China Best Restaurant

2 06 2010
Atmosphere: 3/5   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited:  A million   ♦   Will I Return?:  A million more

China Best HaywardChina Best is just up the hill from Cal State East Bay (formerly Cal State Hayward), up on the hill in Hayward.  It’s in a small shopping center with a quickie mart, a Subway, a pizza joint, a dry cleaners, and a rotating variety of relatively unmemorable shops.  China Best is by far the greatest thing about this shopping center; I’ve been coming here since they opened their doors in 1999.

CB is actually quite a disputed spot; I know people who do not like it there at all for a variety of reasons.  I, however, do like it.  It’s clean, the service is friendly and ridiculously fast, and the menu has a good selection of veggie and non-veggie items.  Patrons order at the counter where there are always the same two ladies taking cash and serving the food—literally every single day for 11 years I think these two ladies have been stationed in the same spot behind the counter.  I have never seen them missing; it’s almost eerie.

China Best

The inside of China Best Restaurant in Hayward.

The menu is divided up into sections: seafood, chicken, beef, and vegetables are the main items, in addition to appetizers, soup, rice, and noodle dishes.  They offer a “luncheon” deal that includes an entree, steamed rice, and a won ton, a “combo” meal that includes an entree, rice, and chow mein, or “a la carte” dishes that are just a huge plate of a single entree.  It’s a pretty good system; I always order the combo to get  a little bit of everything.

My old go-to was always the sweet and sour chicken, back in the day.  Shows you how long I’ve been going to China Best.  Since my veggie years began, I have typically ordered the dry fried string bean dish, which is green beans fried in a light, salty sauce, with plenty of garlic chips sprinkled throughout.  It’s delicious.  Other veggie dishes include string beans with tofu, mixed fresh veggies in black bean or curry sauce, garlic tossed fried broccoli, hot and spicy tofu, and eggplant, zucchini, or asparagus with tofu.  The variety of meat dishes is even more extensive; they certainly offer something for everyone.


Sliced Fish Fillet Cooked in Orange Peel Sauce Combo meal from China Best Restaurant in Hayward.

I’ve recently taken a liking to Sliced Fish Filled in Orange Peel Sauce; it’s tasty though not very sweet or orangy (in a good way).  Boyfriend orders sweet and sour prawns which are very generously covered in deep fried batter, slathered in sweet and sour sauce, and topped with veggies and pineapple.  It’s not health food, people, but it’s good.

Sweet and sour prawn

Sweet and Sour Prawns Combo meal from China Best in Hayward.

The chow mein is something of a contested item—you either love it or you hate it.  With a combo meal comes a portion of chow mein noodles with nothing in it.  No carrots, no meat, no bean sprouts (take a deep breath, Dad).  Just soft, delicious noodles.  If you like them, they’re great.  And I like them.  The rice is standard, not much to discuss.  With each meal also comes a bowl of hot and sour soup which is excellent.  I used to crave it when I was away from home.

Hot and sour soup

Hot and Sour Soup is delicious from China Best in Hayward.

Overall, I think China Best is great.  It’s not somewhere you go when you’re on a diet.  It’s not somewhere you go every night.  But now and again, for a quick (and I mean quick) bite of yummy Chinese, it certainly hits the spot.

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2 responses

5 06 2010

Weelllll…………. Yeah, that is my most contested item there, the “chow mein”. They shouldn’t call it chow mein. They should just call that dish “noodles”. Then it wouldn’t be shockingly disappointing to see nothing but noodles. Top Ramen noodles are good but, I wouldn’t call them chow mein. Rant. Rave. Also, the sweet & sour pork or chicken has way too much breading. But that can be corrected by removing some of it and piling it up on the side of the plate to chuck. That last quality is unfortunately not uncommon at the many chinese restaurants I have been to. But, CB is an ok place to eat once in a while. Mostly, I have nice memories of visiting with my cute little family there cuz it’s so close to home. :)

5 06 2010

I know you don’t like the chow mein, rant and rave away. I agree about the breading, thought I’ve only had the sweet and sour chicken and prawns. They could back off on that a bit for some better sweet and sour foods, I think. Still yum to me though!

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