A couple weeks ago, one of the readers of my blog, Faye, recommended that I try the Da Ru Mian at Chin's. I've been to Chin's several times, but have never tried the Da Ru Mian. You can read my previous post on Chin's here. So after her recommendation, I really, really wanted to try it. She was even sweet enough to find me a coupon for a b1g1 free lunch entree.
Boyfriend and I went for a late breakfast a few weeks ago. Surprisingly, there was still a wait when we got there. Normally, when we come near the end of weekend breakfast hours, there is no wait at all. It appears that they were having some difficulties that day because the food ended taking a long time to arrive, and all the customers were experiencing similar problems, and that also led to backlog of guests.
We ordered the Da Ru Mian, Niu Rou Mian (beef noodle soup), green onion pancake, eight treasure rice, and wine brew soup with sesame glutinous rice balls.
I have to confess, I've never heard of Da Ru Mian, and had no idea what it was supposed to look like or taste like. What was presented to me appeared to be a noodle soup with a mix of everything: vegetables, egg, shrimp, meat. I think I would have enjoyed this combination, but I didn't like the way Chin's made the soup base. It might be that it was just the day I went, since it does seem they were having kitchen issues. There was a lot of corn starch so it was barely a soup. Also the soup base tasted a lot like the Americanized chinese version of egg drop soup. I think if they had used just a simple chicken broth, I would have liked this a lot more.
Next came our beef noodle soup (NRM)
After eating the NRM a few weeks ago at A&J in Irvine, the NRM at Chin's no longer seemed as good as I remembered. It was still alright, but the broth wasn't as rich in beef flavor. However, it appears they changed the noodles in their NRM. Before, the one thing I didn't like about Chin's NRM was the noodles, which were like spaghetti. This time, the noodles used were flatter and chewier.
Next came our onion pancake.
This was a bit disappointing. While it didn't taste bad, it didn't taste homemade either. It tasted like the frozen ones I buy from Ranch 99. Too thin and not doughy enough.
Next came our eight treasure rice.
I've always enjoyed the eight treasure rice at Chin's. Eight treasure rice is made with a sweet, glutinous rice and contains different "treasures" like red bean paste, candied cherries, canned pineapples, and some other sweet stuff. I was surprised by how small this one was. In the past, this dish was large enough for a group of 5-6 to each have a few bites. This one was tiny though. Boyfriend and I easily polished it off.
Finally, our rice wine soup with sesame balls arrived.
I love the use of small sesame glutinous rice balls in this soup. It seems this dessert has shrunk in size as well. While the bowl was still big, there were not nearly as many sesame balls. Normally, I have a hard time finishing the sesame balls because there are so many and no one is helping me. But I easily finished all the sesame balls in the bowl.
The service was still pretty good. Hopefully the kitchen difficulties was a one time thing.