One of many Asian cuisine options in southeast Dayton, CJ Chan sits at an intersection of Wilmington Pike, Shroyer Road and a few other roads that allows the place to cater to the downtown area to the north, and the tightly-packed suburbs to the east and south. CJ Chan serves up classic Chinese take out options as well as a few different kinds of sushi. It’s a tight market for Chinese food in this area, there’s a ton of it in town. Still, it’s hard to beat the convenience of a place as centrally located as this one.
I’m a fan of some of the old favorites;
- Lo mein: soft noodles are good, because if you order it with beef then the meat is soft and cooked about at a medium, which makes it very juicy, and of course there are some delicious vegetables.
- Sesame chicken: Crunchy and served with a heavy helping of rice. This chicken is very sweet. Definitely two meals.
- Rainbow Roll: Tuna and salmon top this roll, which is fantastic, and comes extra large.
- Spicy Tuna Roll: The spicy tuna mix is just a little bit hot, and definitely complemented with a little wasabi and soy sauce.
- Crab Rangoon: the stuff is heavy on the cream cheese and very crispy, but what’s better, what you pay for six of them elsewhere you get eight here. It’s the little things.
- Steamed dumplings: These are baozi, or Chinese appetizer dumplings filled with pork and served with a nice sweet sauce. Gets a meal started nicely.
- Kung pao beef: Sorry to say I wasn’t so sure about this one, the sauce was a little on the salty side and it was also sort of bland. It really needed something else to make it good, some kind of seasoning or something, I don’t know, but I really don’t suggest it.
It seems, really, that the big charm for the place is its convenience; what’s going to bring people back is the prices. The lunch specials are ridiculously cheap; ranging from $4.95 to $5.15 and are served with fried rice and soup or egg roll; those are the kinds of prices that you only see on a college campus. Check out the sushi bar with very inexpensive sushi rolls and a variety of higher quality “special rolls,” I would say there’s enough of a robust menu that the bland and generic dishes will be easy to avoid.
The place doesn’t look like much from the exterior, and really the interior is pretty small, too, but the neighbors seem to prefer the place for the convenience and cheap prices, and I suppose you can’t argue with that. The people are nice, the service is relatively quick and the convenience of the carry out option makes it really attractive. At the same time, I really have to say the dishes I’ve tried here was good but not enough so that it was worth a special trip. If it’s convenient, I would say go ahead and give it a try, because at those prices you don’t even really have to feel like it’s a huge risk. Go for it!
- Go for the noodle dishes, which are good. Avoid the “meat with sauce” options, they didn’t impress me.
- No, really, there are lunch specialties in the $5 range. Go for it.
- The sushi and sashimi options are pretty substantial, too.