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Mar 14, 2012 05:38 PM

TW Village Bistro, Now Open in San Mateo

I should probably start a new thread, but for now I'll add on to this one:

TW Village Bistro opened on 3/4. I stopped in on 3/12 to check it out. I looks pretty similar to what it was in it's Langkawi days. There's a glass case with bins of the various cold dishes. Everything looked very tasty to me. The young woman I spoke with (Annie ?) says her parents had 3-4 restaurants in Taiwan. I'm not sure, but I think her Dad might be doing the cooking. They were friendly and very pleasant. There was only one table occupied, but it was 2:30 in the afternoon...

The menu is divided among Cold Dishes, Noodles, Rice, Soup, Snacks, Side Orders, Stewed Dishes, Drinks & Desserts.

I got a to-go order of :
#110 - Green mustard mixed w/bean & tofu $4.25
#122 - Spicy Chicken Wings (6) $5.75
#124 - Shredded Cabbage Salad $3.75
#208 - Beef Stew/Tendon over Dry Noodle $7.25
#707 - Stewed Pig Feet $5.25

We enjoyed what I picked up but there's much more to the menu to explore. I'd love to be able to scan the menu in and attach it to this post but I don't seem to be able to do this...

KK - we need you to check out the Beef Noodles, etc.!

TW Village Bistro
2946 South Norfolk St.
San Mateo CA 94403
Open 11:00 am - 9:00 pm (doesn't say but I think it's 7 days a week)

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  1. This restaurant is way better than Liang's Village Cuisine, and they are indeed doing the style of military dependent village cuisine. Good service and generally pretty good quality food.

    The beef noodles are decent, at least nowhere near as greasy as the places nearby that offer it. The tendons might be a better bet, as the beef, while shank cuts, are not slices but untexture chunky cuts, and these can be uneven mouth feels. The also have ox tail noodle (with brothless noodles) but I'm sure they can do a version with broth if you ask.

    The scallion and oil noodles are really good....typical Shanghainese dish, even better than Little Shanghai's rendition. Gua Bao (TW pork belly bun) are bigger than Joy's (which they offer weekends only), although the pork is meatier...the pickled mustard greens are a bit on the sweet side, not enough shaved peanut powder flavor, but it's the best one outside of Chou Ma Ma's Kitchen in Newark or Mama Chen/Mama Chef 2 years ago.

    Definitely a very solid effort for a soft opening.

    13 Replies
    1. re: K K

      Thanks KK - I appreciate your guidance on this place as well as all the others you have posted on... I look forward to trying some of the dishes you've mentioned. Let us know if you try other items we should try.

      Hope they make it. Saw a couple of people walk up and take a paper menu.

      1. re: K K

        I have gone twice now. The first time, I ordered the beef noodle soup (half tendon, half meat) and an ordered of the cold cucumber appetizer and an order of the stewed dry/firm tofu. I thought the meat in the noodle soup was the star... mine came in chunks. The soup was a bit weak in my opinion and the noodles were cooked too soft for my taste. Their cucumber and the ir tofu were outstanding. I think someone there knows how to stew / lu (as in lu wei).
        The second time, I had the dan zi mi fun. That was pretty good. I had the cucumber again as I have been craving the marination flavour they have. I also ordered the stewed/ lu chitterlings. And once again, the lu wei side dishes really shined.
        There is quite an extensive menu and I will be going back to try out more again.

        1. re: vliang

          Thanks vliang for the report - could you give more info about the cold cucumber appetizer (#108)? I didn't try their version but the ones I've tried have been pretty one note, i.e., plenty of chopped raw garlic, so would appreciate more info about this one.

          Re the stewed dry/firm tofu: I'm guessing it was #702 in the Stewed Dishes section, simply described as "Bean Curd"? I understand the basics of lu wei cooking so is this red-cooked firm tofu? Anything else or just the tofu?

          Last, as a non-Chinese speaker/reader (just an avid eater) - what is dan zi mi fun? I'm guessing rice noodles but have no clue what else, do you recall the Menu # ?

          I'm looking forward to reading more about these dishes as well as the rest of this large menu & hoping to get over there again soon - could really use some soup noodles to help get rid of this cold...

          1. re: RWCFoodie

            Yes, #108 is the cucumber dish. Less garlicky than most version. More sour and sweet with a wisp of heat.
            Yes, #702 is the tofu dish I had. Just the tofu sliced up dressed with a bit of seasme oil.
            Dan zi mi fun is rice noodle soup. #226 o nthe menu.
            I would emphasize this place is a TW military village type eatery... so more Northern Chinese dishes transplanted and less Minnan or TW provincial foods. SO I wouldn't be looking for oyster omelet or ba wan or the like here.

            1. re: vliang

              Really appreciate the explanations. Love these simply done cucumber salad things. Just had the one at i Dumpling in Redwood City the other day - lightly smashed cucumber rather than just cut into chunks. For me, smashed rather than neatly cut gives it a better texture. Light garlic and a light soy dressing. I couldn't really taste much sesame oil (but that could have been because of lingering cold that's destroying taste/smell ability).

              Not familiar with the whole TW military village type of cooking. It did seem more Northern style to me (with my limited knowledge).

        2. re: K K

          KK: is the Gua Bao (TW pork belly bun) #505 on the menu "Taiwanese Pork Bun (2) or ?

          Looks like the Scallion noodles must be #221 "House Special Scallion Dry Noodle".

          Could you tell me more about #219 "House Special Double Sauce over Dry Noodle"? What is "Double Sauce"?

          1. re: RWCFoodie

            So here's a scan of the menu - Not very legible on my computer, maybe it's better on yours.

            1. re: RWCFoodie

              Gua Bao is TW pork bun.

              Yes scallions noodles is 221.

              Can't really see the Chinese characters in 219, not sure what that is, but I'm guessing some kind of consistency of meatsauce, to be mixed with the noodles. Dry just means no broth/soup.

              1. re: K K

                Thanks KK - I've scanned just the menu section with #219 House Special Double Sauce over Dry Noodle - used higher resolution - hopefully the Chinese characters will be more legible. Really curious about what is in this sauce... Appreciate your time!

                1. re: RWCFoodie

                  It translates to double sauce noodles... doesn't say what are the sauces.

                  1. re: RWCFoodie

                    So I ordered the double sauce noodles. The two sauces are za-jiang and sesame sauce. Neither had any heat which was kind of bland even for me (someone who isn't a huge spice fiend).

                    1. re: vliang

                      If anyone makes it back, their oxtail noodle is quite excellent. It's served brothless, but there's enough gravy for the noodles to soak up (you can choose wide or thin noodle).

                      1. re: K K

                        Went to TW Village Bistro a couple weeks ago after reading about it on here. Sadly I was pretty disappointed by the food and I'd say the quality is quite a bit lower than Liang's Kitchen. We had the beef pancake wrap and the oxtail noodles. The wrap was a little on the bland side and the pancake was soggy, not crispy on the outside but soft on the inside as it is at LK. The oxtail was cooked nicely, the meat was soft and the fat rendered, however the sauce was lacking in flavor and depth and there wasn't enough of it to go around for all of the noodles.