The majority of my experiences with Chinese cuisine come from my days as a young fat-ass in various food courts, and take out from my favorite (now shuttered) Peking restaurant in Indiana, Pennsylvania There, the friendly manager Mary would always be ready with the absolute best General Tso’s Chicken in a 100 mile radius, and a side of Chicken Lo Mein to ensure she could keep insulting complementing me on my “very round face” and being “such a big boy”. So, I don’t feel qualified to say if Chins on Convoy has the best Chinese Food in San Diego – for that you’ll have to visit my friend James. I’m not nearly as familiar with their Shanghai and Szechuan style offerings, but my Asian friends said they were pretty good…as did my white Jewish friend, Ray.
The fried lobster and crab shown above were supposed to be the meal highlights, but they weren’t my favorite items. Not that I didn’t enjoy them, but he non-cracked shells made them a mess to eat, and their sugar/soy/garlic glaze was a tad too saccharine and applied much too liberally.
I was much taken by how much I liked the Chinese squash (above), and pickled jellyfish head. The jellyfish was like a cross between a more textured variety of seaweed and tako salads, but the squash was even better. Still firm in a gently sweet glaze with a touch of salinity from the dried shrimp.
No need for a knife, fork, or even spoon, the pork belly was so tender I probably could have sucked it up with a straw. The sauce reminded me of a sweeter beef gravy. I later learned this may be one of Chin’s namesake dishes – I can see why.
I would add candied to what was named “smoked fish” I also would have mentioned the type of fish that had been smoked. I think it was saury, but all I can really be sure about is that it was served in its entirety with a sweet crisp skin, and still tender interior. I liked it a lot.
My first intestines – boiled and served in a spicy Schezuan broth. I liked them, but didn’t get the best sense of the intestines themselves. The broth covered up any sort of “funk” that there may have been, I mostly just got texture – a bit fatty, sort of gelatinous. I want to try them again, but maybe with a drier preparation.
and my personal favorite, the Mala Fragrant Pot – shrimp, pork, lotus root, assorted vegetables, and some delicious, delicious tripe. The entire dish was noticeably overcooked, but I couldn’t stop picking away at pieces of tripe. Though it has a rather neutral flavor on it’s own, the tripe soaked up all of the savory flavors from the spicy Mala sauce. A bit chewy, definitely salty, and will be a repeat order for sure.
So while I can’t say how Chin’s ranks in their authenticity, or in compassion to their Convoy street competition. I can say that I liked it, I would return, and I’m now having the worst craving for General Tso’s tripe.