Sam Woo Bar-B-Q Chinese Restaurant in San Diego

All right, I’ll admit it âÂ?¦ finding a Chinese Restaurant in San Diego is like finding sand on the beach so what makes Sam Woo Bar-B-Q restaurant so special? It’s all about the roast duck. Sam Woo Bar-B-Q is well known for its roast duck as well as its savory, mouth-watering barbeque appetizers. My friend, Foong (of Chinese descent, of course), recently introduced me to the place and I have been in love with it ever since.

The atmosphere at Sam Woo Bar-B-Q is definitely lacking but the food more then makes up for it. Once your meal arrives you will quickly forget all about the bare yellow, wood paneled walls and utilitarian tables and chairs and find yourself lost in a world of exotic aromas and delicate flavors.

The roast duck is cooked to perfection, tender and juicy on the inside, light and crispy on the outside. The barbeque includes selections of chicken, pork, spareribs and sausage. If you are in a hurry and want to try them all just order the “Sam Woo” combination platter for only $17.95 and well worth it.

While it is true they are best known for their roast duck and barbeque you will find the rest of the menu full of traditional Chinese delights. My personal favorite is the rock cod fillet with black bean sauce. The rock cod comes with generous portions of fish fillet swimming in a spicy black bean sauce. The green and red bell peppers add a wonderful balance of flavor and texture. The chili icon next to the listing on the menu indicates that this dish is “hot and spicy” and “hot and spicy” it is; but not so much that you will taste it for the rest of the day.

The prices are mostly in the budget range starting at $2.50 for plain porridge up to $9.95 for honey glazed walnut shrimp. The roast duck and chicken can run up to 14.95 for a whole bird but a half bird at 7.95 is a great deal. The most expensive item on the menu is the “Sam Woo” combination plate.

While the service at Sam Woo Bar-B-Q is fast you may also find it somewhat abrupt (possibly even rude). Don’t let it bother you though, this is just part of the authenticity of the restaurant. I’m not suggesting that the service is bad just âÂ?¦ Chinese. Just don’t expect to sit back and relax and enjoy your time with friends after your meal. They will hurry you in, let you enjoy your meal, then hurry you right back out again. Remember, you’re only there to enjoy a great meal, not to make long lasting friends with the staff. My friend has been going there for more than five years and still gets the rush treatment.

After a delicious meal you can walk it off while perusing the many small oriental shops or searching amongst the large selection of Asian foods at the Ranch 99 Market.

Sam Woo Bar-B-Q is located at 7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., #103 San Diego, CA 92111. It is hidden in a far corner inside of the much larger Ranch 99 Market. Actually, if it were not for my friend I would never have found it on my own. To get there take the 805 freeway either north or south (depending on where you are) and take the Clairemont Mesa Blvd. exit east and look for the Ranch 99 Market on the left-hand side. It can also be reached from 163 freeway going north or south also taking the Clairemont Mesa Blvd exit but heading west. This time the restaurant will be on the right.

Sam Woo Bar-B-Q is open daily Mon. – Fri. 9:00 am – Midnight and Sat. and Sunday: 8:30 – Midnight. Tel: (858) 505-9888. Ask for other Sam Woo Bar-B-Q locations.

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