Chinjin Eastern House specializes in Islamic Chinese food, but also makes a mean bowl of Sichuan spicy beef noodle soup, says K K, and “you get way better value than the classic A & J in Cupertino.”

Granted, A & J Restaurant is more Taiwanese-style, but Chinjin’s version ($6.95) is no slouch, K K says. There are two kinds of broth (stew and Szechuan spicy) and two cuts of beef (flank and tendon). For the best of both worlds, ask for bahn jin bahn rou (half beef, half tendon). You get a large bowl of well-stewed beef and tendon, and quite a few stalks of the light green vegetable qing jiang cai. The broth is flavorful but fairly straightforward, with a judicious amount of chile oil but no other herbs or spices. You can also choose between thin and thick noodles; thin are light and toothsome, and, although K K didn’t try the thick noodles, they sound like the knife-shaved kind, and are made in-house.

The multilayered beef cake is toasty outside and juicy inside, but not nearly up to Old Mandarin Islamic’s version, K K says. Saturday and Sunday bring northern-style dim sum specials—see K K’s post for translations.

Chinjin also has a different take on stinky tofu, says Humbucker: “Not very stinky, not fried and with a thick sauce that has a cheese-like tang.”

Overall, Chinjin is as good as, if not better than, the overrated Darda in Milpitas, K K says.

Chinjin Eastern House [South Bay]
1530 S. De Anza Boulevard, San Jose

A & J Restaurant [South Bay]
10893 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino

Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant [Outer Sunset]
3132 Vicente Street, San Francisco

Darda Seafood Restaurant [South Bay]
296 Barber Court, Milpitas

Board Link: Chinjin Eastern House Islamic Chinese - San Jose

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