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Aug 28, 2009 11:16 AM

Chin's Szechuan (San Diego)

In response to a post on a different (locked) thread:

I read that the Taiwanese brunch at the Miramar location is good. How is the rest of the menu? Is this a worthwhile dining excursion?

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  1. Went their sometime ago with an entertainment coupon -standard americanized chinese food. Not really bad but also nothing much different than many other similar restaurants. Isn't mmm-yoso calling them ABCDE restaurants ?

    1 Reply
    1. re: honkman

      Yeah, though Kirk does have a post up about breakfast at the Miramar location of their seafood restaurant, and it looks pretty good.

    2. Currently, there's only one location of Chin's that serves Chinese Breakfast. It's the Miramar location, and only on weekends from 11am to 2pm. There is a branch being built on Convoy in the old Pearl Lounge location that I think(hope) will also serve a more regionalized Chinese menu. The rest of the places serve Americanized Sichuan food.

      Also, I'm not quite sure what makes the OP think it's Taiwanese Breakfast. Sure there's youtiao and soy milk, but folks the eat that all over the PRC. Many of the dishes on the Chinese menu are named after places like Zhejiang(style pork), Jiaxhing(briased duck), Wuxi(spareibs), and Suzhuo(smoked fish), making it seem like there's an indelible Shanghainese slant to the menu. I've also never been to a Taiwanese place that serves Chao Nian Gao(it's specifically called "Shanghai Chao Nian Gao on the menu) or Crystal Pork. No potage, oyster omelette, three cup chicken, or many of my Taiwanese favorites on the menu as far as I can tell. There is a Taiwanese fried rice on the menu. The first time we went there, my wife asked the manager in Mandarin what style of food they served, and he said "Shanghai", and a look at the menu pretty much confirmed that, So it could be that the cooks are from Taiwan? Many of the items are similar to what you'd get at Shanghai City, but I think Chin's is a bit better when it comes to certain items.

      There are some photos here:

      We eat there about once a month or so, and there's an English translation of the breakfast menu, on the otherside of the Chinese breakfast menu, but it is incomplete.

      I hope that helps.

      3 Replies
      1. re: KirkK

        Right with KirkK on the description- the typical Americanized spread, but with some standouts. I have yet to try Ba Ren, so my calibration may be off on Szechuan food in the area. Not sure it'd be worth an excursion on a weekday.

        As far as it being Taiwanese- I've had it described as such by many Taiwanese friends, but did notice the mainland items on the menu that KirkK mentions. But for a homesick Taiwanese person, the few items that they grew up with that appear on the menu must be enough to push it into that category. Consider my definition refined.

        Also glad that something good came out of this morning's barnyard ruckus. Cheers.

        1. re: KirkK

          We had a nice brunch at the Miramar branch a few weeks ago. Some of the stand-outs were the wasabi flavored celery and the glutinous sweet potato cakes. The interior of the latter had the chewy texture of a deep fried sesame ball, but the sweet potato flavor made it even better. Piping hot, they were delicious.

          1. re: KirkK

            Yeah the Chinese menu has some standouts, or at least in some cases a near monopoly in San Diego. =) Nothing wrong with the Americanized menu, it's better than better than most ABC Chinese places but nothing spectacular. But the Chinese breakfast is the main draw here. They'll make Taiwanese style tofu milk soup. It was great, but again with a monopoly I can't really compare except to back when I lived in LA long ago.