Affordable Chinese cuisine for students

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Photo Credit: Terese Torgersen, Contributing Reporter

Walking 10 minutes from CSUN, one can easily find Chi’s Chinese Cuisine. Located on Reseda Boulevard between Plummer Street, and Lassen Street. This small and charming restaurant is a perfect place to eat and relax with friends.

My guest and I went on a Sunday night, to take a short break from midterm cram-sessions.  The entrance to the restaurant is inviting and the atmosphere is enhanced by classical Chinese music.

The color scheme of the restaurant is red and green. Chinese symbols cover the walls and square oriental lamps hang from the ceiling.

The restaurant is easy to locate and there is ample parking opportunities. A friendly waitress greeted us upon entering.

While waiting for our appetizer, we were given crispy noodles with sweet and sour, and hot mustard sauce. The special Chinese mustard sauce was a little too spicy for my taste.

As an appetizer we decided to get har gow, which are steamed shrimp dumplings. We were surprised  when we received our food within 10 minutes of ordering.

The dish was composed of three small wraps, each containing shrimp inside. Not being familiar with this type of dish, I would describe the shrimp as having a rubber-like texture. I found it quite peculiar and different from anything I’ve tasted before, but tasty nonetheless.

Chi’s Chinese Cuisine serves an assortment of appetizers ranging from $2.95 to $9.95. These dishes include traditional Chinese favorites such as dim sum, pot stickers and eggrolls.

Maybe I’m not used to dining Chinese style, but I found it strange that they would give us a fork, without a knife, nevertheless we persevered.

Immediately upon finishing our appetizers, the waitress brought us the two main dishes. We had the garlic chicken, and barbecue pork with snow peas.

I’m a garlic lover, so my expectations were high. Luckily, it was satisfying. It was a very tasty dish. The chicken was juicy and the marinade brought out the flavor. Peppers, onions and rice are all part of the dish.

The second main dish, was not as awesome. The pork was a bit dry, but the barbecue sauce made it taste sweet. Carrots and water chestnuts were included in this dish.

The portions were large, and we had enough food for dinner the next day. That’s never a bad thing.

The main entrees range from $6.55 to $10.55. They offer small and large size options on most of their main entrees.

Chi’s Chinese Cuisine extensive menu offers different types of soups, noodle dishes, fried rice, salads, chicken, beef, seafood and pork.

They also offer an even healthier menu of steamed mixed vegetables, steamed tofu with vegetables, steamed fish fillet with vegetables and a variety of noodle soups.

The service at the restaurant was excellent. Waiters came to our table several times to make sure we had everything we needed. We even received a pot of tea free of charge.

Chi’s Chinese Cuisine offers take out, delivery and catering services. A minimum order of $12 is required for delivery, and they also charge an extra $2 delivery fee.

CSUN students get a 10% discount when they show their student ID card.

Although we enjoyed our meal, we noticed this is not a restaurant for dessert lovers. Chi’s Chinese Cuisine didn’t have a lot of dessert options. This was the only thing that disappointed me.

They had only two different desserts, none of which is ice cream. What is offered is, chocolate almond cookies and sesame balls.

We decided to try the chocolate dipped almond cookies. They were a bit dry, but the chocolate worked its magic. The desserts range from $1.95 to $2.95.

One appetizer, two main dishes, two desserts and drinks came to a total of $20. It is safe to say this is definitely an affordable restaurant.

I would highly recommend the garlic chicken, as this was my favorite dish of the meal. Their steamed dishes are also a big plus for those who like to eat healthy.