yen ching story


Behind every success
is a good story...

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.

Yen Ching in Downtown Boise

Nestled in the heart of Boise, Yen Ching has become a hallmark for locals and business travelers frequenting the City of Trees.  When Boise Weekly touted Yen Ching for having the “Best Local Chinese Food” it was no surprise to its patrons who enjoy the eatery’s large-portioned meals and affordable prices.

Located on the corner of Ninth Street and Bannock, Yen Ching is one of Boise’s longest-running businesses downtown.  In 1985, downtown Boise was on the cusp of an urban renewal, possessing much potential for its one day becoming the thriving and trending scene it is today.  For Phillip, he saw a golden opportunity.  The following year in 1986, the family-run restaurant was joined by Satoshi, a warm and welcoming face, who has been with Yen Ching ever since.


As downtown Boise grew and developed into the vibrant place it is today, Yen Ching grew right along with it, adapting to the many changes and trends through the years.  It’s pretty simple really, Yen Ching is one of the best restaurants in Boise.  The Chou Family and Satoshi have been making their culinary mark for over three decades.

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

introducing bēi lounge

bēi lounge is Yen Ching’s newest addition and offers a modern Asian vibe to Boise’s downtown bar scene.  Located in the Yen Ching Building on the corner of 9th and Bannock St., bēi lounge is set in a relaxing atmosphere and provides a classy, fusion-ness energy for a real East meets West experience.  An ideal meetup for locals as well as frequent visitors, bēi lounge is complete with a food and beverage menu offering customers a first class experience at affordable prices. 

Enjoy bēi lounge’s extensive list of beers and wines with a few local selections.  For those looking for more of an Asian flare, the signature Lychee Martini or Japanese Sake might be in order.  Hungry patrons can order Bibim Bap, a Korean rice bowl with sautéed vegetables topped with an egg and accompanied with a semi-sweet chili pepper paste. 

Happy hour includes $4 draft beers, $4.5 well drinks, and $6 house wines from 4pm to 6pm Monday through Friday and 3pm to 6pm on Saturday.