Tea Garden recently had its grand re-opening. It previously had occupied the space next to Pangea Bakery, but then moved to a nearby plaza. Despite the re-opening, the menu is exactly the same. The space is now divided into two areas, which makes the dining sections look smaller.

Our last few visits to Tea Garden had only been for their milk tea. I’ve really enjoyed the roasted oolong milk tea. With the grand re-opening, we decided to give the food another try too.

The whiteboard featured some of their most popular items.

Minced Pork Stew Rice

This is a popular Taiwanese dish. The braised pork belly is cooked in a thick broth made of soy sauce and spices. Its served over rice, with the sauce flavoring the rice. I thought this was a decent version, but I prefer the versions I’ve had in LA.

Lunch dishes come with either black or green tea.

Remember my pizza cupcakes from last year? Well I made a mug cake version.

This was my first venture into a savory mug cake. I am pretty happy with the results. This is great when you want just a single serving.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. The weather has been beautiful here in San Diego after a cloudy and cold week and I’m definitely enjoying the weekend by relaxing and being out in the warm sun. I wanted to take a minute to share some recent sweet snacks I’ve consumed and liked.

Bissinger Gummy Pandas

I was originally drawn to this because they were called gummy pandas. While they don’t look anything like pandas, I am still totally in love with them. I love gummy candies and after eating these, it’s hard to go back to other brands. Not only do they come in unique flavor pairings like pomegranate white tea, apricot green tea, raspberry yumberry, and more, but they use natural flavors.  And you can really taste the difference. When you bite in, each gummy is packed with intense fruit flavor and you taste the fruit juice first rather than all the sugar. A lot of gummy candies just taste like sugar and food coloring with maybe some artificial flavoring, but these taste so natural and so good.

My only gripe is that they look nothing like pandas, just like regular bears, and a lot of the bear faces aren’t formed very clearly.

You can find Bissinger gummies at the more gourmet grocery stores like Whole Foods, Bristol Farms. I also found them at the Surfas baking store in Orange County. You can also buy them online.

Cookie Chips

Have you tried Cookie Chips yet? I’m completely in love. It combines two of my favorite things and it does it well. Each “chip” is thin, round and wafer-like. It packs quite a big crunch, definitely more like Kettle chip crunch rather than a cracker crispness. And they manage to keep all the flavors you expect when you eat a cookie. The chocolate chip tastes just like a chocolate chip cookie but with the crunchy texture that can only be described as a chip.