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

I was at Ranch 99 the other day and I saw the display of mooncake boxes. I couldn’t believe it. Was it already that time of year? It feels like only a few months ago, I was attempting to make mooncakes for the first time.

But yes, Mid-Autumn Festival is coming up in a couple of weeks. Since I made mooncakes last year, I decided I’m not going to buy any this year, I’ll just make my own. The snow skin mooncakes are actually really easy to make and don’t require any baking.

Snow skin mooncakes use a cooked glutinous rice flour crust, resulting in a very soft mochi-like texture. I really enjoy making snow skin mooncakes because they are so colorful. They are also easier to make because they are no-bake and healthier because the crust is not as oily as the traditional ones.

Yes! Pingo recently added snow ice to their menu. Given my snow ice obsession, I had to go check it out.

Right when we entered, there were signs announcing the snow ice, which actually hasn’t been updated on their regular menu.

Mango Snow Ice with caramel pudding, aloe jelly, and condensed milk

They have quite a few flavors of snow ice, but very limited toppings. It’s basically the same topping you can get you for your tea drinks: boba, aloe vera jelly, pudding and condensed milk. Each bowl comes with three free toppings.

The server recommended mango or peanut, so we chose mango. We asked for condensed milk, caramel pudding, aloe jelly. Aside from the condensed milk, the toppings were at the bottom of the bowl, which prevents the ice from melting as fast.

While the ice didn’t follow into ribbon layers, it was quite soft and fluffy. I was actually quite impressed. This was the best bowl of snow ice I’ve had to date in San Diego. I just wish the toppings weren’t so limited.