Restaurant emphasizes fresh traditional food

Ying Ng stands in the dining room of Ying Yang Oriental Kitchen
By Nate Sunderland

REXBURG -- Ying Yang Oriental Kitchen celebrated its second anniversary Thursday.

Owner Ying Ng, a British-Chinese immigrant, commemorated the event with friends and members of the Rexburg business community.

It's a point of pride for Ng that his restaurant has done well during difficult financial times.

"Many restaurateurs said I was crazy that I was going to a new country without a team ... and during financial difficulties," Ng said.

Ng owned a couple of successful restaurants in western England, as well as a specialty catering supply service for restaurants that his son still operates.

He opted to bring his cuisine to Rexburg at the insistence of his daughter, a former Brigham Young University-Idaho student.

"Every time we came to visit she would nag me ... (to start a restaurant in Rexburg) because she was disappointed when she went out to eat," Ng said.

Ng, who is trained in many culinary disciplines, joked during his celebration that the reason he opened an oriental restaurant in America first was because his wife, Kim Ng, said his racial heritage would make it look more authentic.

"She said you'd better start with a Chinese restaurant first because you look more Chinese and they'll believe you," Ng said.

The British chef attributes his success during the last two years to training a good team in the kitchen and on the dining floor.

Ng also credits the high quality of his food.

"It's the way we do food," he said. "Most restaurants buy ready-made food in packages, but we don't like (preservative) chemicals in our food. It's not good for you."

The vast majority of ingredients used by Ng are fresh and natural. All 74 items on his menu, and in his daily lunch and dinner buffet, are made from scratch.

Even his myriad sauces and marinades are made from fresh chicken stock, created in the kitchen each morning.

Ng believes not preparing and serving food in a traditional and healthy way does food and his customers a grave disservice.

"We cook Chinese food in the traditional way, that's more authentic and real," Ng said. "Culinary art is when you eat and feel satisfied and comfortable -- not bloated."

His customers seem to agree.

BYU-Idaho professor Matt Moore has been going to Ying Yang once a week for the past year.

"It's delicious," Moore said. "It's got a lot of vegetables; it's homemade and not prepackaged."

Moore also appreciates how Ng always comes out and talks to his guests and, occasionally, brings them new culinary dishes to try.

"(The food) tastes better and it's healthier," Moore said.

Ng hopes to expand his business outside of Rexburg. He always is seeking better ways to serve his customers.

"We are always striving for a higher standard in food quality and service," he said.

Nate Sunderland can be reached at 542-6763.

9/21/2012 09:07:24 pm

Those difficulties he experienced make him successful right now. In due time everyone would be like him if they won't give up.

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