My graduation dinner at Taiwan Cafe - LONG
- Dave M.P.
Since I promised to post about the dinner, here it goes. In one word, the meal was INCREDIBLE. Other words that come to mind are ridiculous, wonderful, overwhelming and amazing. There were 9 people, here is what we had.
2 Taiwanese Style Pan Fried Dumplings
1 Chilled Seaweed with Garlic Sauce
1 Spicy Anchovies
1 scallion pancake
1 crispy tofu
1 Hot and Sour Soup
1 Fried Rice with Chinese Sausage
1 Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab
1 eggplant with basil
1 stir fried pork with mustard greens and bean curd
1 sauteed little neck clams with basil
1 shrimp with yellow chives
1 beef with poblano peppers
1 sauteed chinese water cress with garlic
7 bowls of rice
So, things came out in a somewhat random order. There were a bunch of spicy things first: anchovies had a greater pepper to anchovy ratio than last time I had them, still very strong and spicy. The seaweed with garlic sauce balanced out the spicy anchovies. The first main dish to come out was the beef with poblano peppers, very good and very spicy. Hot and sour soup was also very good, it's a very meaty version (there is some blood pudding type stuff in there), but very good.
Eggplant with basil was a huge hit (no surprise here), salt and pepper soft shell crab also disappeared quickly, it was very juicy and flavorful. Shrimp with yellow chives was a bit goopy for my taste, but the shrimps at TC are always cooked perfectly, super tender and flavorful. Sauteed clams with basil (the only main dish that night that I had never had before) was excellent, some of the best clams I had ever had. I forget who suggested this, but thank you very much whoever it was! I love the stir fried pork with mustard greens and bean curd but other people didn't like it as much. It is perhaps my favorite dish at TC though, I order it every time I go for lunch. The chinese watercress with garlic wasn't a big hit, people were too distracted by everything else. Finally, the fried rice with chinese sausage was a nice accompaniement to many of the stronger dishes. The fried rice has eggs, scallions and sausage, very fresh and light, the sausage sweet.
Back to appetizers, the crispy tofu and scallion pancakes disappeared quickly, scallion pancakes are thick and freshly made every time. The dumplings came last and did the trick (my family LOVES dumplings). However, I prefer fried dumplings at Wang's...
The main problem with the meal was that everything came at once (or almost all at once) so in the middle of the meal there was literally no room on the lazy susan, we had too much food! Our table probably looked pretty ridiculous. But what an experience! All of the dishes were very different from each other, which was nice. Each dish was a brand new taste. WE ate almost everything, and I took home the leftovers (some pork, some shrimp, some rice and some watercress). The whole meal was about 130 dollars I think. Some proclaimed that this was the best chinese meal they have ever had. As we were leaving, the owner was saying that there was something on Channel 5 about TC. Did anyone see this?
Taiwan Cafe is an amazing place, I am glad I got to share it with my family. Chau Chau,
p.s. on sunday I graduated and my housemates and I ordered platters from Bob's in Medford to feed our families after the ceremony. Bob's rules too.