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Taiwan Cafe (again & long)

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Taiwan Cafe (again & long)

Dax | Feb 4, 2003 08:36 AM

This weekend Josh, Nab and I (all three from this board) ventured downtown for some local Asian cuisine. Based on various recommendations from Chowhounds, we opted for Peach Farm. However, after traipsing around for 30 minutes in the cold & wind, we were turned off by the hour wait at 6:15ish at the Peach Farm. Little did we know Peach Farm would have taken credit cards. So based on other recommendations and the fact it was just across the street, we opted for Taiwan Cafe (which incidentally, is cash only). As Josh had studied up more on the recent Peach Farm suggestions, we entered TC somewhat blindly, but that's sometimes more fun anyway.

First, thank you Hounds! Per Nab and Josh's insistence, we started off with the beef tendon. Not particularly my thing, as I was not enthused with the
jelly-like consistency of the dish (served cold). Nevertheless, it was even somewhat enjoyable to me with the spicy lingering aftertaste. Based on the fact that Nab and Josh were arguing over the last large piece, they obviously enjoyed it much more.
Served with a dipping sauce, soy based but not sure exactly what it was.

Next up, beef with watercress. We almost went with watercress & garlic dish, but I needed more meat. Perhaps the best dish of the night, the watercress was sautéed to the perfect stage somewhere b/w crisp & more limp. The dish could have used more beef, but we didn't complain as the dish went back to the kitchen very empty.

At this point, the remainder of the order started showing up right and left.

The oysters with black bean sauce was heavenly, if a bit salty about 1/2 way through the dish. I admit, by that point I was just scooping it on my plate and scarfing it down, not eating with the sticky rice to help alleviate some of the saltiness. I understand Peach Farms dish is srved on 1/2 shell. TC's was shucked oysters in the sauce, but the oysters were plump, around 3/4-1 inch long and the bean sauce ... well they almost had to hold me back from drinking from the bowl.

The soy sesame? duck was tasty, if not too memorable. Seemed somewhat bland, not bad in any means, but not too exciting.

Soup Dumplings! The pork ones we ordered were somewhat large (ie larger than a big biteful), 8 served to an order and the menu indicates 20 min
advance ordering. A pork and crab version is also offered. When they arrived, I was somewhat confused as how to tackle these bulbous morsels without loosing the brothy goodness inside to the confines of my dinner bowl which was rapidly looking hazardous with all my other leftovers. 1st one was a bit of a disaster; the following I just plopped in my mouth whole and rode the wave as they burst inside my mouth with a delight only pork and broth can elicit. It was a bit tough eating them, guess I should have used the
soup spoons provided.

I also ordered this interesting looking dumpling. It looked like a big doughy undercooked biscuit, served with pork products and a few vegetables/herbs inside, wrapped over once. Probably my least favorite dish, the dough was too spongy and sweet, although the meat was tasty. It did win redeeming points for being a vehicle to soak up the remaining black bean sauce on my
plate.

To top if off, the host was especially humorous and kind and the wait staff more than friendly and efficient.

Overall, I'll definitely be back soon.

Dax

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