Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tea Garden

Tea Garden
4685 Convoy Street, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 277-8988

As I mentioned in my post of my dinner at Chopstix, while driving to Chopstix, I noticed a sign for a grand opening of a new tea house.  I was really excited, and so after dinner, my siblings and Boyfriend went to the new tea house.

Inside, the place was very cutely decorated, like many Chinese tapioca tea places.  There wasn’t much of a crowd.  I perused the menu for a while.  As part of the grand opening special, Tea Garden was offering a tapioca milk tea with spicy chicken combination for $3.99, which is a pretty good deal.  I also noticed on the menu some “float” drinks.  The cashier explained that these were drinks with a scoop of ice cream inside.  It sounded yummy.  I also noticed that they offered shaved ice and brick toast.  Since it had been so hot that Sunday, I had been craving shaved ice.  I convinced everyone that we should stay for some shaved ice and food.

We ordered the spicy chicken and milk tea special.  The spicy chicken came in this really cute cup:

The chicken wasn’t too dry, but not very flavorful either.  It was barely spicy.

I also ordered the green matcha tea float.

You can’t really see it, but there is some ice cream floating on the top.  I liked the design of the lid.  The drink itself was just okay.  I really couldn’t taste the ice cream and the green tea drink wasn’t anything special.

Next came the shaved ice.  They have three sizes: regular, large and super.  There are 3 toppings that come with regular, 5 with large and I think 7 with super size.  The toppings choices consist of red beans, green beans, mango, strawberry, condensed milk, taro, peanuts, coconut jelly, assorted jelly, and a few others I can’t remember. None of the tea stations around here seem to offer all the wonderful toppings that you find in Taiwan like sweet rice balls, taro balls, yam balls, ai yu jelly, etc.

The shaved ice was the reason why I wanted to come here, and it ended up being a big disappointment.  First, the order got messed up a few items.  I kept telling the girl I wanted a regular, and then she charged me for a large.  Because she took so long trying to ring it up, the people had already made most of it, and so I decided to let it go.  But then it turned out that the large she charged me for was also overcharged! So I had to go back and get some of my money back.  Meanwhile, there was some confusion in our order apparently and they ended up starting all over.

The large was humongous though.  I can’t even imagine what the super size looks like.

We got ours with assorted jelly, mangoes, red beans, strawberries, and coconut jelly. The shaved ice came out and it was quite pretty and served with an ice cream scoop on top.  They gave us a free condensed milk topping to compensate for the error. It kind of annoyed me that they even charge for condensed milk.  Shaved ice and condensed milk almost go hand in hand.  Without condensed milk, shaved ice just doesn’t taste the same. I think it should be automatically put in.

Unfortunately the taste did not match with how beautiful the presentation was.  The sugar water that they used to sweeten the ice with had a very distinct aftertaste that I did not enjoy.  I’m not sure what it was.  Also the mangoes didn’t taste like mangoes. They were rubbery in texture and tasted really weird.  And even though they gave us condensed milk, it wasn’t nearly enough and most of it got soaked by the strawberries, so none of it was really in the ice.

Baby brother’s girlfriend, who is always talking about how much she loves desserts, managed to finish most of this humongous bowl of shaved ice.  It was quite impressive to watch.

We also ordered a sweet butter brick toast. I love the sweet butter brick toast at Tea Station (you can find my post here), and had high hopes for this one which is about $2.00 cheaper than the Tea Station one. Well, they apparently forgot our order or didn’t notice it, and I had to ask the manager about it when she came by to check on us.  When it finally came out, the brick toast smelled burned and didn’t look that good at all.

It tasted a bit burned and not at all like the one at Tea Station.  It was a huge disappointment.

Compare to the beautiful brick toast at Tea Station we had last time:

All in all, not a very good experience.  I realize the place is new and has some kinks it still needs to work out.  But they made so many mistakes and all we got for compensation for all their errors was some condensed milk!  It was a waste of my Sunday night. I don’t think I will be back.

 

2 Responses to “Tea Garden”

  1. 1

    Saint — May 2, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

    That’s too bad you had a disappointing expirence! Since they’re new maybe they haven’t gotten all the kinks worked out?

  2. 2

    Kirbie — May 5, 2009 @ 8:54 am

    Yes. I think some of the confusion was due to them being brand new. Hopefully their service and food improves with time.

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