Friday, May 16, 2008
I did a bunch of research online for places that deliver to SOMA and happen to come upon Jasmine Tea House. Their menu looked reasonable and had some interesting twists so I really wanted to try them out. After looking through the entire menu, I realized lunch was a much better deal than dinner and I was determined to wake up for lunch. I had planned to have them deliver, but after showing Ms. Lin Jasmine Tea House's website she decided to try it with me. On Monday we drove out to have lunch there. The outside lacked any appeal, it was only a neon sign that's not lit. Their interior decor was your typical Chinese restaurant. The only thing a little special was the pretty embroidered tablecloth under the glass.
At first I wasn't too pleased with their service. They forgot to give us the Hot & Sour Soup and we had to ask for it. It was a little difficult to flag them down. Then the server came out and gave us two bowls of soup that were bigger than everyone else. This was in large part due to the fact that we ordered four lunches, still it was nice of him. To me, the soup was not bad but I have definitely had better. The Roast Duck was very flavorful, although the portion that they gave us was not very meaty. Even the vegetables under the duck were pretty flavorful. For lunch the duck's a little more expensive, but still worth it. worth the price of lunch if you love duck.
A dish that I really wanted to try was the Mango Chicken because I love almost anything with mangoes. The flavor of the dish was not bad, very typical. It was not what I thought it would be. The mangoes were sour and firm. You couldn't really taste the flavor of mangoes in the dish. Ms. Lin commented that there were probably more mangoes than chicken, which I wouldn't have minded if the mangoes were sweet.
Ms. Lin chose to get the Hunan Lamb. I was shocked that they offered lamb for lunch and at a reasonable price. This dish was also good, but nothing special. I liked that they actually had snow peas in the dish. Ms. Lin did not like the fact that there were tons of red bell peppers in all the dishes. She spent most of her time picking out the vegetables. It's pretty nice that they put in more of the higher end vegetables. Despite the Garlic Fish had a bunch of bell peppers, Ms. Lin loved this dish. The funny thing is that she doesn't even like cooked fish. Surprisingly that was her favorite dish. It was a very generous portion of fried fish fillet. There were barely any vegetables and the flavor was delicious with a small spicy kick. I love fried fish or anything fried. I would definitely recommend this dish above all else if you like seafood. It's the same price as the lamb dish.
All in all the food was good. Unfortunately they just raised their prices because I checked their website a few days before I went and the prices were 30 cents lower. Right now I am on their site and I see they have even updated the prices there too, so it must be a recent change. I think going there for lunch is the best deal. If it's too far away, I'd order take out and have them deliver. Dining in is not something that you need to experience, but the food will probably taste much better at the restaurant than waiting for delivery or take out. If it was located closer to Ms. Lin, I'd probably go there more often just to pick up a quick cheap lunch. Based on the prices, I'd say they were worth trying. The portions were generous and the food was good, so why not? O=P
Jasmine Tea House
3253 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110