Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tea House Website
In the spirit of yesterday's culinary triumph, I decided to stick with a Szechuan theme for lunch today. I went to Tea House, which is an authentic Szechuan style Chinese restaurant, which I have been to several times before. I've always loved the food here, but it's not for the faint of heart, or mouth rather. Szechuan food can get rather oily, spicy - oh, and delicious. Yes, it's definitely not something you'd want to eat a lot. Some of the dishes are very oily and fatty, and have a sinus searing sensibility. But hey, we only live once I guess.
Everything I've ever ordered from Tea House has been delicious, and today was no exception. The Hot Pot with Calamari and Tofu was amazing. It was carried out with the standard metallic pot with the Sterno brick placed in the chamber below. The fiery stew was bubbling, and beckoned my chopsticks toward it, wanting so badly to be eaten. I had no problems abiding. Yes, there was quite a bit of oil, but you can skim it off if you so please, as it all floats to the top. Everything was cooked perfectly; the squid wasn't chewy, as is so often the case with bad Chinese, and the tofu had soaked up the delicious sauce, and tasted heavenly.
Food: 8
I love the food here, but I have to dock a couple points because of the excess oil. Other places I've been to don't use this much oil, and I think they got a little fat happy. That's OK, at least it tastes good.
Service: 10
The server we had was incredibly friendly, and extra attentive. It seemed like whenever we needed something, his "waiter" senses tingled and he came rushing over to tend to our needs. He deserves a perfect 10 for his efforts.
Ambiance: 7
The decor is nice, nothing too fancy. There's the typical Chinese lpaper lanterns strung from the ceiling, and the also typical Chinese art placed on the walls. Otherwise, it's fairly plain and not all too jaw dropping.
Overall: 8.5
I love this place, hence the multiple trips. My dining companions enjoyed their meals too, although one of them did say they preferred the food from the Saint Paul location over the Plymouth location that we visited today. I'm not really sure which I prefer, but you can try for yourself. I've been to both, and I had very similar experiences, although I prefer the interior at the Saint Paul location over the Plymouth location. It's a matter of personal preference, really.

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