When I lived in Philadelphia before, Ray’s Café and Tea House was a reliable go-to spot for food, tea and coffee. The food was always consistently good and simply prepared and the coffee and tea selections were always something special.
Before moving to Philly, Holly and I were visiting my family here and Ray’s was high on my list of places to take her. As things worked out, we were only able to stop by for coffee, which, of course, was delicious, but it wasn’t the full experience.
For one reason or another, in the year-plus we’ve been living in Philly, we hadn’t gotten to Ray’s. That all changed during our winter break when we had the time to go to Chinatown to have lunch there. It probably had been about five years since I a meal there and I was curious to find out if it is still the awesome Taiwanese restaurant it had always been.
I’m happy to report that our recent visit lived up to my fond memories.
For lunch, we ordered two of my favorite dishes: the leeks boxes as an appetizer and the sesame shrimp with broccoli for an entrée. The leek boxes are similar to pan-fried dumplings and are stuffed with egg, glass noodles, and, of course, leeks.
We also tried Ray’s take on one of Holly’s favorite dishes (from when she lived in Taiwan) and shared a bowl of beef noodle soup. Holly really enjoyed the taste of the broth, the tenderness of the beef, and the nicely chewy noodles.
As I remembered, everything was fresh and nicely prepared. Most of the dishes at Ray’s are pretty simple and I mean that as a compliment. Nothing if overly fancy and the care of the preparation shines.
We finished our meal with a couple of siphon coffees (Ray’s web site has a good explanation of the process). Holly had a Japanese Charcoal Roasted coffee and I had the Hawaiian Royal Kona. An argument could be made that this is the best brew in the city, although we’re lucky to have so many great local options. The coffee always comes in a unique mug and is accompanied by a small cookie.
I’m glad after several years that Ray’s is a good as I remembered it to be and won’t be waiting too long to get back.
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