New ramen place at Crossroads Mall!
I had been waiting for Jin Ya to open since the day I saw “coming soon” sign outside the store front.
Jin Ya is a chain ramen bar with stores in Vancouver BC, CA, NY and TX (yes sis, in Houston!).
The store in Bellevue was not very big, and since it opened couple weeks back, I had heard that they had lines outside the door frequently.
I went on a weekday for lunch right when they opened at 11am, so no wait necessary.
Jin Ya offered mostly rich pork soup, tonkotsu, with chicken and veggie broth options as well.
Some combinations already had egg, and others did not.
If ramen egg was an object of desire, read the description on the menu carefully.
Toppings could be added – extra vegetables, meat, eggs and seaweed etc.
Since they were famous for tonkotsu, a spicy version was my choice for the day.
The “Tonkotsu Red” did not come with an egg, so I got it on the side.
I felt that it was important to try the egg in every ramen store, as I strongly believe the egg spoke a lot to the quality of a ramen store.
Verdict: I liked the flavor of the tonkotsu broth.
It was rich, thick, milky, meaty and dense.
A big plus was that it was not salty.
I wish that the broth was hotter; it was at a luke warm temperature that was not very appealing to me.
Especially with thick broth that tended to feel slightly gelatinous and sticky in the mouth, it was even more important to have the soup hot.
I ordered “spicy” for my ramen, which was the middle level spiciness.
It was not hot enough at all — might have to give the “hot” one a try next time.
The pork was very tender — the pork piece fell apart readily when I picked it up with chopsticks.
It was also done in a thick cut, which was delicious.
The noodle had good texture, they were firm and chewy in a good way.
The egg, however, was a disappointment.
The flavor of the egg was nice. but the egg yolk was not runny at all and was cooked all the way.
My friend asked for extra raw garlic on the side.
I added a little garlic into my soup and it did sass up the flavors even more.
Can Jin Ya replace ramen places in Vancouver BC (my favorite, Motomachi Shokudo)? not really.
However, it is probably the best that we have in Seattle (definitely better than Samurai, Kukai or Aloha in my book) so far.
Then, dessert with real Greek Yogurt!
Ellenos opened its second location inside Uwajimaya in Bellevue.
They had about 10 flavors at the store, mostly fruit based (mixed berries with real berries, passionfruit, lemon curd to name a few), with caramel, mocha and latte flavors as well.
We settled with the passion fruit yogurt and it was excellent!
It was really smooth, creamy, with lovely acidic flavor that was expected from yogurt.
The yogurt had very clean finish and did not leave a milky film in the mouth.
It had real passion fruit with crunchable seeds and fantastic flavor.
I tried the lemon curd and found it too sour, and the caramel was too sweet.
The yogurt were sold in small, medium and large tub, perfect to carry home for breakfast!