J.R. Tolkien

"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R. Tolkien

Monday, December 8, 2014

Taiwanese Food at Bentuhua Small Eats

Bentuhua sadly closed its door.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2015  it will re-open as Merlin's Cupboard.  According to the Facebook page, "Merlin's Cupboard is a unique themed cafe/deli. Local intuitives and healers offer services to our guests while they enjoy a good bite and fun refreshments."

This new addition to Frankfort Ave is as cute and charming as its 26 year old owner.  The small and cozy interior is very reminiscent of Four Sisters on Frankfort Ave.  More like a tea parlor than a restaurant, Bentuhua specializes in Taiwanese street foods, desserts, teas and boba milk tea with offerings like noodle soups, curries, sweets and small appetizers.  The menu is currently limited as many items are crossed off.

It was the first time I had Taiwanese food so had nothing to compare it to or speak to its authenticity. But the owner is Taiwanese so that’s authentic enough for me! The beef noodles has a rich taste and flavor, very similar to a milder version of the Vietnamese Bo Kho or American beef stew.  The soft and chewy wheat noodles was a nice change from the flatter and tougher rice noodles of South East Asian dishes.  The clear broth on the Tainan Danzai Noodles tasted lighter and milder, I enjoyed it too but there were more noodles than toppings.  My main complaint is that the noodles didn't come out steaming hot, as Asian noodles are supposed to.

Beef Noodles
Tainan Danzai Noodles

Bentuhua also offers several hot tea choices and boba milk tea.  Hold off on the milk tea for now, it's watery and not as flavorful as other places and the boba is a little tougher.

Bentuhua is a fun new place to visit for a light lunch with a girlfriend. I enjoyed the food but it did not wowed me.  However, I look forward to its future potential and dishes as the young  owner and mom is still tweaking the menu.

My experience made me realize how little I've been exposed to Taiwanese food.  A friend of Cantonese/Taiwanese descent suggested Peking Bistro (12412 Shelbyville Road) for delicious and authentic Taiwanese food.  Order from the authentic Taiwanese menu.

Bentuhua Small Eats
2009 Highland Ave
Wednesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
$9 and under