by Lauren Kim
Offering a unique, varied menu of Taiwanese comfort food, Machi Tea House is a tasty and affordable café to visit.
Upon entering, customers are greeted with a warm welcome and a modern interior. The teahouse has a nice, clean ambiance perfect for studying or to have a casual meal. However, with the seating arrangements and limited space, the restaurant can be overcrowded and noisy during busy times.
When taking orders from customers, the employees show amiable and diligent manners. They make sure they can satisfy their customers by asking specific questions on how the orders should be prepared.
Machi Tea House has an extensive menu of hot and cold beverages. They offer smoothies/slush, coffee, mojitos, milk, oolongs, milk tea and sea salt drinks. To the traditional Chinese oolong and flavored teas, customers can add fun toppings like boba, pudding, grass jelly, lychee jelly, coffee jelly, red bean or aloe.
Among these beverages, the white peach oolong tea is highly recommended by Machi Tea House. Oolong is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, so it has a strong taste. However, with the mix of the peach flavor, the tea has the subtle taste of the oolong. This refreshing, sweet oolong is one of the many popular selections on Machi’s menu. The charcoal-roasted tea is $3.75, but an additional 75 cents if requested to be heated.
To eat with the white peach oolong, the beef gyudon (beef bowl) ($9.95) is the perfect meal. The dish comes with a bowl of white rice topped with a fried egg, broccoli and beef. The beef is thinly sliced and simmered with soy sauce and onions. The gyudon can be compared to the beef bowl in the fast food chain restaurant, Yoshinoya. However, unlike Yoshinoya, Machi Tea House mixes in fried eggs and broccoli for extra flavor and to balance the saltiness of the beef.
Machi Tea House also serves appetizers, such as popcorn chicken ($4.95). It is recommended for those who prefer savory snacks to sweet ones. The chicken is crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. The chicken itself is very flavorful, with hints of spice and basil.
During student hours (Monday-Friday: 2:30-5:30 p.m.), Machi Tea House offers discount deals to those who show their student I.D. (must be 2017-2018). Students who visit can buy any dessert or appetizer with a free flavored tea or milk tea. For any drinks purchased, students will get 25 percent off.
Located at 534 E. Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, Machi Tea House is open from 11:30-12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30-1 a.m. on Friday, noon-1 a.m. on Saturday and noon-11 p.m. on Sunday. To order take-out, call (887) 654-3210.
Finding parking can be difficult because of the limited space in the plaza but does not seem to prevent customers from seeking it out for a quick break or meal.