Recommendations on Tea House in St. Paul?
Friends suggested we go to Tea House Chinese restaurant in St. Paul tonight.
Any recommendations on what's good there and what's not?
Looks like their site is down today, but I remember going out to it a while ago and they said they have 2 menus. 1 for everyone, and the other for people that know Chineese dishes well. I think I got the regular menu, but it had pictures :) and the food was good. There's an appitizer, which I don't know the name of, but it's basically soup inside of a dough ball. Try it-- good stuff!
Even though their main site is down, you can still find the PDF of their menu: http://www.ourteahouse.com/Menus/Menu....
It's definitely worth it to order off the more authentic menu. Much better dishes. The first time I went to Tea House, I went with a friend who isn't a very adventurous eater. She got lo mein and it was just "eh." It's much more fun to go with someone who will order off the authentic dish and will want to share multiple dishes.
I agree with Baxter08, the Shanghai Juicy Mini Buns are wonderful. Just be VERY careful eating them. I splotched the front of my shirt. The trick is to take a tiny bite in the corner, suck out most of the broth, and then chew. Also from the appetizers, the Shanghai pancake is also delicious as are any of the dumplings. I also really like the shredded pork in garlic sauce and the gui chow beef. The Szechuan green beans are very nice, too.
I have to agree -juicy buns and a few more juicy buns. They were really tasty things! I have to admit, the last I was there-the place was packed (it was a Friday evening) but the service was a bit unpredictable. It seemed there were very few servers for a whole load of people. We were patient -the table behind was not...I sort of observed and it took them forever to even get a glass of water. But, our service was acceptable-just a bit slow. I'll give restaurants 3 times for service and food before making a final decision. I had the spicy pepper chicken and it was loaded with dried chili peppers and lots of flavor - maybe a bit too much on the oil - next time I'll ask for minimal oil prep or stock saute..but this place is coming around and the decor is beautiful. The first time I had been there was for take out and the walls were absolutely bare - now, it's a whole new look and feel.
Those juicy buns don't seem to be on the Tea House menu - at least, not in the menus on their web site. This is odd, because they're mentioned on the home page.
So how do I order these delights when I go? Can I ask for "juicy buns"? Or do they have an official name?
My favorite meat at Tea House (Golden Valley) is the Sessame Shrimp. Not sure if they have the same menu. A little side of steam broccoli rounds out the meal very nicely.
I wanted to thank everyone for the feedback. We did go to the Tea House last Friday. We went early hoping to avoid the crowds. (About 6:30 pm) There was a long line and we waited. Our server seemed very rushed, once we were seated, but eventually it calmed. I'm sure that will even out over time.
We did have the juicy buns and enjoyed them greatly. I think everyone in our table of four developed a different technique for eating them. Mine: puncturing a hole in the dumpling skin and then draining the excellent sesame-tasting broth through it.
I can't eat hot foods. (Why did we end up at a Schewan (sp) place?) So I didn't have any of the spicy things. My companions ordered a chicken hot barbequish thing and liked that and a pork thing they didn't like as well. And the pea shoots which were not on the menu but were available and were very enjoyed.
I ordered the moo shoo pork with extra wrappers and did really like that. Better than the usual, definitely.
So that's our thoughts. Thanks everyone.