Forks and Stars @ China Max

CATEGORY: Casual Dining
MENU: Chinese
PRICE: $20 dlls. and over
ADDRESS: 4698 Convoy St., San Diego, CA 92111
PHONE:  858-650-3333
WEBSITE: www.chinamaxsandiego.com
HOURS: Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.

Lamb Chop with Black Pepper Sauce. Check. Pecking Duck. Check. Sauteed Scallop with Shrimp in Szechuan Style Sauce. Check.   With it’s variety of cantonese specialties and flavorful seafood dishes,  many of us chinese-food-lovers, say this  could be the  best chinese restaurant in the city.  I know this can sound like an ad but if you’re craving Chinese food in town you have to check this place out.  This is one of  many restaurants that my foodie dad has introduced me to and I ‘m always honored to be his guest. We have our father-daughter dates here regularly as well as our family style dinner gatherings  where my nephews and nieces run around the restaurant feeling extremely comfortable, as if they were in their own home. This is a kid friendly restaurant  and it’s perfect for parents that don’t have to worry  if their kid experienced a moment of tantrum. The staff enjoys  big families and little rascals.


China Max is located inside a strip mall, don’t expect anything fancy. You won’t find any special décor. It’s all about the food. I’m familiar with the menu because I’m  a regular client.  I have my favorite dishes on the menu that I would love to recommend.If you enjoy oysters as much as I do,  the Fried Oysters with Ginger in Black Bean Sauce are served in a burning clay pot topped with scallions; it could be a heavy dish but I guess that’s why chinese food is made for sharing. It’s delicious.The Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops with Basil Sauceis one of my favorite dish on the menu. The scallops and shrimp are well cooked, not raw nor overcooked. They’re sauteed with scallions and slices of jalapeño cooked in a garlicky basil sauce. It’s definitely a dish worth trying.

A specialty of the house is the Black Pepper Beef with Asparagus. It’s a great dish for sharing and it’s always a favorite. The beef is tender  and it’s cooked in the special black pepper sauce served with sauteed asparagus that have the perfect crunch.

One of the highlights on the menu is the Pecking Duck.   I recommend you order this dish if you’re dining with a large group of 4 or more.  The duck can be prepared one way or two ways.

When you order the two ways the server presents the whole duck table side and cuts off the crispy duck skin and prepares  mini- duck sandwiches with cucumber and sweet plum sauce served in steamed buns.

Afterwards, the server takes the remaining duck to the kitchen and it comes back to the table served as duck lettuce wraps.  It’s a beautiful presentation and a delicious dish. If you order the one way,  the duck comes back to the table chopped with cilantro sprigs.

The food is delicious if you truly enjoy cantonese food. It isn’t an americanized menu.

Expect slices of oranges and  fortune cookies  for dessert and lots of luck for you!

PLUS: Prices are reasonable for the quality of food being served, good size family portions, kid friendly.

CONS: Communicating with the staff (English isn’t the first language), I’m not a dim sum fan and wouldn’t review it because of my lack of experience with it.

FSGirl Recommends: Honey Walnut Shrimp, Pecking Duck, Lamb Chops, Black Pepper Beef French Style with Asparagus, Whole Steamed Fish of the Day, Sauteed Scallop and Shrimp Szechuan Style.

FORKS AND STARS RATING:

Ratings are based on food and service with price taken into account in relation to quality.


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