Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dede's Chinese Cuisine

Cumin lamb, yum.
Cold appetizers -- cucumber pickles, seaweed, "husband and wife."
Deep-fried chicken with dried pepper -- this was delicious and also good cold the next day.
Fish with pickled pepper -- meh.
Pea shoots with garlic -- I (Jenne) really liked these.
Dramatic adding of the chicken to the sizzling crispy rice!
Crispy rice with chicken.
Rating: Two thumbs up
Date: 1/26/13
Time in: 6:56 PM

Time out: 9:20 PM 
Servers' recommendations: Cumin lamb, deep-fried chicken with dried pepper, crispy fish with sweet and sour sauce
What we ordered: Cumin lamb, deep-fried chicken with dried pepper, fish with pickled pepper, crispy rice with chicken, pea shoot leaves with garlic (daily special, not on the menu), cold appetizers 

Number in our party: 6 (with Arun, Victoria, Dora, and Mara as guest judges--this was a first for us, guest judges who were strangers from the internet!  It was a Metafilter meetup, organized because someone had posted a link to the blog and people were curious to try a Convoy restaurant.)
Final check amount: $72.31
Price per person: $12.05
  • The cold appetizer that we tried was the "husband and wife" beef dish.  I (Miko) couldn't be a fair judge, since I can't handle offal in general, but Jenne reported that the tendon was a bit too chewy. (Tendon is usually kind of rubbery-firm, but you should be able to bite through it easily.  As far as I could tell there was no tripe in it, which is so totally fine with me. --Jenne)  The cucumbers were good in it, but the seaweed wasn't as good as others we've had.
  • The cumin lamb had a unique flavor that we hadn't tasted before.  Arun is half-Indian and eats a lot of cumin, but he had never had anything like this lamb.  The onions in the dish were nicely cooked -- not raw or limp.
  • The crispy rice was our favorite dish!  It wasn't spicy, so it was a nice break between the other dishes.  It had a comforting, home-cooked flavor, and it was seasoned just right. (Even though we asked for it without MSG!)
  • I would prefer the fish with pickles without the celery -- I thought that the celery flavor overpowered everything else.  Arun thought the fish was too soft.  Jenne and I wouldn't order it again.
  • According to Dora, the pea shoots were greasier than China Max's, but they were more tender.  Arun says they were standard -- not bad, not amazing.
  • The steamed rice was cooked well!  Rice that comes in big portions in plastic pots is often dried out, but not here!
  • I (Jenne) have been to Dede's several times before and I thought they were a bit off their game this time, but everyone seemed to enjoy it even so. 
  • The portions were giant! We ordered 5 dishes for six people, which is usually a bit on the low side I think, and we had a huge amount of leftovers. This is not a bad thing!
Address: 4647 Convoy St
Phone number: 858.297.5999
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Shared lot, very crowded at dinnertime
Ideal group size: 1-6
Available vegetarian options: We didn't check. There might be vegetable/tofu dishes, but we're not sure if we could trust that there's no meat product (like oyster sauce, for instance) hidden in it somewhere.
Noise level: 3, but it was a 3.5 or even a 4 by the time we finished because there was a big jolly party at the table next to us.


  1. Oh my.. that crispy rice with chicken looks excellent! You wrote nice review, i like it.

  2. Thanks! It was really good.