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  Chin's Szechwan


To understand Chinese food, one must first understand that there is no such thing per se. Chinese cuisine is a veritable milieu of differing tastes and styles, often lumped into amorphous and delectable groups such as Cantonese and Teochew.

Resembling the ancient geographic provinces of Imperial China which differed in culture, dialect and of course food. In the rugged North, for example much more emphasis was placed on sustenance, while in the South cuisine had more room to develop and grow as an art form.

In any event, Chinese cuisine is something best savored at an individualist level…dish by dish. Szechwan itself, as in Chin’s Szechwan, is actually a bastardization of the word “Sichuan” of the Sichuan Province in southern China.

Mountainous and rugged, Szechwan cuisine is famous for it’s use of sharp contrasting hots and sweets, with flavorful uses of beef and pork…more so than in Northern Chinese cuisine.bPerhaps it is the geography of Sichuan, while is slightly out of keeping with the gentle terrain of South China, which lends Szechwan it’s unique style.

Tucked away in a rather quiet corner of Poway Rancho Bernardo is the unassuming Chin’s Szechwan.


Quiet, peaceful, and lit by the dim glow of light bamboo and paper lamps, Chin’s boasts a host of Chinese food representing both traditional Szechwan and Mandarin palates.

Hot and Sour soup, a deliciously light and spicy Szechwan dish is traditionally served with strips of mushroom, bamboo, paper thin threads of tofu, and a rich flavorful base. Chin’s in Rancho Bernardo also boasts a unique Hot and Sour Seafood soup.

In classical Chinese cuisine, seafood is generally a base-specific dish, centered about a shrimp dish, a fish dish, a squid dish and so on. Very infrequently is seafood used en masse, in a Ratatoille-esque form.

A delectable fusion dish, the Seafood Hot and Sour soup utilizes crab, shrimp, and the essences of bamboo and mushroom to give a traditionally Chinese dish almost a Thai-Cambodian flavor.

Seafood, as one might realize, is not prevalent in a landlocked province…and much of Chinese Szechwan food is based in viands, rice, poultry and vegetables. Fusion cuisine, for example, Chin’s Hot and Sour Soup is not usually done with skill, but Chin’s is a notable exception. Simplicity is paramount in fusion cuisine, lest one run the risk of creating a Hydra-like monster with too many flavors, each battling each other, creating the culinary equivalent of a child’s black watercolor rainbow. Yet Chin’s Seafood Supreme, is certainly simple, and a must for any seafood enthusiast. A stew-esque hot pot of crab, shrimp, scallops amidst a garlic mushroom and snow pea bed is a highlight of Chin’s specialty menu.

Chin’s boasts a massive assortment of main dishes, which if dining in a large group, are ideal for sharing amidst a family or business setting. Of course the general westernized standbys of Kung Pao and Moo Ku chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork and Peking Duck are present. However the more adventurous might try a beautifully crafted Plum Tree Beef, a strong, sweet, and rich variant on Sweet and Sour Pork. Pao Hu, a pork dish is also delectable, with a spicy peanut garnish reminiscent of Malaysian satay. Also a House Specialty is Hunan Chicken, a simple yet filling dish of Chicken in black bean sauce.

Certainly a wonderful restaurant for the family, and an ideal setting for a large business dinner, Chin’s may supply an inordinate amount of food for the small couple…and is best shared.

Review submited by a customer.
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