An unsung restaurant has developed a solid following over the past 7 years. The restaurant is the locally owned CJ Chan on Wilmington Ave, with a second thriving location on Alex Rd for the past 2 years.
Recently, we have heard more and more fellow foodies ask us to meet at CJ Chan for dinner or lunch. We have obliged, and after eating there about a dozen times in the past 10 months, our Food Adventure crew understands the attraction. If they don’t get you with a sauce, they will get you with the sushi boss.
HERE’S THE SKINNY on CJ CHAN:
— This mom and pop restaurant opened up in 2010 at 536 Wilmington Ave in Dayton, and 2 years ago on 2747 W. Alex Bell Rd in Moraine/Centerville.
— The menu features CHINESE and JAPANESE cuisine, so you can try the best of both worlds, made by local chefs. From Sushi and Hibachi to Szechuan dishes and Crab Rangoon, the menu has something for everyone covering the food spectrum of 2 countries.
— Both CJ Chan locations are small, seating about 40, but the dining room size is perfect for an intimate lunch and the crowds seem to flow quickly in and out. Both locations have sushi bar seating as well.
— This eatery has some of the friendliest, most attentive service staff in town. Sometimes there may be a slight language barrier, but overall, the service is very impressive.
— The hours are great for early lunches or later dinners:
Mon – Thu: 10:30AM–10PM
Fri – Sat: 10:30AM–10:30PM
— We just found out that they have a second menu at the Wilmington Ave location called the “Hot Pot” Menu. It features, chicken, beef or seafood hot pots for $18-$20. Are they soups? Are they just hot bowls of food? Guess what we will be having next visit …. ?
But what dishes are the best of the best on this extensive Asian Menu? Food Adventures is here to sort it out for you on our patented MUST EATS list. Grab your chopsticks and a napkin, because these aren’t fusion menus, they are 2 separate Chinese and Japanese full menus.. Here we go …
MUST EATS at CJ CHAN:
— THE EGG ROLLS:
We don’t know why, but the distinct flavor of these egg rolls are delicious. Mostly cabbage and wrap, the hand rolled appetizers have some spice in them that we find delicious and addicting. Definitely take time to splash the egg roll inside with soy sauce and dip it in sweet and sour sauce. You have to ask for that sauce, or they will bring you duck sauce. Trust us, the sweet n sour sauce is night and day better than the duck sauce.
—THE KANI SALAD:
Incredibly refreshing mound of shredded cucumber, crab and touched off with hot mayo and vinegar mix with crunchy sprinkles on top. Fun to eat with chopsticks, this appetizer will bring a smile to your face. If you love crab, this appetizer is for you. A perfect way to start your meal, it is an essential part of a successful visit to CJ Chans.
— SALMON TERIYAKI BENTO BOX LUNCH:
This bento box has it all for a great lunch. The salmon is grilled to perfection. Other bento box items include a California Roll, White Rice, and Salad. It is priced right and filling option for a nice lunch. They serve you a nice piece of salmon as the highlight to the meal. Don’t forget to dip thjat California roll in wasabi and soy sauce.
—GENERAL TSO’s SHRIMP:
A great twist on a dish normally used with chicken. It is a breaded shrimp dish with a hot and sweet browninsh sauce. Typically served along with broccoli, they serve it with cucumber slices. This was one of our all time favorite dishes at CJ Chans. Great flavors in this Chinese dish.
This is for the serious sushi lover. You get a bento box with 8 pieces of raw fish chosen by the sushi chef. Also served with a California Roll. This is a great deal and a steal at 9.55 for lunch. You also get white rice and a salad in the bento box too. In the past they have given us fish like salmon, tuna, white tuna, tilapia, octopus, and yellowtail. Get a side of soy sauce, pout it in the small sushi soy dish, add the wasabi, stir it in and dip the fish into that. This is PURE heaven … Amazing, because the fish is so fresh it melts in your mouth.
—THE TRIPLE ROLL
Absolutely fantastic combination of Tuna, Salmon and avocado. It is the best sushi roll at CJ Chan and one of our all time favorites anywhere. Do you love raw fish? This roll is for you and not for the squeamish. It is a great deal because they pack a lot of salmon and tuna into this roll. If you are not doing our wasabi and soy sauce dip to finish this off, then you are missing half of the taste.
The key to CJ CHAN is to find your sauce and experiment with various dishes until you find your favorites. Since the menu is so extensive, the sauces will lead you to the promise land. Lunch is the best deal of course, due to better prices. The sushi is a fantastic option and cannot be missed on any visit. Both locations are great, but the busier lunch crowd is on Wilmington Ave, the bustle in and out and there is usually not a wait, but it comes close.
So stop in at Alex Rd or Wilmington Ave and experiment for yourself. Make that sushi chef work his magic, and keep the bento boxes coming. You will love it !
Food Adventures is a local Dayton area food blog that focuses on Miami Valley food places. We have no rules, and eat it all, We have a weekly article feature right here on DaytonMostMetro.com Follow Food Adventures on Facebook for lots of food photos and fun by clicking here.
Please feel free to browse the gallery below, for more on CJ CHAN !