The Noble Chef recently underwent a huge makeover (as I first read about on mmm-yoso!!!) It used to be a cheap, casual Chinese restaurant that specialized mainly in noodle and rice dishes. It has now been remodeled, with a new menu that aims for more high-end Chinese dining. We were in the neighborhood and decided to check out the new changes.
Even though I had been forewarned, I still wasn’t prepared for just how nice it was inside. No more are the worn, sticky tables. Instead, they have been replaced with faux black marble tabletops. The restaurant looked sleek and modern. At the entrance, there is a glass case displaying roasted ducks (which did seem out of place in the nice setting). Upon entering, a well-dressed server immediately greeted and seated us.
The menu is a bit of a shock as well. While almost everything had been under $10 before, now almost all the dishes are $10+. They even offer live seafood and pre-set group meals.
The service was much more attentive and nicer than the typical Chinese restaurant experience.
Garlic String Beans
We thought the portion-size was decent and the beans were cooked just right- tender and crisp. They were seasoned with a good amount of garlic flavor.
French Pepper Steak
This was done pretty well too. The steak cubes were soft and the sauce had a hint of basil.
Overall, while we enjoyed our dishes, we did feel like it was too pricey for what it was. Most of the dishes on the menu are pretty standard dishes you can order anywhere else and while the ambiance is a little nicer, I didn’t think they did enough with the food to justify the high price point. I’m not sure how this new model is going to work, but the restaurant was quite full when we dined, so maybe it will work out for them.
After dinner, we stopped by the Balboa plaza to check out the progress of the future 85C Bakery and Chicken Charlie’s. Signs are up! Can’t wait until they open.