Facing East Noodle & Bar is an Asian fusion restaurant that recently opened up on Convoy. While I’m not normally a big fan of Asian fusion, the initial reviews from Kirbie’s Cravings and This Tasty Life got me curious enough to grab a few friends and check it out!
The restaurant was pretty quiet when we visited on a weeknight. The menu consists of appetizers, xiaolongbao and dumplings of several varieties, noodle and rice dishes, and lots of different drinks and desserts. I was most intrigued by the various flavors of xiaolongbao.
Black Truffle Xiaolongbao [$12.5]
The wrappers for these black truffle XLB were dyed with squid ink, giving them a shockingly black hue. The truffle flavor was strong but not overwhelming, and there was plenty of soup in each dumpling. The wrappers aren’t as thin as the ones from Din Tai Fung – the gold standard of XLB – but definitely held up to the fillings.
Foie Gras Xiaolongbao [$13]
The foie gras XLB featured a mushroom sauce wrapper and a pork filling flavored with foie gras. The foie taste was subtle but added a layer of richness to the dumpling. I also liked the earthiness of the mushroom-flavored wrapper, which complemented the filling quite nicely.
Galangal Shredded Chicken Rice [$11]
Our friends recommended this shredded chicken rice, which reminded me of Hainan chicken but shredded and with a heavier flavor profile. (Note that there is a Hainan chicken dish on the menu.) The chicken was quite tender, and I enjoyed it with the soy sauce rice.
Pork Belly and Mushroom Rice Kettle [$14.5]
Our friends ordered this “rice kettle” (煲仔飯), rice cooked in a clay pot and topped with braised pork belly and mushrooms. We were all a bit surprised at the mushrooms – I was expecting shiitakes, which would have fit the flavor profile a bit better. Friends said that this was decent, but a bit pricey since the portion wasn’t particularly large.
Sea Salt Green Milk Tea [$5]
Friend also ordered a sea salt green milk tea, which was served in an adorable jar but did not taste too special. There is currently a deal for a free drink if you post an Instagram picture and a Yelp review, so she was able to get this drink for free, but otherwise she said that it’s probably not worth $5 especially with so many other good milk tea places around.
Overall, I had a great meal at Facing East. The xiaolongbao here were quite good, and I will definitely return to check out the other flavors – such as the cheese-flavored XLB with tumeric wrapper, which sounds really creative! And there is a huge list of rice and noodle dishes. I just wish that they were a bit cheaper, but otherwise I really enjoyed this place.
Facing East Noodle & Bar 東滋食府
4647 Convoy St. Suite 101C, San Diego, CA 92111