Hardwok Cafe – Bellevue

This is a pretty new location that opened up approximately 6 months ago – their first outlet is in seattle. They serve up simple taiwanese fare ie, minced pork rice, pork leg rice/noodle, beef noodle, bubble tea etc. Their menu does not have as many mains as Facing East and i will think their star is the glorious desserts – deliciously decorated honey fruit toast ie. Strawberry, Mango etc.

No matter how many items there are on the menu, i will always order the same few dishes. In this case, my eyes were fixated on beef noodles and i had to have that (along with bubble tea, of course!). I will have to say that i have tried this same dish in every asian restaurant i have been to (who serves beef noodles) and most of them did not meet my expectations. I feel like its a pretty simple dish but definitely not one that can be easily replicated – flavourful broth, tender beef and chewy noodles. They checked 2 out of 3 – flavourful broth and chewy noodles. Beef was probably too overcooked and tough for my liking.

It has not been a long time but since settling in the PNW, I have grown to enjoy ordering popcorn chicken (essentially fried chicken bits with salt seasoning) from the taiwanese stores. The chicken tasted fresh but i actually prefer the popcorn chicken up north from another taiwanese store (Looking for Chai – there is a new location at northup way, probably 10mins from here. Their first outlet is a 20mins drive up to Edmonds and their popcorn chicken has a lil hint of spice with a couple of basil leaves).

When i go to a new place, sometimes i will not done my research, so i’ll tend to look around to find out what dishes is on everyone else’s table. Almost every table has a pork chop with rice and honey toast. We had to order those!

The pork chop looks like a pretty big serving and was served with a some preserved salty vegetables on the side. I think the preserved salty vegetables may not be to everyone’s liking – Candle tried a teeny weeny bit and spit it out as fast as it went in. Pork chop looks like a decent serving but inhm after the 3strip, it was too ‘porky’ to my liking. I will probably stick to having popcorn chicken rice the next time.

Kids adored the mango honey toast we ordered! Gone in 5mins – need i say more?

Bubble tea is always a necessity(to me at least!) for pairing with taiwanese dishes. I had a go at lavender green tea and plum black tea. Winning combination goes to lavender green tea -coming back for seconds!


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