Why can’t they have delicious Taiwanese food in New York City? Just thinking about Chinese New Year makes me crave Chinese food (but not the Chinese food in NY Chinatown). I want something different, something back from home, something like JJ Cafe.
I came to the new JJ Cafe in Rowland Heights with my family and friend and discovered that they do more than bread. I opted to order a variety of small dishes to share with my party, so that we can try what JJ has to offer. First we started off with a bowl of Noodles topped with Slow Braised Pork (It’s so hard to translate these dishes from Chinese to English, but I’ll try my best). The pork used is definitely on the fatty side, but that’s the best no? I still prefer to have it over rice.Being the fatty I am, guess what I decided to do. That’s right! Order it with rice also! For less than $3 it’s amazing. I believe I wolfed it down in a couple of seconds. Speaking of seconds, yes please!Next up was an order of Sliced Bean Curd. We ordered this because my parents are vegetarian and can’t indulge in the porky goodness, too bad. It was pretty bland and flavorless, the one at Q Noodle is head and shoulders better. Who can eat Taiwanese food without Scallion Pancakes? I know I can’t. The one at JJ however was pretty average. It tasted and had the texture similar to the one at Supreme Dragon, you get the idea. Great scallion pancakes are just around the corner at Earthen. Now to make it more justifiable to eat more fatty Pork, they serve it with a side of greens. Oh my goodness, this plate is heavenly. Tip for future parents, if you want your children to eat their vegetables, douse it with chunks of Braised Pork and watch that plate disappear. A couple of days prior to coming to JJ Cafe for lunch, I had gone here with my family for a quick breakfast. I ordered the Gua Bao and it was simply divine. However, coming back for lunch this time, it seemed as if they just covered it in plastic wrap and threw it in the microwave, a definite no no in my books. So I’m going to be optimistic and describe the better one. The dish is simply a bun with a large heaping piece of braised five flower pork wrapped in the middle. Topped with cilantro, pickled relish, and crushed peanut and sugar create a myriad of flavors and texture that come together to create a sweet symphony of perfection with every bite. Finally, my brother had ordered a bento-like lunch box highlighted by the Braised Pork over Rice, Taiwanese Sausage, and Egg and Tomato. If only I could have that lunch box everyday..
JJ Cafe Scores:
Food: 7.5/10 – There’s better places to grab Taiwanese food, but JJ Cafe is a safe representation.
Restaurant Environment: 4/10 – Placing the bakery with the cafe only makes it seem like a food court.
Service: 6/10 – The Chinese philosophy is to get you in and out, I don’t really like to be rushed.
Value: 8/10 – I could eat that cheap bowl of Braised Pork over Rice everyday.