Would we go back:
88 Nathan Lane
• Bamboo Tips in Spicy Sauce $7.50 (shared)
• Five Spice Shrimp $14.95
This is one of those places that you kick yourself for not having gone to earlier...so go now! I like most of us have heard a lot about this place, every one has reviewed it and everyone has liked it. This is a place where all the praise is deserved.
I had read that there was a special menu to order from that they didn't just give everyone as you walked in...the Szechan Menu. They seemed to be giving it to everyone the night we went, but if they don't give it to you directly you might want to ask. It is the only menu we ordered from so I have no idea how the other menu is, but this was is smokin', both literally and figuratively. At this restaurant when they say it is spicy, it is, so be prepared. Although I found it was not spicy without taste, sometimes spicy is just all the hot pepper, this was spicy, but the other flavors were able to flow through.
We had the bamboo tips which was a cold salad and very spicy, but really good. The shrimp were both excellent. Both were not overcooked and very spicy. Steve's was a bit more spicy than mine, but it was Kung Pao.
Plymouth is very lucky to have this place and I just wish it were closer to me.
• Kung Pao Shrimp $15.95
The Tea House is as good as everyone says. Check that, it’s better. Just when you think that you can’t find spicy, tasty Chinese food in Minnesota, especially in the suburbs, you run into Tea House. In my opinion, this is the best Chinese food in the Twin Cities, hands down. After going to Tanpopo Noodle Shop earlier this year, Nami last week, and the Tea House this week, I’m going to have to split up my top Asian choices into more appropriate subcategories. It’s a good sign that there are enough good Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese restaurants to warrant a top list for each.
While I normally don’t buy the line that you can tell how good an Asian restaurant by looking around to see how many Asians are in the restaurant, it fits here. There were two large groups of ten people the night we were there, and many more tables of Asian Americans. That was nice to see in Plymouth.
The Tea House may charge a dollar or two more than many Chinese restaurants for its entrees, but it’s worth every extra penny.
The Bamboo Tips were out of this world. The idea of eating bamboo is not appetizing, until you try them. They are slightly chewy, slightly crunchy, totally delicious. Be warned: they are spicy. Not just Minnesota spicy, real, ready-for-the-world spicy. They are absolutely delightful.
The Kung Pao Shrimp will now be the Kung Pao that all other Twin Cities Chinese restaurants will be judged against. The shrimp was very lightly breaded to the point where you wonder how they cover it so thinly and keep it together. It is a crispy, crunchy pleasure. The dish could use a few more vegetables, but who’s counting when you have a plateful of delicious shrimp. It’s as spicy as it should be and no more. On a dozen more trips to the Tea House, I would order Kung Pao a dozen times. If only I could be so lucky.
June 3, 2006