Two-month-old restaurant CJ Chan delivers on price and quality
By Brian P. Sharp
Today was one of those days where you just don’t want to cook at home. It’s cold and snowy, and while a nice, hot pot of chili sounds nice, a clean kitchen sounds better. So, we hop in the car and decide very quickly that we just want to try something new. We took the quick five-minute ride from downtown to CJ Chan, a new restaurant (open only two months) located at 536 Wilmington Ave., which specializes in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
Everything is new and fresh. The décor is modern yet comfortable. The servers are cheerful and greeted us immediately. The dining room is small with only 10 tables and half of those were occupied. The restaurant boasts using only the freshest ingredients prepared daily and the server states that they use no MSG in their cooking. It took some time to decide with a menu so full of options.
The Japanese portion of the menu is full of sushi options ranging in price from $7.95 to $10.95 both cooked and raw, including one called the UD roll – which is shrimp tempura with cucumber, eel and avocado. The appetizer options vary from edamame to age dofu, beef negimaki, shumai and gyoza that range in price from $3.95 to $8.95. There are Japanese entrée offerings in teriyaki, hibachi style and noodle plates ranging in price from $7.95 to $13.95.
The Chinese portion of the menu is equally full of options. All of the usual appetizers like egg rolls, spring rolls, fried wontons, steamed dumplings and crab Rangoon all range in price from $2.75 to $5.65. There are six soup options including wonton, hot and sour, egg drop, miso, chicken corn soup and a combination wonton egg drop. There are small and large sizes ranging in price from $1.75 to $3.25. When it comes to entrées, there are combination and specialty plates as well as fried rice, chow mein, chop suey, lo mein, sweet and sour, mai fun (soft rice noodles), egg foo young and all of the usual chicken, pork, beef and shrimp options, most offered in small and large sizes and ranging in price from $3.95 to $9.25. The combination and specialty offerings range in price from $6.95 to $10.95.
Our decisions were finally made. We ordered two appetizers – the crab Rangoon and an order of spring rolls. The crab Rangoon (eight pieces) arrived nicely presented with sweet sauce on the side. The dough was fresh and crisp; the filling hot and creamy. The spring rolls were served in a hand thrown pottery bowl with a pairing of duck sauce and wasabi mustard on the side. Then we both enjoyed a mild recipe of hot and sour soup served with thinly sliced fried wontons.
Our entrées were also selected from the Chinese menu. I chose chicken Egg Foo Young. A large serving (three pieces) served on a bed of lettuce with brown sauce on the side and white rice. My friend chose an entrée called Four Seasons – chicken, pork, beef and shrimp served with vegetables in a brown sauce served with white rice. Our dinners were served piping hot, expertly prepared and beautifully presented.
The staff was attentive and available. This restaurant is a nice choice for authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine.
CJ Chan is open for lunch and dinner. Lunch specials are available on both the Chinese and Japanese menus and range in price from $4.95 to $5.50 on the Chinese Menu and $6.50 to $8.95 on the Japanese Menu. Carry out is also available. The hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:30 to 10:00; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 to 10:30 and Sunday from 11:30 to 10:00.
You don’t want to miss this restaurant – it’s sure to be one of Dayton’s hot spots.
Who wants to join me for an intimate dinner at CJ Chan?
Reach DCP’s dining critic Brian P. Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org.