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Spring for Lunch

I’ve been watching a restaurant, sandwiched between Bellevue City Hall and I-405, be remodeled over the last couple of months. When they put up a sign that read ‘Spring China Japan Cuisine’, I was intrigued. Sure, I’ve been to Japanese and Chinese restaurants…but what was China Japan Cuisine? Was it an amalgamation of Chinese and Japanese food? To add to my interest, the restaurant had no website. Curious, two coworkers and I decided to try China Japan Cuisine for lunch today.

Spring

Spring

The restaurant is bright and spacious with a surprising amount of seating. The next surprise to us was the enormity of the menu. We quickly realized that, to the owners of Spring, a China Japan Cuisine meant Chinese or Japanese cuisine at the same location. Seriously, there were pages and pages of Chinese appetizers, soups, and entrees, followed by several pages of Japanese appetizers, soups, entrees, and sushi. Spring has lunch specials in both the Japanese and Chinese sections of the menu. The lunch specials all ranged between $7-$12, and the entrees seemed to range from $8-$16, with the sushi combination dinners running up into the $25 range. Surprisingly, the restaurant is open until 11:30 which is pretty late for Bellevue.

I decided to order the green onion pancake (Chinese appetizer) to share, and the Japanese lunch combo with tempura udon and sashimi. My coworkers each ordered a Chinese lunch combo. The green onion pancake was delicious- light, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. All three of us enjoyed it very much.

Spring on UrbanspoonArriving with the appetizers, we all got soup. I had miso and my coworkers each had hot and sour soup (soups are apparently determined by which part of the menu you order from). Following very quickly on the heels of the appetizer and soups, our lunches arrived. My lunch turned out to be enormous. In addition to the miso soup, I was given a bowl of salad, a large bowl of udon soup, a plate of tempura, four pieces of one of their house sushi rolls, rice, and sashimi. The food was very good, but I ended up eating less than half of the meal and boxing the rest up to take home. Amazingly, my total bill came to $16 for the appetizer and enormous lunch combo. The service was warm, friendly, and attentive, and the restaurant was busy. I hope the restaurant does well; their prices and location make the restaurant very attractive.

The fun, bright colors may be a leftover from the former occupant, a Brazilian barbecue.

The fun, bright colors may be a leftover from the former occupant, a Brazilian barbecue.

Delicious green onion pancake.

Delicious green onion pancake.

Look at the size of this lunch, and the tempura hadn't been delivered yet!

Look at the size of this lunch, and the tempura hadn’t been delivered yet!

Sushi rolls.

Sushi rolls.

Sashimi

Sashimi

Tempura shrimp udon

Tempura shrimp udon

Mongolian Pork

Mongolian Pork

Yellow Curry Beef

Yellow Curry Beef

To complete my Asian-food immersion, I had started an Indian-style lentil dish in the Crockpot for dinner. Before leaving for work, I had tossed a couple of cups of Channa Daal (split black garbanzo beans) into the Crockpot along with spices, chopped onion, and a can each of home-canned tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes.  Dinner was delicious and could be made vegan by substituting olive oil for the ghee on the roti. Here is the printable recipe!

Channa Dal

Channa Dal

Lentils and spices

Lentils and spices

When we got home, I adjusted the seasoning and started making the roti to accompany our lentils. Roti are a flat, unleavened bread that are usually cooked on a hot griddle and brushed with ghee (clarified butter). In a perfect world, roti puff up symmetrically and end up looking like a over-inflated flying saucer. My roti puffed up unevenly but still tasted delicious.

Ghee aka clarified butter

Ghee aka clarified butter

Roti to Be

Roti to Be

Rolling the dough

Rolling the dough

Uncooked Roti

Uncooked Roti

Puffing our roti

Puffing our roti

Roti brushed with ghee

Roti brushed with ghee

Channa Dal with Onion and Tomato, Served with Roti

Channa Dal with Onion and Tomato, Served with Roti

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