Rating: Two thumbs up
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.