For stick-to-your-ribs grub, may I suggest a recent discovery: Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine at the vibrant Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines. Tien Ma’s offers hearty Chinese fare at reasonable prices.
The waiter offers complimentary tea and kropek (shrimp crackers), as you wait for your orders.
We love xiao long bao to start, and Tien Ma’s has eight good-sized yummy pieces in a steamer basket for only P200. Careful, the soup dumpling is hot, and delicious with black vinegar and grated ginger.
A couple of juicy golden fried pork chops arrive at the table (P210), which we happily finish along with a hefty serving of fried rice (P210) and garlic broccoli (P199).
The Taiwan style fried rice is savory and sticky and will more than fill up two hungry tummies.
The broccoli is crisp, deep green, and cooked just right — a vegetable dish which may somehow lessen guilty feelings as you consume your cholesterol-rich fried rice and chops. (Yeah, right.)
To cap the meal, the mango sago in shaved ice could have more mango puree, but it hits the spot for a warm afternoon, and is only P65, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.
When we return, we would like to try their hot prawn salad, the beef brisket and tendon noodles, the stinky tofu, the kung pao chicken, and the salt & pepper squid which was unfortunately not available when we were there. And of course, we’ll have more xiao long bao. (Not all together, or, maybe all together if we were really hungry and had more company!)
Tien Ma’s decor is simple and clean — not much to take your attention away from the food. Red lantern accents hang from black steel grill frames mounted to the ceiling. There are plenty of wood laminate topped tables and benches, and and a few seats upholstered in red orange leatherette.
Service is courteous and fast even if there seemed to be only one waiter around.
Google says Tien Ma’s restaurants can be found in these other locations: Libis and Retiro, also in Quezon City; Makati City; and Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines.
Tien Ma’s Taiwanese Cuisine |Ground Floor, KIA Theatre, General Malvar Avenue, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines | Telephone (63-2) 962 6319 | Open 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.