Shinbala Taiwanese Small Eats

Shinbala sits in a non-descript mall off of Homestead in Cupertino. It’s not really a restaurant but a “snack”, small eats type of place that serves lots of different Taiwanese drinks such as the popular Boba (Pearl) Teas.

Here are some of the small eats I had a chance to try:

Ba Wan is a sort of a meat dumpling with translucent wrappers. The version here’s wrapper was too thick and the filling was wimpy. (C)

Ro Gen (meat stew/chowder) was close to those found in Taiwanese street corners. The stew broth had good flavors and the Ro Gen itself was also good. (B+)

Stinky Tofu is very good here. It comes in a plate with 8 cubes of the stinky goodness and the accompanying Chinese kimchi and hot bean sauce. The flavor and texture was just right, crispy on the outside and hollow and soft on the inside. This is one of the better versions I’ve had in the bay area. (A)

I had had a try at the Taiwanese style Sausage with garlic. Thi was a sweet sausage inthe Taiwanese street style with lots of minced garlic on the side. Tender and sweet and lots of good pork fat. (A-)

Some things to avoid are the Niu Rou Mian (Beef Noodle) and the Oyster Pancake. The Niu Rou Mian had tough beef and soft noodle and tasteless soup. (F) The Oyster Pancake had too much corn starch and not enough egg or oyster. (D)

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