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Mar 1, 2010 06:51 AM

Chin's on Convoy has opened

Chin's on Convoy has finally opened. The Grand opening was yesterday, February 28th. The menu is similar to Chin's on Miramar, but they are missing a few dishes.

I was told that they don't have the Chinese breakfast menu as of yet, but will be implementing that in about a month. Which, with as long as it took this location of Chin's to open, will probably be 2-3 months.

Nice dining room, we visited on Saturday, since it appeared that they were doing a soft opening. Dishes still need a bit of work.

4433 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

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  1. Sweet! We'll give them some time to work out the kinks!

    1. Is this the same Chin's as up in Encinitas? Or is it a different group? The one in Encinitas is ohhkayy for the area, but seems really Americanized to my untrained palate.

      13 Replies
      1. re: littlestevie

        Well Chin's has been on the CH map for one singular reason only, and that is the Miramar location's weekend Mandarin breakfast. The last time I was there I asked them if the location on Convoy had anything to do with them, and they said no. You can also see it on their website and their printed materials too where several Chin's are mentioned, including Encinitas, but not the Convoy location.

        I've seen situations like this before, where outfits with the same branding exists but they claim they have nothing to do with each other. Probably just due to some split in ownership at one time or a franchisee buying up a majority of the franchises; just guessing, though.

        Or is this a Roberto's/Royberto's deal where a letter is dropped in the name and/or a bamboo leaf dropped in the logo? Never looked close enough to tell. I'd love to hear the full story!

        1. re: cgfan

          The Miramar location has been trying to distance themselves from the Convoy location since the opening was announced. I've heard all kinds of stories, and different he said/she said kinda things from both ends, so I won't speculate.

          I will say that the menu is similar, and that there are plans to start weekend Chinese breakfast.
          The chef used to be at Mandarin Garden in Mira Mesa, so he is familiar with the Shanghainese cooking styles, so the food should be very similar to what the Miramar location puts out. As to how good it is.... only time will tell.

          1. re: KirkK

            Note that the business card at the Convoy location does not mention the Miramar location, though it also lists Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, La Mesa and San Marcos locations. Meanwhile the website ( mentions the Miramar location and some of the others noted above, but not Convoy, and also some others not listed on the business card. The business card also mentions a different (and nonworking) website. So it sounds like something is afoot.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Noticed this too, but it seems pretty clear that there is a very distinct connection between the locations. If this is by design or an "homage" I can't tell, but the decor is in that very distinctive "upscale Denny's" mode at the Convoy location as well, and the menu has quite a bit of overlap. One thing that I found interesting is that they make no bones about the two menu situation. In fact, my Taiwanese dinner companion was given a different menu from me, and when I selected a scallop and jellyfish dish from the Chinese menu (with dishes translated into English- go figure), I was told no less than three times that I would not like it by the young waitress since I am an American, which bugged me on so many levels. The dish was very good.

              1. re: SaltyRaisins

                To be fair, I'm sure they've had situations like that before where the restaurant tells someone that they won't like a certain dish, it is ordered anyway, and then the orderer gets angry when the dish isn't what they expected. It's a lose-lose situation made worse by the proliferation of unauthentic chinese food.

                1. re: hye

                  My wife and I totally got the fork treatment. I was pretty offended; the food off the American menu was terrible, we were not even told of a separate "Chinese" menu, and we saw other non-white people given the Chinese menu without being told about the American menu.

                  By contrast, Chin's on Miramar not only asks if we want the alternate menu, but the server offered to explain or translate anything we had questions on. Being afraid of the customer not liking what they order is no excuse for not giving them the option.

                  1. re: zompus

                    I understand completely, and also noticed that the Miramar location doesn't hide the real menu from the "American" diner. The Convoy waitress was young and pretty inexperienced, so she may just have been trying to look out for me, but she insisted three times that the dish was not something I should order because I'm "American." Asian-Americans do not have to jump this hurdle, their diverse ethnicity notwithstanding. My fellow diner noticed that the manager that night had a Taiwanese accent, and seemed to be aware of our request and was very kind- I have a feeling that my experience was limited to this one waitress.

                    1. re: zompus

                      I feel your pain. There are a very few places that take the two menu system to an extreme, with the Chinese menu being untranslated into English. So I asked the lady what's on the Chinese menu and she retorts "What do you want?"

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        I caught a glimpse of the "Chinese" menu at the Convoy Chin's as I was leaving. It is in the standard Chinese/English format, with the Chinese names on the left and translations in English down the middle. There should be no reason why a non-Chinese speaker shouldn't be offered this menu.

                        1. re: zompus

                          Plus it's not that exotic--like salmon fried rice.

                          1. re: zompus

                            Completely agree -- if they've already gone through the trouble of "translating", it seems silly not to offer it, especially when asked.

                2. re: KirkK

                  Here's the deal: the Convoy Chin's is owned by the brother who founded the Miramar location, and the Miramar location is now owned by another brother. They had a fight, and are not speaking to each other.

                  Anybody been to the brunch lately? Still good?


                  1. re: SaltyRaisins

                    Lol now it makes perfect sense.

                    I went to brunch two months ago and it was good, better than I expected. Will do again.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Thinking of doing Chinese take out..any thoughts on Chin's Convoy for dinner?