Kitchen offers authentic Chinese dishes

Owner immigrated from Guangdong province, trusts son raised in Pullman to translate, manage Emerald



Restaurant owner Yu Kuang and his mother Bixia Kuang discuss the history of their business May 11 at the Emerald Chinese Restaurant.

NATALIE NEWCOMB, Evergreen reporter

On the corner of Grand Ave. and Stadium Way sits the Emerald Chinese Restaurant, run by the Kuang family.

Yu Kuang is the second generation owner of the restaurant and he graduated from WSU with a degree in Hospitality Business Management.

The menu contains a mix of different foods from across China with a focus on Cantonese food, a style of cuisine from Guangdong province, and also the cuisine of the Sichuan province.

However, customers won’t find the gem dishes on the normal menu. The “Green Menu” contains authentic Chinese dishes. Some of the items are traditional, others are family recipes, but the chef altered all of the dishes to use ingredients they can buy in Pullman.

One popular item on the “Green Menu” is Hot Chili Oil Fish which uses a soft fish. The spiciness is a characteristic of dishes cooked in the Sichuan province.

The Kuang family carried these dishes and traditions to Pullman from China when Kuang’s parents immigrated to the United States.

Kuang’s mother, Bixia Kuang, is from Guangdong. She said she came to the United States to make sure her children would have a good education and a good future. Bixia speaks the Taishan Chinese dialect, which her son helped to translate to English.

She said not many people in Pullman speak the dialect. She speaks some English but she said she relies on her son’s language skills. Yu grew up in Pullman.

“Yu takes care of everything English related,” Bixia said with a smile, as she tapped her son’s shoulder.

Bixia arrived in San Diego before she moved to Pullman where her father already lived and worked. She liked Pullman she said.

“It is safe, has good schools and the people are welcoming,” she said with   her son translating.

Bixia took English as a Second Language classes at the Neill Public Library where she learned lots of simple everyday phrases to help her get around and run the restaurant. Bixia said she misses China.

“I miss it, but most of my family is here,” she said.

Kuang said many customers are regulars, some come every day for lunch, many families come for dinner and others order weekly take out. Chinese teachers at WSU bring students to Emerald to celebrate.

The Emeralds of The Emerald Chinese Restaurant can be found at 1140 N Grand Ave.