Friday, December 2, 2011

Tai Kee Won Ton--San Jose, CA

If bean sprouts are your thing, have I got the place for you. Last weekend we went to Tai Kee Won Ton on Saratoga to try some hot Taiwanese wonton soup on a cold night. What we got, in addition to said wontons were bowls heaping with sprouts.

Though Jenny needed to do some fishing though the sprouts to get to the wontons and the noodles, she was delighted with her wonton soup. The kids shared a "House Special Dry Noodles", the "dry" to signify the bowl has no soup (though it did), featuring noodles, minced pork and, yes, plenty of sprouts. With the bowl loaded with cheap (but voluminous) vegetables, there wasn't much room for the good stuff. As such, the boys, who wouldn't eat the sprouts (yes, maybe Dad should have pressed them harder), they were still hungry even after eating everything else in the bowl. So, we ordered Sesame Dry Noodles. Though low on sprouts, this dish wasn't to the boys' taste and they opted to pass. For this I blame neither the boys nor the restaurant. The light brown sauce had a distinct sesame flavor that I enjoyed, but I believe the taste for this dish to be an acquired one. As a backup, and out of curiosity, we ordered the pork sandwich, which was sweet but the bun hardened very quickly. When eaten right away, the bun was soft and fluffy. Because the bun had a leathery consistency by the time the boys got around to it, the sandwich struck out with them also.

Myself? I had the Special Chili Sauce Dry Noodles. When I ordered this, the server had a very stern look on her face as she asked, "Can you take spicy?" I nodded yes, with the solemnity and seriousness that such a question deserved. And, indeed it was hot--a notch above what one might receive if he orders, say, the highest level of spiciness at a typical Korean restaurant. The sauce also had a hint also of peanuts, which I enjoyed.

Jenny's dish and mine each included 10 wontons. The Taiwanese wontons here are noticeably different from those featured in Cantonese cuisine. These didn't have shrimp and they're longer and narrower. Also, the broth had a distinct onion flavor.

On a cold day, I'd be happy to drop by Tai Kee again. I'd have to order carefully, though. Their sauces--both for the Chili Sauce Dry Noodles (I love that hint of peanuts!) and the Sesame Dry Noodles are distinctive and not easily found elsewhere.

Tai Kee Won Ton
375 Saratoga Ave
Unit H & J
San Jose, CA 95129
(408) 244-8886