Our previous visit to Taiwan Cafe was so good, that we were counting down the days until our next visit. Armed with more dining companions and pre-dining preparation (light soup and small grazing during the day), we were ready to experience other aspects of the menu.
We timed the dining experience well, arriving before 6:30pm and half the restaurant was empty. Around 7pm, the restaurant was jam-packed and every seat was taken.
After some debate, we decided on several more exotic items. After a conversation about the “ugly” we have all consumed, we narrowed the dialogue into Taiwan Cafe dishes including blood soup, pig ears and other entrails. We still could not decide between tendons or tongue, so we got both.
The Chilled Spicy Beef Tendon ($5.95) was paper-thin and had a bit of heat. Folks preferred the tendon to the tongue, but both were fairly untouched after the initial tasting. The Chilled Five Spiced Duck Tongues for $10.95 had the skin’s flavor of a roasted five spice duck, but the cartilage seemed to be off putting for most tasters.
Our server said one of the most popular appetizers at Taiwan Cafe is the Oyster Pancake with gravy for $5.55. It is not a dish for the faint of heart. The edges of the pancake were super airy and crispy, that was the best part of the dish. The glutenous, clear, slimy interior texture was hard to swallow. Although it was palatable, the warm oyster bits were tough to enjoy when most times, I consume oysters chilled and on the shell. The brown-red hued sauce was sweet and did compliment the pancake.
The Spicy Salt & Pepper Chilean Sea Bass Chunks had a nice crust on the exterior. However, the dish was a tad too salty and a bit expensive for $18.95. The fish didn’t seem as fresh as the salt and pepper flounder eaten at Gourmet Dumpling House and we think GDH does spicy salt and pepper fish better.
The three items we would order again is the beef scallion pancake roll, sauteed noodles and sweet and sour chicken. The thinly sliced Roast Beef with scallions roll in scallion pancake ($6.95) was really delicious. These were some of the best scallion pancakes eaten with a flakey, crispy exterior, tender interior and scallion scent.
The Taiwan Style Sauteed Noodles with pork & veggies for $6.50 was a large portion and had a nice flavor. The soft noodles, tender pork and sprouts and greens were a great combination and we cleaned the plate clean.
The Sauteed Julienned Chicken Sauteed with veggies in sweet & sour sauce for $11.95 was also a favorite. The thin slices of crispy chicken was doused in a great sweet and sour sauce. The green peppers and onions had a nice crisp and counteracted the fried crust on the chicken.
On our way out, we saw tables with soupy dumplings and beef with long horn peppers. Clearly, we will have to come back again for another round. Taiwan Cafe’s vegetarian and tofu stir fry dishes are phenomenal and will order in the future.
Like clockwork, the servers ran around the restaurant like chickens with their heads chopped off. They checked multiple times if our table was ready to be cashed in. Just remember, Taiwan Cafe is a cash only establishment. I had high conviction that Taiwan Cafe took cards and was embarrassed and sheepish when I saw the magic marker sign, stating Cash Only.