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Coffee & Tea 6

Finally Tried Tea Garden on MissionToday...

yadayadayada... | Mar 11, 200512:13 AM

The place is very clean and cozy. I was with my brother and we went in to make change for parking and the owner told us we could park at his spot, for free! He had a broken meter spot just in front of us. We were very surprised by his generosity.

It didn't take long for us to decide what we wanted to order. My brother got the pork chop over rice. I got the beef noodle soup. Also, I got my wife savory sticky rice to go.

First came my beef noodle soup; it had a few spinach greens, 6 pieces of well-cooked beef brisket, topped with green onions. I think the owner has been taking notes from here, because the noodles were not soggy rather aldente and the soup was piping hot. It was served in a good size bowl. The meat was excellent, very tender and soft. The noodles are your Chinese style dried flat noodles. I know there have been complaints about TG not serving fresh noodles, but if you ever eaten Taiwanese style Niu Ru Mein in Taiwan, you know it’s not about the noodle it’s about the beef and the soup; the noodles are simply fillers. With that said, TG’s beef noodle soup is probably among the top ones I’ve tasted in the San Francisco area. Our only little complaint was the soy sauce taste was a bit powering in the soup. Which can be easily corrected with a little star anise.

As mentioned, my brother had their house specialty Taiwanese style fried pork chop with meat sauce smothered over the chop and rice. It was served with pickles and a stewed egg (lew dan). The meat sauce according to my brother was very authentic and the pork chop was nice and juicy. The rice was short grain (Japanese style) rather than long. I believe the owner changed to short grain rice after reading previous reviews on the place.

Everything tasted great, the only complaint I had was the savory rice ball (fan twan). Jasmin long grain sticky rice was used rather than the Japanese/Korean short grain sticky rice. Jasmin long grain stick rice is great with coconut milk or mangos as dessert, but not in savory items. My wife took one bite and gave it right back to me. I took a bite and tossed it in the garbage. The fan twan was definitely not their strong point, but over all it was a very positive experience and I would definitely go back again.

There were quite a few people getting their Guoa Bao, sweet buns with fatty pork, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and pickles. Maybe I will give that a shot next time. They also carry quite a bit of Chinese style baked and steamed buns. BTW, for those of you that work late, they’re opened until 11PM everyday except Sundays.


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