Rose Tea Cafe

20 Jul

I had a networking-type lunch in Squirrel Hill yesterday afternoon, and I suggested we dine at Rose Tea Cafe since I’ve heard for ages that it’s great.  Because this meal was my first instance of meeting my dining companion, I was sheepish about taking pictures.  I suppose I could have just broke the ice by saying “I TAKE PICTURES OF MY FOOD AND POST THE PICTURES ON THE INTERNET,” but I didn’t have the guts.  The consequence: no pictures.

Credit to the Rose Tea Cafe facebook page

Rose Tea Cafe is THE place to go if you are a fan of bubble tea.  I’ve only had bubble tea once before and didn’t much care for it.  I decided to give it another try.  I had the almond milk tea (cold) and really enjoyed the tea, but just can’t get into the chewy black bubbles.  It’s a texture thing, the only gelatinous thing I’m used to eating is jello.  Maybe with additional exposure I’ll acquire a taste for them, but I can’t call myself a bubble tea fan as of yet.

I was overwhelmed by the menu.  The first two pages are the tea and bubble tea offerings alone.  Then there are lots and lots of pages of dishes that were completely unfamiliar to me.  The only experience I’ve ever had with Taiwanese food was watching Eat Drink Man Woman (excellent film, btw), so I had no guidance in my selection.  There were a few dishes like fried rice and lo mein that were familiar.  I  was looking to try something new, but the trouble was, I didn’t know what to pick.

I ended up picking the curry chicken with rice lunch special.  That’s not as adventurous as I was initially hoping for, but it did end up being delicious and not spicy (I wish I could love spicy foods, but I just can’t).  The lunch special came with vegetables and a marinated egg.  The egg did NOT look good to me at all, mostly because it was brown, and that just didn’t seem appealing to me.  I didn’t end up eating it at the table, but took it with me in my “doggie bag.”  When I later lunched on my leftovers, I looked at that egg again, and told myself that since I do like hardboiled eggs, it would only make sense that I would like the marinated egg as well.  I took a bite, and it was GOOD.  It’s very much like a hardboiled egg, except with a savory and slightly salty flavor.  I’m so glad I got over my initial reaction and decided to take a bite.

I would really like to go back to Rose Tea Cafe with companions who are very comfortable with Tiawanese cuisine, and can steer me well with selections.  Although upon further reflection, it would also be fun to go with a group of people and order tons and tons of dishes, and just try everything.  What are your favorite Taiwanese dishes?
Rose Tea Cafe on Urbanspoon

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One Response to “Rose Tea Cafe”

  1. Shannon July 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    We used to eat at Rose Tea all the time when we lived on that side of town. Next time, try the beef stew noodle soup, or the sliced pork with kim chi. Those are two of our favorites. We’ve also had great luck pointing at something delicious looking that another table has and asking the waiter to bring one of those. Love it there!

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