6969 Coal Creek Parkway SE
Newcastle WA 98059
Hunan, Mandarin and Szechuan All at Yeas Wok
By: Steve G
It’s pronounced “Yee’s” Wok, so all you Lil Jon fans don’t get it confused with his dubious one-liner that's been immortalized on the Dave Chapelle show. We were directed towards Yea’s Wok thanks to our survey with the UW students of the Chinese Student Association. Many of the students ranked Yea’s Wok within the top ten so we were very interesting in seeing what Yea’s Wok has to offer.
As you come through the door, you’ll instantly notice that Yea’s Wok is one of those typically Chinese café. With a calming sky blue backdrop and an impressive array of fish tanks, plants, and strangely enough, model airplanes, it doesn’t succumb to the easy cop-out of kitschy bamboo trees or a scene out of the House of Flying Daggers. Based on the room layout, you can easily tell that Yea’s Wok is a destination point for many people during lunch and on Sunday mornings with a large amount of circle tables and lazy susans perfect for family style eating.
The place was surprisingly packed on a Tuesday afternoon and after we talked to the hostess, we were handed a pager to let us know when our table was ready, something not usually seen at a Chinese restaurant. The service was a little hit and miss though as it took quite awhile for someone to finally take our order. The server was little taken by surprise when we ordered the Tea Smoked Duck, Yea’s Chicken with Mandarin sauce, Shanghai Spareribs, Szechwan Jumbo Shrimp, and the Shrimp Egg Foo Young. He asked if we were a little hungry and we quickly replied, "Very hungry."
Once the food arrived at our table, we were very impressed by what we had. Plump, rich, and infused with a light smoky taste that added a little depth to the gamy flavor, the Tea Smoked Duck was quite the impressive dish. Unlike other versions of this dish that were served cold and dry side, Yea's Wok had a good amount of moisture that really made it a very enjoyable dish.
The Shanghai Spareribs are highly recommended from the regulars of Yea's Wok and for good reason. Served over a bed of batchoy and covered in a sweet brown sauce, the meat effortlessly fell off the bone making it one of our easiest encounters with ribs.
Very egg-intensive and lacking any big add-on ingredients, the Shrimp Egg Foo Young is best described as a fluffy omelet. Most versions we've seen usually add on extra things like peas, carrots, watercress, and onions to name a few, but it simply focused on light fluffy texture broken up every now and then with a few small pieces of shrimp. Definitely recommended for fans of the incredible, editable egg, but some might find it a bit too monotonous in terms of taste and consistency.
If you're a fan of battered fried chicken thickly coated in a spicy orange sauce, then Yea's Chicken in Mandarin Sauce is probably a good bet. Much like a fruity, more spicy cousin of the ever so popular sweet and sour chicken, but far more palatable for those who are more seasoned in Chinese cuisine.
While the service was a little off, Yea’s Wok did recover nicely in terms of food. Items like the Tea Smoked Duck really took us by surprise in terms of taste and quality of meat and the Shanghai Spareribs are a definite must try. Though Yea's Wok is far from International District, it still delivers that quality of food that most people would never expect in Newcastle.