Sunday, June 10, 2007

Taiwan Cafe

My mom, my two brothers, David, his parents and I went out to Taiwan Cafe in Boston for my graduation dinner. To avert the parental horror of ordering too little food, we ordered a good number of dishes including two orders of "Oyster pancake with gravy," two orders of "Mini steamed buns with pork," one order of "Mini steamed buns with pork and crabmeat," and orders of "Sauteed noodle with beef and vegetable in sa-cha sauce," "Sauteed snow pea sprouts with garlic," "Sauteed scallop, shrimp & calamari over green," "Steamed stripe bass with ginger and scallion," and "Steamed taro over duck in special house sauce."

The dishes I liked:

The edges of the oyster pancake were crispy and the plump oysters were pleasantly flavored by the hoisin-y "gravy."

I thought the sauteed noodles had a nice smoky taste, although my mother thought they were a bit too greasy.

The sauteed seafood came on a bed of halved baby bok choy - delicious!

I don't remember too much about the sauteed snow pea sprouts, but I remember liking them.

And although I thought the ginger and scallion sauce was a bit thick, the fish went very quickly, even at the end of the meal when people were already full.

The dishes I did not like:

Sadly, the mini buns were not as tasty as I remembered in past times. These buns were soup dumplings, which I was excited for my brothers to try for the first time. Perhaps it was because we were already three-quarters of the way through the meal, perhaps because they had to sit a while as we worked our way through all 24 dumplings, but they were not quite as soup-y nor as flavorful as during my prior visit. The dumplings were so good when I had them before that I prefer to think of this encounter as an anomaly.

The steamed taro and duck was tasty, but so hearty and so filling that no one could eat more than a few bites to taste. It is a pretty heavy dish; perhaps ten years ago when my metabolism was faster I might have been able to put this in the "dishes I like" column, but dishes of a certain density that fill me up too quickly - no matter how tasty - just take the fun out of a nice, leisurely dinner!

Taiwan Cafe
34 Oxford Street
Boston, MA 02111
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 1am

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