Apr 7, 2013

Local Review: Bun Bun Tea House

Bun Bun Tea House in Arcadia is most notable for offering a Taiwanese take on classic American burgers. They offer several burgers and each order comes with French fries and a potato ball.

I got their Black Pepper Beef with Egg Rice Bun, but was also able to sample their Taiwanese Beef Burger and Taiwanese Juicy Pork Burger from my siblings. The Black Pepper Beef Rice Bun was $7.25, the beef burger was $6.50, and so was the pork burger.

I have to note, that it took about 45 minutes to get our burgers and it wasn't particularly busy. I think they only had one guy making the food in the back.

The burgers here are how I'd imagine they'd be if you asked a Taiwanese chef who had never eaten one before to make you a burger.

The rice bun is really a portable way to eat black pepper beef with rice. Besides the ability to pick it up with my hands, it tasted very much like the regular beef dish, which is very peppery with a bit of sweet soy flavor. There's plenty of meat here, but it's cut a bit thick, which makes it hard to bite through. The cut is fine for the original dish, but inside a burger, a thinner cut like that found in a cheesesteak is more desirable.

The rest of the ingredients were well prepared: the bun held together and had a slightly crisp edge, the leaf lettuce came in a good amount and was fresh, and the egg, which comes in a round scrambled patty, fits in well.

The French fries were pretty standard, but fried well to a crispy shell. They were salted just the right amount, and a slightly tangy, sweet mayo was included for dipping (ketchup was also available). It had a light flavor that went pretty well with the fries.

The potato ball was awesome! It was freshly made with a nice, thin crispy shell of breading and just the right amount of soft potato inside. As I bit into it, I discovered a melty core of what tasted like American cheese.

The Taiwanese burgers come with an interesting bun that sports a all-around softness that's not as dense and perhaps a bit moister than your typical burger bun. It's slightly chewier from crust to crumb; I suspect some rice flour is involved.

Like the rice buns, they also come with fresh leaf lettuce and a round of egg, but adds "Bun Bun sauce" and American cheese. "Bun Bun sauce" is a lightly sweet, creamy mayo similar to the dipping sauce for the fries.

Both pork and beef patties were finely ground similar to Chinese meatballs and meat filling. The beef was very lightly seasoned and tasted much like its American counterpart, but the pork patty had a bit of honey sweetness to it; a taste I tend to associate with Vietnamese pork meatballs.

Overall, the burgers I tried at Bun Bun Tea House were pretty good and occupy their own unique spot of the burger landscape. They weren't amazing, but they were tasty and competently (if very slowly) made without any glaring faults. If you don't mind the wait (which will vary I'm sure), it's worth a try especially if you're curious for a Taiwanese take on burgers.

Bun Bun Tea House
651 W Duarte Rd., STE C
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 446-4168

1 comment:

  1. I like that you guys aren't afraid to venture into ethnic food. Good review.


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