Friday, September 9, 2011
Mama Chen--Santa Clara, CA
Looking to get filled up with soup and fun on the cheap, we ventured to Mama Chen in Santa Clara. Our measuring stick, beef noodle soup, wasn't anything extraordinary at Mama Chen. The beef was tender and the noodles were chewy. However, the portion was small. The beef fried fun, however, was served hot, greasy and beefy and carried us to full stomachs.
Overall, the dishes we got were unremarkable. That was partly our doing--we wanted to see what Mama Chen could do with a generic, plain vanilla order. So often the true test of a restaurant is to see if it can make turn something that's merely ordinary into something special. Despite our dishes being rather predictable, there were dishes at other tables that looked very interesting, especially the buns and rice dishes.
It's those enticing dishes that would make me want to return. However, the stinky tofu at this restaurant was duly pungent (can't fault them for that!) and was a turn off to some in our family. However, one can't dispute Mama Chen's value. We were filled up for $20 with taxes but before tips.
5075 Stevens Creek Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95051