In November of 1985 husband and wife, Shanteh and Pei Ying Sun, opened Jing Chuan on Secor Road in Toledo. The restaurant was based on Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine, giving rise to the first word of the restaurant’s name, Jing, after the Capital City of China, Beijing and the Mandarin offerings there, and the second word, Chuan, based on the culinary offerings of the Sichuan region of China.
Now, 37 years later, the restaurant is being managed by the third generation, after being run by the daughter and son of the founders, and now to the grandchildren of Shanteh and Pei Ying, two sisters, Wesley and Joni Sun, and their cousin, Felicia Liang.
The sisters and their cousin run the front of the house while Joni’s husband, Souimaniphanh, oversees the kitchen operations. Updates but still, comfortably, the same The restaurant underwent major renovations, including a full remodel of the kitchen and updating of the bathrooms, in 2018 and is still a Toledo favorite 37 years after it’s opening. The dishes, while true to their Cantonese and ethnic roots, have been adjusted for the American palate and that has led to the continued success of the eatery and to a hallowed place in the hearts of Toledo diners.
The restaurant’s interior has had few changes since it’s opening, leading to an environment to enjoy a consistent and predictably satisfying meal. Soups (including sweet and sour, egg drop and wanton), as well as entrees featuring veggie and tofu options, fowl (chicken and duck dishes), seafood with scallops, shrimp and fish, and beef and pork dishes are tempting, with some inventive and some expected preparations.
Adhering to the founders’ methods Wesley Sun, one of the family managers, explains, “We hand make 95% of the food items that we serve. “ The restaurant space has pleasant lighting and comfortable seating and is easily accessible with parking close to the door without the hindrance of traffic. Also, dining guests can be dropped off at the door close to the parking, which is handy and appreciated.
The restaurant has experienced the trials and tribulations similar to many dining establishments, which were brought on by the pandemic including staffing issues and increased food costs. While Wesley explains that Jing Chuan is “quieter than usual and with fewer servers some sections of the dining room not being used.”
Jiing Chuan still does a significant carryout business, and that was an area that did well throughout the pandemic, even at the beginning of the social distancing adjustments, as many customers had been ordering carryout items from the restaurant over the years. Jing Chuan is a consistent option for quality Chinese food and it is poised to continue that reputation for years to come.