喫茶趣, Cha for Tea.

Cha for Tea is a chain in Taiwan run by the Ten Ren Tea company that specializes in tea and ginseng products. What separates the restaurants from other ones is that they include a lot of tea-based, -inspired, and/or -flavored dishes. There’s also always a tea store in the lobby of the restaurant where you can find reasonably good quality teas and tea-flavored goodies. Basically the original Teavana.

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So we started off with an apple salad and some light seaweed and daikon soup. Then with a steamed bean curd rollup with enoki mushrooms.

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Luffa, or 丝瓜 (si gua) in Chinese, is basically Chinese okra. When you cook it, it becomes really soft and tender; if it’s fresh, it’ll be sweet, if not, it can be pretty bitter. Typically you pair it with some ginger since luffa is considered a “cold” food in Chinese cuisine. Next was the vegetable dumplings. So good! But Din Tai Fung ‘鼎泰豐‘ still takes the cake for best dumplings. Then there was the stewed minced “pork” rice ‘滷肉飯  lu rou fan’ with shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh baby corn.

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And dessert! Mango mousse, green tea pudding, brown sugar jellies with peanut powder, and a cappuccino mousse with walnuts.

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