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Restaurants & Bars 6

Cupertino area round up: Shan (Pakistani/Indian), Tong Dumpling, and Rio Adobe

Josh Fredericks | May 23, 200502:50 PM

Shan Restaurant
5251 Stevens Creek Blvd (at Lawrence Expy)
Santa Clara (Cupertino border, Bed Bath & Beyond shopping center)
<$10 for dinner

Shan is currently my favorite place in the south bay for Pakistani kabobs, tandoori, etc. It's a small place that gets crowded and sometimes smokey on weekends. They feature Halal meat from Harris ranch. The tandoori chicken is moist and succulent, with just the right balance of spices. The beef seekh kabob has more kick, also moist and perfectly cooked. The free chai is top notch. The curries I've tried are good and are not at all oily, but the meat is what's featured here. The service is fairly indifferent, but every time I've returned they've been a little bit nicer.

Tong Dumpling
6184 Bollinger Rd (entrance on Miller Ave)
San Jose (Cupertino border)
<$10 for dinner

This place is hidden from view from Bollinger, and I just noticed it a couple days ago. It's in a small strip next to the Safeway shopping center on Bollinger/Miller. As you might guess, dumplings are the specialty. In fact all that's on the English menu are dumplings and a few side dishes (egg roll, onion pancake, tea egg). It's a tiny, sparkling clean place that they've really spruced up nicely. You can watch them make the dumplings by hand while you eat, and all the food they serve seems to be prepared fresh. Last night we tried the "Three Deluxe" dumplings (pork/shrimp/chive), the egg rolls, and the beef noodle soup (perhaps on the Chinese special menu- the table next to us ordered it and we pointed). The soup was actually the best thing- hand made noodles, rich salty beef stock, green chinese veggie and stewed beef. The egg rolls were very fresh (I think rolled just then) with bean sprouts, carrots, and cabbage. Some of the best I've had. The dumplings are available boiled or pan fried, and I tried mine fried. They were filled with the meat and some broth, which didn't add much flavor. But the taste was overall quite good, and I think I would try a different kind next time. The great service was also a nice surprise.

Rio Adobe Southwest Cafe
10525 South De Anza Blvd. # 100
Cupertino, CA 95014
<$10 for dinner

I don't know if I'd call the food here Southwestern, perhaps more California Mexican. It's mostly burritos, tacos, etc. You order at the counter, and grab salsas from the salsa bar as your order is being prepared (complimentary chips are delivered first). They've put themselves into competition with Chipotle and Baja Fresh, which are both down the street, but the food is much better here (sign at the counter says "not your corporate burrito"). All the ingredients are fresh and you can taste it. The shrimp burrito had larger shrimp than I expected, and they were cooked perfectly. It's a great combination and fairly decadent with the guacamole and salsa blanca. The chicken tacos featured juicy chicken and fresh cilantro. The salsas are a hit too, although the mild ones are too bland. The spicy roasted tomato one was the best, with a nice kick

Link: http://www.tongdumpling.com

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