Bay Area- Shinbala

Shinbala Cafe
20956 Homestead Rd
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 257-6868

Normally when I go home, I don't do a lot of food exploring.  I just go wherever my parents take me.  On my last trip home, I was sitting around, thinking of all the delicious Taiwanese food I had recently had in Arcadia, and was craving shaved ice.  I figured there must be some good shaved ice near my parents' place.  So Baby Brother and I did a search, and came across Shinbala.  Shinbala?! Could this be related to Sinbala in Arcadia with the delicious shaved ice? It had the same drink glass with sunglasses icon, so they must be related. Though I don't understand the different spelling.  I guess it will make this post easier.  Sinbala (no "h") refers to my experience in Arcadia.  Shinbala refers to the place I went to in the Bay Area.


Little sister was already heating up lunch, but I just had to squeeze in a Shinbala experience.  So Baby Brother and I headed off to Shinbala to get some items to accompany our lunch. 

When I first got to Shinbala, I was surprised by the layout.  It looked like a regular restaurant as opposed to a cafe.  The restaurant was also run by a bunch of older people.  The menu seemed the same as the one in Arcadia..with one big difference.  The shaved ice!  While Sinbala in Arcadia offered all my favorite shaved ice toppings, Shinbala did not. So I decided to skip out on the shaved ice.

Instead, we ordered some other Taiwanese dishes.  We ordered to go and the wait was really long.  I'm not sure why it was so long, as they didn't seem busy.

When we finally got home, we opened up our goods.

First, stinky tofu. 

The tofu was definitely stinky.  However, the pieces were cut really big.  And the sauce was a bit off.  Our first order had too little sauce.  Our second one had too much sauce and was too salty. 

We also ordered a ba-wan (meatball). The outside of the ba-wan was pretty good.  The meat was not. Usually the meat is ground of pork, it's supposed to be light and flavorful.  And there usually isn't that much meat in a ba-wan.  The meat in this one was in a big clump, all stuck together.  Not light at all. 

We also ordered an oyster pancake.  The presentation in the to go container is not so pretty.  It's been so long, I don't remember the taste anymore.  I don't think we enjoyed it too much but I don't remember why.

Taiwanese sausage.  These were good.  Not as good as the ones at Sinbala, but still pretty good and probably the best item of all the foods we got.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed.  This chain didn't taste like the Sinbala one at all. 

A few weeks later my parents went there to dine.  My mom says that the woman owner really knew how to do business, telling my mom to tell everyone about them, and they had good customer service.

2 comments on “Bay Area- Shinbala”

  1. I’m always looking for good taiwanese food, especially a good oyster pancake. While I’ve found plenty of decent taiwanese restaurants here in the US, I have yet to find a truly good oyster pancake, which is a shame because I love them! I guess the hunt continues…

  2. I don’t think I’m ever going to find a good oyster pancake in the US…but I’ll keep trying!

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