I am obviously a big fan of Chinese food, as you can see from my many blog posts about it. Taiwanese food is my favorite of favorites. 😀 A simple porkchop pientong brings me sooo much joy.
I discovered Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine one morning a few weeks ago after having my blood work done.
I had not eaten breakfast yet, as the blood work required me to fast overnight. Driving around the Banawe area, I was on the look out for a nice breakfast place that I haven’t tried. Tien Ma’s on Retiro didn’t seem so busy yet, and there was a slot for my car right on the doorstep so, game – Tien Ma’s.
For breakfast, the items available for ordering are congee and dimsum only. I had xiao long bao [Chinese soup dumplings] (Php200). The xiao long bao dough was so thin, just the way I liked it. But it was just the right thinness because not one dumpling broke! Whoopee!
Good quality xiao long bao should have the right thinness of dough – neither too thick (as this makes for a chewy dumpling, not good), nor too thin (dumpling could break and the soup will spill – no, no!)
But what is the mark of an excellent xiao long bao? The soup! Tien Ma’s xiao long bao is so soupy! And the meat filling had clean and fresh flavors. This is my new favorite xiao long bao.
Tip: to get maximum xiao long bao eating pleasure, use a soup spoon to hold the dumpling, bite a small hole through the dough, let the soup ooze out, and slurp away! 😉
So yes, the xiao long bao was phenomenal, that I decided to bring the whole family to Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine that weekend.
The kids went through two baskets of xiao long bao like pros. We ordered a few more dishes – all priced at Php199 each. (Servings are good for 2 persons max.)
The sliced pork with onions (left) and the three-cup chicken were highly recommended by the food server. We loved the pork with onions – the lomo pork was very tender, and the onions gave the dish a wonderful flavor. The three-cup chicken was good, nothing extraordinary though.
Very tender porkloin slices with scallions, onions, and fresh black pepper
Ah, the hubs and kids loved the pork kuchay dumplings (Php200). Could rival Lan Zhou La Mian’s or Fu Chi’s dumplings in our book. It was more kuchay than pork, but we’re not complaining. The more kuchay, the more flavor!
The lucky spareribs was also recommended. The spareribs are tender, and glazed with (very) sweet soy-based sauce. This was okay – neither bad nor extraordinary.
Because I love shrimps, the hubs ordered this – seafood sate sotanghon in hotpot. (Kunsintidor, no? He knows it will make me very happy, though my gout could be aggravated.. That’s love. :P)
Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine is as authentic as it can get. The food servings aren’t big, but considering that most dishes are priced Php200 and under, it’s good value for money. Food quality is great; everything we had tasted fresh. I will definitely go back – I wasn’t able to sample the stinky tofu. 😛
Tien Ma’s has several branches in Metro Manila. We went to the Retiro (N.S. Amoranto Street) branch, near Banawe Street, Quezon City.