Fu An Garden is the newest Chinese restaurant to open up in the Convoy area.
I had read about the upcoming restaurant, but was pretty surprised at how quickly it opened up, occupying the space of the former BBQ Chicken. We went in for an early dinner to find the place absolutely packed, with almost all the tables occupied. I guess there can’t be too many Sichuan restaurants in San Diego.
I never actually visited BBQ Chicken, so I couldn’t tell how much of the interior had been changed, but given the cramped space and the fixed four person tables, I don’t think they did much remodeling. There was only room for one round table in the main dining area and there is a small private room in the back which had a few more big round tables (the private room was actually already booked). At the entrance was the small station with cold appetizers that you can get with your meal.
I was surprised at how similar the decor and style was to Szechuan Chef, which opened just last month. Same black and red color scheme, similar artwork, and even the same supersized glossy menus. However, when we talked to the owner, he said this was his first restaurant. So I guess they aren’t related, which is a good thing because we haven’t wanted to go back to Szechuan Chef.
The menu had a lot of the typical dishes you’ll find at Sichuan places. They did have several duck chin dishes which I haven’t seen before. I did think the prices were a little on the high side, about $1-3 more than what the dishes are usually priced. There were three of us in my group, so we decided to each choose a dish, as well as get an appetizer platter.
Cold Appetizer Plate: spicy beef tendon slices, marinated pig ears, seaweed salad
The selection of appetizers was quite small, with less variety than the other Sichuan places in San Diego. The ones we selected tasted pretty standard though.
Crispy Rice Dish with Mushrooms
This is always a favorite for my family. The rice squares are pre-fried and then the mushroom sauce is poured on at the table, creating some sizzling sounds. I found the sauce to be a tad too salty. I did like the variety of mushrooms used. If you are a mushroom lover, there were four different ones used in this dish.
Chicken in Dry Pot
Despite the large amount of chilis, the dish wasn’t nearly as spicy as it should be. Usually dry pot dishes are almost mind-numbingly spicy, but this one was quite mild. Even Mr. K was able to handle it. However, the chicken itself was pretty well prepared. The pieces were crunchy and moist. It’s a hard dish to eat because of all the bones. We took most of it home to munch on later.
I found this dish to be too Americanized in flavors. The beef had too much corn starch and it tasted mostly of salt and pepper.
Honeydew Tapioca Soup
We were served some complimentary cold honeydew tapioca soup for dessert.
Overall, we had a pretty good experience here. It’s hard to get a good feel given the limited amount of dishes we tried, but what we had was promising and I want to come back and try more. While this place doesn’t replace the old Ba Ren, it was worlds better than Szechuan Chef. Service was also super attentive which is usually so rare at a busy Chinese restaurant. They constantly filled our water and even changed our plates halfway through the meal. The restaurant also was super techy, taking the orders down on a tablet instead of writing them down.
You can find the text menu here. Here’s my photos of the picture menu.
Fu An Garden
4768 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111