We recently paid a visit to Chin’s Convoy. While we’ve previously dined at Chin’s Convoy for lunch and their weekend breakfast, this was our first time here for dinner.
On a previous visit to Chin’s, the owner Chin had spoken to us and carved out a basic dinner menu that highlighted their best dishes. The menu he wrote out also included a “VIP dish,” basically giving us one of their shrimp dishes for $5 instead of the normal $15. He also told us to ask for him when we came to dine again and that he would take care of us.
So with some relatives visiting, I thought I’d take them here for a meal. When we arrived, I asked if Chin was around and was told he was not. I wasn’t too surprised since he does run several restaurants, including ones in Hawaii. I was told that the manager would take good care of us though and would help us select our dishes.
We were seated in a separate dining room that I didn’t even know existed. Inside there are several large tables, perfect for a party setting. Another family was seated in this area too. Unfortunately that family had many little kids who spent most of the night running around and being loud.
I thought it would be nice to have the private space, but I think the service was a lot worse because of it. I had previously always received great service here, but on that night, we rarely saw the servers enter the room. And while I had been assured that the manager would come help us out, she never appeared until halfway through our dinner. And she only appeared briefly to confirm a dish which we weren’t sure was ours and to inquire when Chin had written the menu for us. She told us that the VIP dish he wrote was no longer their VIP dish, but they would honor the price for us tonight. After that we never saw her again.
Here is what we ordered:
Winter melon soup.
Shanghai Eel with chives
Shrimp with snow pea leaves
Shrimp with walnuts. I thought it was interesting that they served it in a taco shell. It made for a nice presentation, but it also made the dish look small.
Tea smoked duck (half).
I love tea smoked duck, but this duck didn’t have much meat. It was served with steamed buns. Normally you see these steamed buns served with crispy duck dishes because the duck breast and skin is carved off the duck and you can place the meat and skin into the folds of the steamed bun and eat them together. I think it is odd that they serve it with the tea smoked duck though because all the meat was on pieces with bones. There weren’t cuts of meat we could just place in the steamed buns. Even more curious, they offer a crispy duck on the menu but it is not served with the steamed buns.
VIP shrimp dish (I don’t know what it is called on the menu, I just remembered this was the VIP dish that we got for $5)
Fried pork chops
Beef with black pepper sauce. The beef was very tender. I found it a tad too salty though and wish there were more pieces of beef.
Fish fillet in spicy bean sauce
We received complimentary bowls of taro tapioca soup for dessert. I love anything taro so I enjoyed this sweet soup.
Overall, we enjoyed the food, but not the prices and service. I thought all the dishes we ordered were well executed but were overpriced. The quantities were small and it seems Chin’s is trying to go more for the upscale dining experience, but the quality of the dishes don’t merit the prices charged. I don’t think we’ll be back again for dinner. We will probably still come back on weekends for their lunch specials and for the traditional chinese breakfast menu. You can read about my previous visits of the breakfast and lunch here and here.
4433 Convoy St
San Diego, Ca 92078