Chinjin Eastern House 清真東來順 rests in a small strip complex north of World Journal Plaza (where Sogo Tofu resides) just a block or two south of the Highway 85 De Anza exit. A Chinese blogger said they originally were in Milpitas, then moved to Fremont, before finally settling down in its current location in San Jose (just south of Cupertino borderline).
Chinjin = 清真, meaning Islamic (or Halal) Chinese
東來順 (dong lai shun) appears to have something to do with or within Beijing when searching on the net (my knowledge of China is severely limited) but most of the search results seem to imply that there is also a dong lai shun style of lamb hotpot.
The restaurant was about 3/4 full during lunch and the big sized tables were unoccupied (and not used) so anyone else who came in when the smaller tables were in use had to wait.
Two menus. One in English and Chinese, and a 2 sided placard entirely in Chinese, of which 1 side was weekend only.
Saturday/Sunday "Northern Dim Sum" specials, translated for you
sticky rice beef siu mai - 糯米燒賣 - $4.25
Northern Style spicy wontons - 紅油炸手 - $4.25
sharks fin chicken soup mini pot (?) - 原盅雞包翅 - $6.95
marinated dried tofu strips - 五香豆腐乾 - $3.25
mala spicy beef tendons - 麻辣牛筋 - $3.95
mala beef stomach (?) - 麻辣肚絲 - $3.95
cruller/yoh tieo - 油條 - $1.25
mala stinky tofu - 臭豆腐 - $7.95
chive box (2) - 韭菜盒子 (at this rate my cel phone cam cut off the price, $3 something)
tofu with bean thead noodle soup- 油豆腐細粉
beef wutg bean thread noodle soup - 牛肉細粉
Beef soup - 牛肉湯
Lamb soup - 羊肉湯
something called 煎炸果子 (dsien za guor zi) - this cool starch based item translation site
suggests that it is a deep fried dough stick. Maybe someone can explain the difference between these vs yoh tieo...
rice milk - 小米漿
sweet soymillk and of course the salty version
Now the stuff that's available 7 days a week...
niu rou xien bing (beef cake) - 牛肉饀餅 - $1.85 (per)
sesame flatbread with beef and sauce - 芝麻醬肉燒餅 (someone's pic of it here
sesame large flatbread - 芝麻大餅 (probably similar in type to Darda's version)
scallion cake - 蔥油餅
various steamed dumplings including beef
and a variation containing croaker? (yellow fish) 黃魚饀蒸餃
actual pic : http://www.flickr.com/photos/wangkai/...
beef xiao long bao
something that's pronounced gong zi tou (gong as in Taiwanese meatball gong wan)
lamb cakes - 羊肉褡連火燒 also a link to someone's pic of this item
grilled lamb skewers 烤羊肉串 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wangkai/...
plus marinated veg appetizer (like kim chi)
I ordered the beef cake ($1.85) and it was about the size of my fist. Nice toasty inside and juicy (greasy) inside. Marinated beef patty with scallions and onions and other seasonings (arguably salt or soy sauce, sesame oil). Can't eat this too often. I'd say the Old Mandarin Islamic (San Francisco) variation of the multi layered beef flat cake is way superior.
In terms of beef noodle soup, they have 2 kinds of broth and 2 cuts of beef. There's stewed version (hung shao) or Sichuan Spicy (chuan wei). You can also pick beef (flank cut) or beef tendon. Tendon costs a buck more, and the standard beef noodles are $6.95. However if you want the best of both worlds, ask for bahn jin bahn rou (half beef half tendon) and they will oblige, for $6.95.
My Sichuan Spicy beef noodle soup was a very large bowl, and if you are not too hungry you can even get this to share. The spicy was fairly potent (chili oil) but not overwhelming. They definitely were not adding herbs like bay leaf or spices like peppercorns (huao jiao). The broth was otherwise decent with enough flavor. The highlight were the copious cuts of tendon and beef flank which were stewed well enough. Multiple stalks of qing jiang cai, the light green veg at most Shanghainese restaurants. Choose also between thick or thin noodle, of which the thick I assumed was knife shave noodle, and when inquired the only version of the two made in house. The thin noodle was very enjoyable as I didn't want something too chewy or starchy. Nice and toothy for lack of better word, and light. The tendons you would like if you are a fan of the kind they serve at pho restaurants.
Bottom line, for $6.95 you get way better value than the classic A&J in Cupertino (which probably appeals more to Taiwanese style beef noodle lovers) but Chinjin Eastern House's version is no slouch.
Sadly, $20 minimum credit card order, so with a $9+ tab like mine, cash only then.
Chinjin Eastern House
1530 S De Anza Blvd
San Jose, CA 95015
10% off dinner only coupon from 99 pages (not sure if they still take it, since per the Chinese characters it is a promotion for their "move" I assume from Fremont to San Jose)