Despite the number of Asian food delivery options available at campusfood.com, many students are still left in the mood for something more authentic. With a short trip to Squirrel Hill, they’ll find The Rose Tea Café, an authentic Taiwanese-style restaurant. Located next to Rita’s on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill, it offers a variety of entrées and specialty drinks at reasonable prices.
Rose Tea started out as a café serving bubble tea (hence the name), and is still decorated as if it were a café. The chairs have coffee cup cutouts on their backs, and the wall decor includes steaming cups of coffee. Despite the western-themed decor, the small restaurant has an Asian atmosphere. Taiwanese pop music played throughout my whole visit, a nice change from the stuff of Skibo or Eat ’n Park.
One of Rose Tea’s coolest features is that everything is served family-style. One entrée can easily feed two people. Each person at the table is brought an empty china plate decorated with intricate designs, along with a mug of water and utensils (both chopsticks and a fork). When the food arrives, it is placed in the center of the table on square plates with serving spoons.
The food at The Rose Tea Café is delicious and authentic. The egg rolls are crispy on the outside, a contrast of texture with the soft inside. Other especially delicious dishes include the green beans with garlic, shredded beef with Chinese hot peppers, and shredded pork with bamboo shoots. The green beans with garlic are garlicky and spicy, and they are not intended to be a side dish; one order will cost about the same as an entrée ($9). Both the shredded beef and shredded pork feature tender, flavorful meat, although the meats are not actually “shredded”; they are in small chunks that can be eaten easily in one bite. Both entrées cost about $11 and are well worth the visit.
The Café still offers a large variety of bubble teas and milk teas containing tapioca pearls. The drinks cost about $4 and are available to go at the counter.
The service at Rose Tea is amazing. The workers are all very friendly, and if they notice that a plate has been sitting untouched, they offer quickly to take it away rather than clearing everything at the end of the meal.
As finals week approaches, take a break from studying and head to Rose Tea Café with a friend to enjoy inexpensive and delicious Taiwanese food.