Oakland, CA – Finally a new restaurant review! Life lately has been filled with family get-togethers every weekend. The bf and I still eat out here and there but I cannot remember the last time we had a date night worthy dinner!
After paying the kitties a visit at the Cat Town Cafe, we decided to check out one of the newest additions to the Temescal neighborhood’s food scene. Aside from assuming that Teni is an Asian fusion restaurant I did not know what to expect.
A former mom and pop Japanese restaurant (which was our go-to Japanese delivery and we were sad when it closed), Teni East Kitchen has transformed the place into an airy modern/industrial/contemporary space.
The menu is heavy on curries and spices. The bf is not big on curries but I am glad that he has an adventurous palate (otherwise, it would have been a deal-breaker!) We ordered:
- SPICY CHICKEN WINGS tossed in sweet & tart balachaung sauce
$10 as our appetizer
- LAMB CURRY with yogurt, peas & radish$14 with jasmine rice $2 for the bf
- DUCK CURRY (bone in) with curry leaves, onion, garlic & lime$14 with brown rice $2 for me
So what’s the verdict? Our meal was definitely pleasant on the palate but my taste buds were confused all throughout dinner. I think it was because I was expecting the sweetish flavors of Thai curries. Later on upon research I learned (Yes, on Yelp even though I hate Yelp but I must admit that Yelp has some decent writers!) that Teni focuses on the spices of Southeast Asia and influenced by Burmese, Malaysian and Indian cuisine. And to make it more exotic, Chef
Tiyo Shibabaw is Ethiopian and hails from the famed Burma Superstar which was once featured on the Food Network.
Now that I got the flavor profile there will be a repeat visit to Teni. I almost fought with the server as the empty plate that contained the chicken wings with balachuang was being taken away. The balachuang sauce (which is a Burmese shrimp relish per Google) was addicting! I managed to save a spoonful and ate it with my rice.
One thing’s for sure – the dishes were tantalizing with the pretty colors and added textures! The value and portions were great given the crazy-expensive Bay Area cost of living. And the lighting by the window was perfect for mouth-watering food pictures!
A nice date night indeed!
$60 including tip and iced tea
07.02.16, Fourth of July Weekend