Have you seen this place? Does it look familiar?
Anything ring a bell? The decor? Furniture???
How about the Chinese BBQ case, not bad looking eh?
Well, walking in here was a bit of a shock.......the place went from this:
Yes, that's right it's The Noble Chef....
Oooops, I mean The Noble Chef.
You know, I've been coming here since 2002, and first posted about the place in June of 2005. I've seen the old owners retire, taking their wok skills with them. And while, the couple of items I thought were pretty good on the menu were never quite the same, it was passable and even improved over time.
Thanks to FOY (Friend of Yoso) "Jess", I found out that The Noble Chef was finally reopening on September 3rd.
Imagine me walking in to a menu full of Cantonese dishes facing a case of Chinese BBQ. I decided to just try out the roast duck; I needed time to look over the menu to see what new and maybe promising, and also to see if my old favorites were still there. So I got a half roast duck ($12). Getting home and opening up the styrofoam container, I felt like there was bait and switch going on. The ducks in the case were a nice, lacquered brown....this was a rather beige looking beast.
Skin like rubber, meat moist, but lacking flavor...skin almost without flavor, where was the five spice, the salty, the sweet? I also question the cooking temp/technique as this seemed greasy, not rich with oil, but greasy. This has got to be the worst Chinese Roast Duck I've had in quite a while.
Let's add insult to injury, it seems that many of the dishes I thought were decent at Noble Chef are no longer on the menu; Shrimp with XO Sauce Fried Rice, Shrimp Tomato Sauce, Shrimp and Egg on Rice....in fact, it looks like there aren't very many shrimp dishes on the menu. To make things even worse; one of the lousiest dishes I'd ever had at Noble Chef, the Hainan Chicken Rice is on the lunch menu.
So what to do? I'm not sure....I guess I need to check out some of the lunch specials at the least. Lunch is served until 4pm, which is great......but I'm not so certain about the food. Really nice folks, they seem to be trying hard, but this just didn't do it for me.
The Noble Chef
6159 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, CA 92111