Friday, February 27, 2009

After hearing so much about the infamous SinBala, PK took me on our way back from SF. When we arrived it was not that busy and then suddenly a bunch of people started to come in. It's a tiny place inside the shopping center. One down side is that the place was freezing. I guess it could be a plus in the summer but it was raining that day and we were there to grab a quick meal then finish the evening with delicious shaved ice. Being cold and eating cold dessert just makes your body freezing cold. Probably why we are all sick and still recovering from the trip. Still, it was worth it!

Since it was my first time being here, I just let PK order because she knows what is good here. She believes that they make the best Taiwanese Sausage with Garlic in all of LA. Boy, was she not kidding. The flavors are wonderful and a perfect blend with the fresh slices of Garlic. It is sweet but not too sweet. The sausage by itself is packed full of flavor and a great plump texture. I feel that the raw garlic really adds another level to the flavor. It lowers the sweet taste and adds a kick. Keep in mind that I really LOVE garlic! They have a huge drink menu. In fact when you first look at the menu you wonder if they only served drinks or is there another menu for food. Hey, it's okay if they don't have a huge menu like Cheesecake Factory as long as they know what they are doing with the items they do serve. I got a large Watermelon Juice and PK decided to get one as well. It's simple and good. Fresh blended Watermelon that has pulp. Be sure to mix well if you let the drink sit for a long time. A typical Taiwanese dish is the Oyster Pancake. The one here is extremely flat with a few Oysters. This resembles an omelette as the outside has an Egg layer. I like the thin chewy translucent cough lining the inside. "The gelatinous dough is made of a combination of corn starch, sweet potato starch, and rice flour, which gives it its chewy, sticky, and gelatinous texture and a greyish translucent hue." This dish has a light flavor enhanced by the sauce on top that is sweet and tangy. The flavor and texture was good. One of my favorite dishes is Cold Noodle with Shredded Chicken because it is simple and good. It is great for people on the go. I asked PK if it was good here and we ordered one. It comes in a typical already prepared box with sauces packed in individual containers inside. There is Noodle, Shredded Chicken, Shredded Vegetables, Chili Oil, Minced Garlic Water, and Sesame Paste. You open the sauces and poor it over everything and mix. Voilà! It is full of flavor. I love it when the garlic flavor jumps out at you. The noodles are not over cooked and has just the right chewy texture. PK also ordered "Gong Won" that is a Pork Meatball Soup with Vegetables. The soup was very light on the palate but full of flavor. I liked the simplistic pure flavor of the broth. For me, I could do without the vegetables. =9 Still, I ate and drank the whole thing to warm myself up since it was freezing inside. It's great for a rainy day. She recommended the Fried Chicken Leg Rice. I have never ordered this because I love the Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice more. Since PK recommended it and I am always open to trying new things, why not! lol At first I thought it would be whole chicken thigh but it turned out to be strips of thigh meat nicely battered like the popular Taiwanese snack Salt & Pepper Chicken, "Yen Su Chi". The flavor was on point with a great balance of savory and hint of sweetness. all the pieces were very tender yet retained a crisp texture from the outside coating. I really enjoyed the Corn and Scrambled Egg sides on the plate. Normally I hate eggs, but they were well seasoned to compliment the chicken, corn, and rice. This might look like a simple dish but full of flavor and complexity. Drum roll please... What everyone has been raving about here is the Shaved Ice. You get 5 choices of toppings. Condensed Milk not included, you must choose it as a topping. We all know that you can't have shaved ice without Condensed Milk! lol For their sugar syrup they use a black sugar that is so fragrant and tasty. All you need is their special sugar syrup and Condensed Milk! Yummy!!! ^_^ PK and I wanted to share one because they are pretty big and we were pretty full. Sadly we couldn't agree on the toppings. Like I said, I just like it plain. She decided to get the Small Red Beans, Taro Balls, 2 orders of the Flan, and Condensed Milk. The pudding is really good and tasty by themselves. When I mix them with the sugar syrup and Condensed Milk, I feel that they are overpowered and their own flavor disappears. It is better to eat them separately IMHO. I'm a purist at heart. All in all the food was great, prices reasonable, and I went back 2 weeks in a row even when I was sick! lol That night I ordered an extra Taiwanese Sausage with Garlic and Cold Noodle to take home for lunch the next day. It is so convenient and simple without losing any of the great flavor. What more can you ask for? lol Did I mention that I live over an hour away, yet I keep coming back. O=9

SinBala

651 W Duarte Rd Ste F
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 446-0886
Sinbala Restaurant on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

5 Star Foodie said...

I don't believe I've ever been to a Taiwanese restaurant. It looks awesome - I would love to try dishes like the sausage and pancakes and meatballs, etc.

Kat said...

Really? OMG It is time for you to try one out. I don't know if there are any good ones around you because if they are bad ... they probably can be really bad. The sausages are super good and different from the ones you buy in the Asian supermarkets. Hopefully you will find one really good near you soon! ^_-

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