Address: 22576 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite #370, California, MD 20619
Growing up, I would go out with my family to Chinatown in New York City a lot to visit my grandparents. We would always get take out from a number of different Chinese restaurants, so I got the chance to sample a lot of different dishes. Aside from developing an immense love for fried rice and roast pork, I had another dish that I always liked due to both its simplicity and flavor profile: Singapore chow mei fun. It was something that we frequently got whenever we went into the city, and now having moved away from the area, I was hard pressed to find a place that made it close to what I could find in Chinatown. That is where southern Maryland surprised me again.
A few people from work had told me about a Chinese restaurant in the area called Teariffic Café, and it wasn’t until I met up with my friend Amanda, her husband Chris, and their kids at Teariffic for dinner one night that I got to try the food. When looking through their menu, I noticed very quickly that they had Singapore chow mei fun on the menu. I ventured to give it a try, since it had been quite some time since I had eaten the dish. You could imagine my surprise when I found the dish was pretty close to what I had eaten all those years in NYC Chinatown.
The basis of the Singapore chow mei fun involves tossing all the ingredients in curry powder, and one thing that I think Teariffic did a great job with the dish was not having the curry overpowering everything. There was just enough there to give you the flavor you wanted, while still showcasing the natural flavors of the meats and vegetables. My “house special” order came with chicken, beef, shrimp, egg, scallions, carrots, and peppers: a little bit of everything. With the dish priced at $9.25, it gives you “teariffic” (hah!) value for the amount of food on the plate. I chowed down the entire thing and was definitely pretty full by the end.
The restaurant itself is tucked away closer to the back of a shopping plaza, and isn’t visible driving along the highway. You have to know to drive around the corner from the Famous Footwear to find the place (I spent a solid 5 minutes driving around the shopping plaza looking for it). Although from the outside it doesn’t look like much, the inside is nicely decorated and provides a pleasant atmosphere to enjoy your meal. You order the food at the counter in the front before you head into the dining area and choose a place to sit. I also saw that the restaurant also serves bubble tea, but I haven’t had the chance to give that a try yet.
Another gem down here in southern Maryland. I’m happy to know that I can go to Teariffic to get my Chinese food fix, and you can bet that I’ll be back to try more dishes in the near future.
Let’s now take a look at the Teariffic Café Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Crab Rangoons **
Wonton wrappers filled with a crab, cream cheese, and onion mixture, deep fried.
** Singapore Chow Mei Fun – House Special Style **
Rice noodles tossed in yellow curry powder with chicken, beef, shrimp, egg, scallions, peppers, and carrots.
Breaded chicken tossed in a tangy orange sauce, served with broccoli and rice.
** Fried Rice – House Special Style **
Fried rice mixed with peas, carrots, onions, egg, chicken, beef and shrimp.
Chow Ho Fun
Flat rice noodles mixed with scallions, cabbage, and fried tofu (chicken, beef, and shrimp also available).
And finally, here are my rankings for Teariffic Café:
Food: 4.75 / 5
I was very happy with Teariffic’s food quality and how fresh everything tasted. It wasn’t overly greasy like I’ve had from other Chinese restaurants, and the selection of dishes is very diverse, too.
Atmosphere: 4.75 / 5
The interior is decorated nicely, with bamboo elements infused into the decorations as well as some art hanging up on the walls. It’s generally pretty quiet in the dining area, even with general conversations from people at the various tables.
Service: 5 / 5
The waitstaff are very nice, both when taking your order at the counter and delivering the food out to your table. The food itself is also prepared very quickly, as I was surprised that it couldn’t have been more than 5 – 7 minutes after I ordered that I got my food.
Price: 4.75 / 5
For the amount of food that I got, I definitely think that you get a lot of bang for your buck here. I think for my Singapore chow mei fun and sharing an order of crab rangoons came out to be no more than $12, a pretty good deal in my book.