Emerald Seafood Restaurant revisit

A few weekends ago, we planned a dinner at Jasmine Seafood restaurant to check out their new reduced menu items priced at $7.99. However, when we arrived, the restaurant was booked for the night for a wedding reception.

So we headed over to Emerald. I visited Emerald about a month ago, which you can read about here, checking out their special menu dishes which are priced at 4 dishes for $24.99 or 7 dishes for $39.99.

On my first visit, I was a little blinded by the cheap prices. Now that I’ve visited twice, the excitement has worn off a bit. For the most part, you get what you pay for. The dishes served on the menu are not smaller portions of the higher quality of Emerald dishes I’m used to (though it’s been a long time since I’ve eaten there off their regular menu).  Also, while the menu seemed extensive, there are only a few dishes I liked off the menu and we had trouble finding enough dishes we wanted to try.


Overall, the dishes are cheap and I probably will visit again because it’s cheaper than cooking yourself, but I wouldn’t visit frequently as the quality is just so-so for the reduced special menu. Here is what we ordered:

Honey walnut shrimp.

Shanghai rice cakes. We ordered this last time as well and it’s something I’d order again.

Spicy boiled beef dish. This was definitely the worst dish of the night. It was nothing like the spicy boiled beef dishes served at Sichuan places like Spicy City or Ba Ren or Spicy House. The beef was tough, there were lots of vegetables, and the sauce was watery and a little sour and not very spicy. No one liked this dish and it remained untouched for most of the night.

Seafood tofu dish. The portions of this were pretty generous.

Shredded duck with vegetables

Mapo tofu with two kinds of tofu. The sauce for this was kind of sour. I was not a fan of this dish.

Stir fried intestines in black bean sauce. There weren’t many pieces of intestines in this dish but there was a lot of asparagus

Peppered Beef short ribs

Sweet and sour pork chops

Cod fish with garlic sauce. I thought the fish had too much batter and barely any fish.

Pan fried flounder. I like this dish and always order it when I see it on the menu. The version here is pretty good.

You can view the full menu on my previous post.

Emerald Chinese Seafood Restaurant
3709 Convoy St, Ste 101
San Diego, CA 92111

10 comments on “Emerald Seafood Restaurant revisit”

  1. I’m guessing you were at Jasmine on a Saturday night. I didn’t know they had a reduced price menu. I had heard about Emerald’s; it used to be their late night specials. I have heard that Pearl has a reduced price menu of specials, too.

    • Yup. A saturday night. I saw ads in a chinese newspaper, they now have a menu of stuff that is $7.99. Yes both Pearl and Emerald have the 4 for 24.99 or 7 for 49.99 special, though each place has a different menu of stuff. I haven’t checked out Pearl’s specials yet. This deal is better than Emerald’s late night deal. I don’t know if they still have the late night deal.

  2. Hi Kirbie – That’s specifically why we never went for the Emerald specials that are in the Chinese newspapers. The Missus saw stuff like Fish Flavored Eggplant, Mapo Dofu, and a whole bunch of dishes that aren’t even representative of what Emerald serves. Pearl used to have a pretty good Peking Duck special, but I haven’t seen it in a couple of years.

    • I heard the Pearl special menu is a little better. I agree a lot of their dishes are not representative of their Hong Kong style cuisine and a lot of them are blegh… There are a few good finds though and it’s hard to beat those prices.

  3. After reading your blog on the last visit, I went to try out Emerald’s specials few weeks ago. Probably I lucked out on ordering the dishes because we ended up liking all of them. Their best is probably the Honey Walnut Shrimp even though the portion is on the small side. Sorry to hear about the boiled beef dish. I was debating to order it or not.

  4. It’s too bad San Diego restaurants like Jasmine and Emerald still feature Shark Fin Soup on their banquet menus. It’s true they have until 2013 to purge the remaining stock from their inventory (and then the total ban on shark fin goes into effect), but many restaurants in Ca are being proactive and eliminating their fin stocks now. Shame on the noted restaurants above (and others) for not being ethical until the law absolutely forces them to be.

    • Are you sure it’s still on their banquet menus? I haven’t checked myself but the menus might be outdated and if you actually choose one of the menus, I’m thinking they may say it’s out of stock or cost is much more, etc. That’s what I’ve seen at other chinese restaurants.

  5. I’m sure shark fin is still on the Emerald banquet menu. My friend is holding a dinner there for Lunar New Year, though she thankfully chose menu items other than shark fin… which is featured prominently. I myself declined to go because I simply won’t give any of my money to a restaurant that insists on being unethical to the very end. Jasmine and China Max are the same. Very sad to see.

    • That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware that Emerald, Jasmine and China Max were still doing that. Thanks for the information.

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