I am off to the beach as you read this. Funny, because I don’t really like the sun — I count the freckles on my face everyday and I don’t want to add any new ones– so I’m under a tent wearing a huge hat and caked-on SPF 1,388 all over. I really prefer cold weather, remember? Anyway… there’s this new Taiwanese place on Pleasant Hill right next door to SunO. It opened a little over two weeks ago. It’s a small, nice space with a small menu.
Snacks. Taiwanese restaurants are known for snacks. The snacks here are fantastic. First, the bread. I.LOVE.BREAD. I’ve said it over and over on this blog. I love bread. I spend an obscene amount of money weekly on my ridiculous bread habit. I like yeasty, doughy bread slathered in butter. I forgo desserts for the bread basket. And I love Korean white bread because it’s chewy. Imagine my surprise when I saw three kinds of toast on the menu. I eat their Condensed Milk Toast everyday. Yes, everyday. It’s a thick slice of Korean bread (from the bakery next door) which is baked (not toasted) then topped with the perfect amount of condensed milk. It is heavenly.
But wait. There’s also the Milk toast, topped with butter and condensed milk. And the Chocolate toast, topped with, yes, you guessed it… Nutella!!! So while most people go to a coffee shop to get through the 2PM slump, I come here for a toast. Or two.
Confession: I’ve been eating my toast with a side of Fried Corn The sweet corn here is sooooo good. It’s slightly fried so it has that crunchy exterior. They are then lightly sprinkled with a very subtle five-spice powder. I’m not a fan of five-spice but this one doesn’t have that offensive taste. Winner!
These Fried Sweet Potatoes will blow you away. The sweet potato pieces are lightly battered with tempura batter then fried golden. They are dusted with
crack a sweetish-salty, red powder from Taiwan. Omg. So good.
Fried Chicken. The tender, super moist pieces have a very thin but crunchy batter then finished with the same subtle five-spice powder. Perfect snack or appetizer. The Pork is just as good.
There are only two types of main dishes here. The mini shabu-shabu (hotpot) costs $12.95 to $14.95 with your choice of meats or seafood. I’m a big eater so I can finish the entire thing including an appetizer and a toast. But I would think two people can share this and come out really satisfied if they add an appetizer. There are two kinds of broth: the regular and the kimchi. The kimchi broth has a tangy flavor. It is on the watery side which makes it a great version of the real Korean kind — good for the summer as it is not too thick and rich. The pot of broth comes with a huge plate of fresh vegetables: corn, Asian cabbage, Asian broccoli, tomato, mushroom, taro, potato, plus tofu, a meatball, and glass noodles. As with any hotpot, don’t dump everything into the pot so nothing overcooks. Place some of the veggies a bit at a time and add as you eat them. This is a great deal for hotpots considering Korean versions start at $29.
The hot plates, the other main dish, are the perfect lunch option. Sizzling plates with meat and veggies are typical Asian mall food. You can find it in every single mall in Asia. The hot plate consists of a choice of meat topped with light gravy, a side of veggies (corn, peas, carrots, green beans, lima beans), and an egg. Plus a bowl of steamed rice. For $7.95, this meal can’t be beat. Daily hot plates specials only cost $5.95. The Fried Chicken is my favorite here. The cutlet is juicy and tender. The batter is crunchy. The gravy is light and tasty.
Did you know? The bubble teas are also very good here. They are more creamy and have the right amount of sweetness. The tapioca pearls are slightly smaller than other places but they are chewier. I’ve been here four times and I like that you can hang out and drink bubble tea while you work or play on your Mac (or whatever toy you have). Definitely a great addition to the neighborhood.
Special thanks to X1 for the heads up on this place
Mr. Tea House
2570 Pleasant Hill Rd., #104
Duluth, GA 30096
Closed on Tuesdays