” harkening back to the beloved capitol of China during the springtime when the sparrows would eat all the mosquitos, creating a more pleasant experience for those who graced her streets.
With roots in Northern China’s Shandong Province, the Yen Ching Family’s path to Idaho was indirect, zigzagged and nothing short of a culinary adventure. For starters, the founder of Yen Ching, Phillip, is not your average chef. As a young chemical engineer and teacher in Asia, Phillip’s career path detoured into studying the science of sauté and the chemistry of cooking. That was over four decades ago and there has been no looking back since.
Phillip and his wife Fan Mei are retired now, but his original recipes are still used in the Yen Ching kitchen today. Yen Ching is run by co-owner Satoshi, who has been with the family restaurant since the 1980s.
The Yen Ching Family is passionate for the Chinese restaurant business. They believe in hard work and the American dream of enterprise and entrepreneurship. In addition, their love for Idaho and all it has to offer has made the local phenomenon of Yen Ching what it is today.
For the Yen Ching Family, Idaho means fresh air, pristine waters, four seasons, good skiing and business opportunities. In 1983, Phillip and Fan Mei moved to Ketchum, Idaho where they opened up a restaurant in the Wood River Valley. After selling the Ketchum restaurant, Phillip and his family settled into the Treasure Valley, opening one restaurant in Nampa, several more in Boise and one in Idaho Falls. With the exception of the downtown location, all of the other Yen Chings have been sold to industrious employees, which continue to thrive in Idaho.
At Yen Ching we strive for excellence not only in the quality of our ingredients and presentation but also in our customer service. As a part of Yen Ching and the Boise community for over three decades, I have to say it’s all about the people. We always love seeing new faces and meeting customers passing through, but it is our local patrons—many we know on a first name basis—that make Yen Ching what it is today.
— Satoshi, Co-owner and Manager
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