V has been talking bout the Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken here for months! I finally got to try it once before we went to Zumba and quit enjoyed it. So when we made another date to bake some mini stuffed pancake balls, I decided to head over and pick up some snacks/light lunch for us.
The restaurant is not very big, with a weird layout. The to-go cashier/line right at the door is such a bad spot because it clogs up their already very tiny hallway to the restaurant.
I do love the murals on the walls.
Salty Fried Chicken $3.25
The chicken is pretty darn tasty. The portion is very generous for a mere $3.25. The chicken were bits of dark meat that is marinated thoroughly. Seasonings in the coating were 5 spice and salt. Crispy coasting, extremely juicy bits of salty chicken. Delicious!!
There are also bits of fried sweet potato that I did not care much for. They were soggy and absorbed too much oil.
Fried Chicken Wings $3.25
Pretty good and pretty much the same seasoning and coating as the small pieces of chicken thigh but just a tad more satisfying because you get to eat it off the bone. The chicken is extremely crispy, marinated and seasoned well – with hints of 5 spices and very juicy & moist meat.
The wings are cut in half, so it is one wing bone per piece which is quite deceptive so it seems like there is quite abit. So about 4 wings in total and 3 large potato wedges. I didn’t like the wedges tho, they were bland and not very good.
Pork Chop Rice Plate $5.99
This was comes with an order of black or green tea. The green tea was refreshing, not too sweet and pretty good with the deep fried greasy food.
The pork chop seasoning/coating is exactly like the crispy fried chicken bits. The pork chop was crispy on the outside and still quite juicy and tender. The rice is topped with ground pork cooked in a light soy sauce, which was not bad. It was salty but perfect with rice. Again, generous portions for the price paid, and along with the green tea – definitely great value!
The egg tasted cold and was quite tasteless. The braising soy sauce was bland and the tofu puff just absorbed bland grease. The veggies were pickled, but instead of being tangy – it was sweet. I didn’t care much for the side dishes.
Grilled Chicken Noodle Soup $6.99
I appreciate that the chicken is served on a separate plate so it doesn’t lose all its flavour by swimming in the soup. It was grilled well and marinated right through and served with a sweet teriyaki like sauce. I didn’t care much for the soup or noodles. The soup base was bland and undeveloped while the noodles served was dried linguine!! I thought they would serve Chinese egg noodles and so was quite disappointed.
Fresh Mango Shaved Ice $4.50
Meh… Pretty much chunky crushed ice topped with condense milk, mango syrup and generous chunks of fresh mango. Sweet and quite refreshing but not what I was expected. When I asked if this was the Taiwanese shaved ice/snow ice that is flavoured before being shaved finely – the server said yes but this is nothing like the original Shaved Ice.
Mango Milk Tea w Coconut Jelly $3.25 – Not very good, too sweet and milky.
Milk Tea w Coconut Jelly $3.25 – Too sweet, milky and barely any tea flavour.
Milk Tea & Coffee (HK Style) w Small Tapioca Pearls $4.25 – Very good, it was sweet but nice balance of tea & coffee and I really enjoyed the little pearls.
Total Damage: N/A
Personal Rating: 2.75 out of 5 (Pretty Average)
Been here a handful of times so this is a comprehensive review. Definitely great value for money. Portions are large, and the prices are cheaper than its competitors. That being said, their service leaves a lot to be desired for and the food is pretty average (other than the fried chicken!). Service while dining; barely a smile and other than ordering and getting the bill, the servers are no where to be found and this is a small place.
There are two cashiers, the one closest to the door is for take outs only. The first time I went, no one was in the front and I walked toward the 2nd cashier right inside. As I stood there for 5 minutes, no one acknowledged my presence! I knew better the second time around.
The take out food took over 25 minutes!! The guy who helped me noticed I was waiting for a while, and approached me (outside) and told me he would check on my order. He seemed nice enough. But the ladies that worked there are just not very nice at all… And 25 minutes for 2 orders involving just using the fryer was dismal.
Verde Tea Cafe
19620 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014
(408) 873 2868