I'm always up for delicious Chinese food, but it's got to be authentic! My favorite Chinese restaurants in town are Golden Chopsticks in National City, Emerald Chinese Seafood off of Convoy for dim sum, Sam Woo BBQ located in the 99 Ranch in Clairemont Mesa, and Yenchim Garden in PQ.
When Mike and I lived in Rancho Penasquitos, or what San Diego peeps would call it "PQ", we ate at Yenchim Garden frequently because it was right across the street from our condo complex in the Vons shopping center. We ordered take out and received our order in a simple, brown paper bag that was stapled shut with the receipt attached. There's something comforting about that.
We were in the area one weekend afternoon and decided to stop in for the amazing lunch specials for "old time's sake." I say amazing, because you receive a great portion of food for what you pay for. All lunch specials come with a cup of hot & sour soup with the fried noodles, your choice of protein (meat), fried or steamed rice, an egg roll, and a fried wonton - all for about $7-$8 a person.
The wait staff here is very quick, prompt and efficient. Right away the server took our drink order, lunch order, and returned back with the two cups of hot & sour soup, fried crunchy noodles, and a dish of sweet & sour sauce.
Mmm, the hot & sour soup was a tad hot as far as temperature, but after blowing a few spoonfuls until it cooled down, it was just like I remembered it. The tang from the vinegar and the warmth of the broth left our mouths just wanting more. There were slices of bamboo shoots and tofu in the soup, just like the traditional soup would contain. It was dee-lish. It didn't hurt that a few crunchy noodles in the broth enhanced the flavor.
Before I knew it, our dishes arrived. I ordered the Mongolian Beef - my ultimate favorite Chinese food dish. I owe it to a "Reading Rainbow" episode I saw in elementary school when Levar Burton went to Chinatown, watched the chef make the dish, along with Grandma Wong's Chicken Soup, and practices saying "Xie Xie" (thank you). Funny, huh? Anyway, I don't think this picture does justice, but Yenchim's mongolian beef is pretty yum in the tum. Slices of flank steak stir-fried with a quickness with scallions in a savory brown sauce - sign me up! I actually like a lot of scallions in my dish, as long as they are stir-fried.
The vegetable egg roll was nice & fresh too. Dipping into the sweet & sour sauce made it taste even better. The piece of wonton, though, was pre-fried, so it didn't taste fresh and didn't have that crunch. I ate it anyway. The fried rice was pretty good too. I don't prefer a lot of soy in my fried rice, so eating the rice with the beef had the perfect balance of saltiness.
Mike ordered the Yenchim Chicken, which is sliced chicken breast stir-fried with tiny onions in a somewhat spicy sauce. He enjoyed it very much. I had a bite of the chicken, and it was good. I'm not into spicy foods, besides the red salsa from mexican restaurants, but this wasn't that spicy at all. It has a very small kick to it.
We left the restaurant full and satisfied. We didn't even have room for Golden Spoon frozen yogurt or french vanilla ice cream from my favorite ice cream shop, Bucky's.
Yep, Yenchim will always be a good find.
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