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Originally published Friday, October 26, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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At Wonton City, noodle soup like in the Chinatown ID — on the Eastside

Wonton City, tucked away in the corner of a Bellevue strip mall, is serving up an inexpensive bowl of noodle soup and congee (rice porridge) that rivals many other local noodle restaurants.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Wonton City

Chinese

503 156th Ave. S.E., Bellevue; 425-747-1885

Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday to Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

Etc: Cash only, no credit cards or checks accepted; no obstacles to access; no alcohol; ample parking available in mall lot

Prices: $

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Looking for a hot bowl of wonton noodle soup usually means a trip to the Chinatown International District, but for those who live east of Lake Washington that can be a rather lengthy drive.

Now there is an alternative Eastside choice.

Wonton City, tucked away in the corner of a Bellevue strip mall, is serving up an inexpensive bowl of noodle soup and congee (rice porridge) that rivals many other local noodle restaurants.

The menu is basic, with 26 items, and you have a choice of the traditional thin egg, wide egg or rice noodles.

You know it's fresh when the owner — a Cantonese lady — sits nearby stuffing wonton wrappers with shrimp and pork filling.

Don't expect hands-on service and have a little patience as she does the cooking, serves the food to each table, answers the phone, handles to-go orders and is the cashier.

Go early because once they run out of items, you're simply out of luck, as we recently experienced arriving 30 minutes before closing. It reminded me of the infamous Seinfeld soup-vendor episodes.

The menu: Each bowl of noodle soup comes with single or multiple choices of wonton, sui kau, beef brisket, and fish or beef balls ($4.95-$6.95). There are five plate noodles with a choice of oyster sauce, beef brisket, pork in hot sauce and wonton or sui kau with beef brisket ($5.45-$8.25). Side dishes are steamed vegetables and oyster sauce ($4.75), Chinese doughnut ($2.35) and plain beef brisket ($8.55). If you feel hungry order extra noodles, soup or vegetables for $1.50.

What to write home about: All our noodles were cooked to al dente perfection. A steamy hearty chicken broth noodle soup with a generous portion of brisket beef and tendons, five sui kau and vegetables. The minced beef congee came out piping hot and will warm you up on a chilly day.

The setting: This isn't a fancy place, just six small tables and 22 chairs crammed among dated brightly painted walls leading into a narrow aisle and entryway.

Summing up: Two of us had a sui kau and beef brisket noodle soup ($6.95) with extra noodles ($1.50); pork in hot sauce noodle with soup on the side ($6.45); minced beef congee ($5.25); and steamed vegetables in oyster sauce ($4.75), which came to $27.39 with tax.

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or myuasa@seattletimes.com

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