Asian

Golden Chopsticks Restaurant

V and I were going to be in National City so I researched restaurants for us to try for lunch. We always enjoy salt and pepper chicken wings so Soo suggested either Golden Chopsticks Restaurant or Royal Mandarin. Both had lunch specials but we opted for Golden Chopsticks Restaurant as it was a mile closer to our point of location.

GOLDEN CHOPSTICKS RESTAURANT

Golden Chopsticks Restaurant is located in a strip mall. There was plenty of parking that midweek afternoon.

The restaurant was spacious, decorated well with Asian motifs, and nicely lit. They had open windows with screens but not sure if I felt any air conditioning.

CONDIMENTS
LUNCH SPECIALS

We decided to share two lunch specials and order one item off their regular menu. I wanted to try their Roast Duck so badly but didn’t want to spend the money. Our amazing server, David(?), said they roast all their own ducks in house. So perhaps next visit.

EGGDROP SOUP

Each lunch special comes with complimentary egg drop soup and fried wonton chips. V loved the fried wonton chips and the sweet n sour sauce. We appreciated how the sweet n sour sauce was served warm.

SHRIMP IN LOBSTER SAUCE $8.75

This was a nice generous portion for $8.75. There were probably 11 decent size shrimp in this dish. The lobster sauce was nice and corn starch gooey. They used canned mushrooms. I liked the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots.

FRIED RICE

You get a choice between fried or steamed rice. The fried rice was bland with just soy sauce and peas.

SQUID WITH SPICY SALT $11.95

V will more than likely order fried squid if it’s ever on the menu. I was worried the $11.95 would be expensive but the portion size is huge.

It’s about the length of a chopstick. The batter was so light and crispy similar to tempura. I thought it was one of the better batters I’ve tried. It wasn’t too thick.

This is the side of garlic white vinegar sauce for the fried squid. I LOVED this sauce. It was wonderfully tart and pungent.

The squid tasted fresh and not chewy. There was ample garlic and scallions tossed with the squid.

CHICKEN WING LUNCH SPECIAL $8.75

We were looking forward to these chicken wings. Our server said the lunch portion is a great deal with about 10 wings. The wings are of decent size.

We didn’t like the thick batter. It wasn’t seasoned well and V said she wanted more salt (while I secretly thought they needed more MsG). The meat itself was a bit dry. I would have preferred the fried squid batter on these wings. We still prefer the wings from Phuong Trang or QT Pot.

It’s nice having a co worker buddy who likes to eat at much as you do. The total was about $32 before tax and tip. So not bad but we barely made a dent in the meal. Service was amazing. It was shocking to us actually. All the staff was friendly and incredibly helpful. They even packaged all our items to go for us (which was all three items). I’d return again to try more items, especially the roast/peking duck, if I was in the area again.

GOLDEN CHOPSTICKS RESTAURANT
1430 E Plz Blvd
National City, CA 91950
(619) 336-1888

Golden Chopsticks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

12 thoughts on “Golden Chopsticks Restaurant

    1. I’ll have to note that next time I’m in Asia! One of my favorite items in Taiwan is the fresh bamboo (when it’s in season).

      Not sure if I recall eating canned water chestnuts or bamboo though (that last time I was in Asia). I do like water chestnuts though.

      What’s your take on MsG? Does it bother you or are you ok when it’s used in moderation?

      1. I feel that if MSG were as bad as many in the West think it is, all of Asia would be dead. Even many home-cooked meals in countries like Vietnam and Japan use MSG. It’s the secret behind all that great-tasting food we eat over there :-).

        1. My grandmother taught me something interesting that I’d like to share with you and see if you even knew (this fact). Her ‘secret’ ingredient in some dishes has been hondashi. She recently re-taught me how to make chawanmushi and showed me how she used hondashi in her recipe. I love hondashi and wanted to add more. She was upset and said NO because hondashi has, wait for it….MsG. I told her NO WAY, it does not – it’s just dried bonito pellets. She made me look it up and yup – hondashi absolutely has MsG which is probably why i LOVE(d) it so much πŸ™

          I was baffled as I would never thought hondashi had MsG and how in the world did my grams know about it. She said ‘well, that’s why hondashi tastes so good right!’.

  1. I believe a true traditional hondashi is made from just katsuobushi and konbu, but I know some of the “instant” versions do substitute ??? (MSG). FWIW, I visited a katsuobushi factory in far southern Ky?sh? earlier this year and they gave me a nice tour, and some free product.

    1. I buy the hondashi from the local Asian markets (be it Nijiya, H Mart, 99 Ranch). So yeah, I guess it’s instant. I googled MsG-free hondashi and there are certain kinds – not sure if they’re available locally though. Let me know if you have any recommendations on where to buy MsG-free hondashi.

      I just googled katsuobushi as I didn’t know the term. I’m smiling as I see images! I went to a katsuobushi factory in Taiwan! My grams and her brother bought a ton of katsuobushi there. And there were so many samples as well. I’ll have to look for this next time I’m at the Japanese market and see if there are any by-products or added ‘blah’. Gosh – thanks for the info!!

  2. Oh man, I’ve been going to this restaurant since I was a kid. It’s one of my parents favorite Chinese restaurants. I remember we’d go here for lunch and then go over to Seafood City to do some grocery shopping! I prefer the salt & pepper wings at Mandarin in Chula Vista, of course, but they have some pretty good items.

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