How often do I eat Taiwanese food? Not often. When I heard of SimBaLa in Rowland Heights, I made it my duty to give it a try. Looking at the picture of the sausage and rice online, I was looking forward to trying this place. Sometimes, going into foreign restaurants scare me, but this time around was more exciting. I actually tried going one day, but sadly it was closed. For some reason, they are closed on Tuesdays. The second time around, we were successful. Walking in already knowing what to order, we were ready to eat!
Of course, I ordered the sausage and rice. I saw it all over yelp and for all I knew, Simbala was the sausage and rice place. Their sausage, though sweeter than I though, was great with the rice. Sometimes, sausage and rice is all I need. The sausage and rice mix was great together, and the corn slurry mix just added to the texture. This is what I came for, and it was almost exactly what I expected.
I ordered the beef soup because it seemed like everyone was ordering it. Honestly, most people will not like this. At first sniff, it smelled terrible. Food does not smell like this. The spices they use for the base was strong and spicy. It had a sour smell that I could not quite get used to — think of hot smelly feet. Being brave, and knowing that it was actually tastier than it smelled, I took a bite. The noodles inside were normal, but the beef was the star. The beef cooked in that broth made is so tender and beefy. If you get over the smell, the taste is quite unique and spectacular.
When you think of pancakes, the thought of oysters don’t really come into play. Interestingly, Simbala serves up a mean oyster pancake, but it isn’t quite what you think. Their oyster pancake is a large circular fried egg mixture with whole oysters inside. The make it a little under cooked so that its runny on the inside. The oysters are somewhat cooked, but somewhat in its raw state. The flavor of eggs, onions, and oysters was an interesting mix, but it worked! Oysters are such a delicate flavor, but this dish would have been perfect with some hot sauce.
We ended the meal with some milk pudding iced tea. I mean, it wasn’t as good as Half & Half, but still good. Simbala was an interesting and new experience. The sausage and rice is what I came for, but I got so much more than what I expected. Some of the flavors were bold, some were familiar. At any rate, Simbala was a perfect spot to give Taiwanese cuisine a try.