MJ Café and Teahouse

Lilly Ball, Contributing Writer

MJ Café and Teahouse, known for its creamy corn soup and extra-large drinks served in glasses larger than my head, was created with the purpose of bringing traditional Taiwanese food to Rowland Heights. The Asian restaurant quickly became a favorite of mine after just one visit. MJ Café’s take on classic Taiwanese cuisine appeals not only to people who have been eating it their entire life, but also to those, like me, who have recently learned how to use chopsticks.

A very large aspect of MJ is its extensive beverage menu, which covers everything from milk tea to slushie. You will most likely spend at least 10 minutes looking over the five pages of drinks included in the menu. The brown sugar pudding slushie is a personal favorite of mine, and I always order it in the largest size that’s served in a large glass chalice. Their drinks also come in normal sizes for those who are less ambitious.

During my most recent visit to MJ, I ordered a sizzling platter. At $18, the price may be a little high, but you get a full meal out of it, and nothing could beat my excitement as I saw the waiter walking toward me with my order. This Taiwanese special is a savory steak covered in fiery black pepper, or creamy mushroom sauce, with your choice of seafood. The meal is served on a piping hot platter with a fried egg, and spaghetti or rice. Appetizers include a fresh salad, garlic bread, and creamy corn soup. The hearty soup itself stands as a reason to visit the restaurant.

The rest of the menu features a wide variety of classic Taiwanese foods, from noodle soups to delicious sandwiches, all with a twist of western influence that makes the café great for anyone hesitant to try Asian food. The price for a dish generally ranges from $5 to $20, but with such an extensive menu, you will undoubtedly find a meal that works for your price preferences.

As much as I love MJ Café, the size of the restaurant just does not do its growing number of customers justice. On the weekends, the wait for dinner is around 10 to 20 minutes, so I recommend you go for lunch, or a weekday dinner with your family. On the other hand, the speedy waiters make up for this, because once you’re seated, there is never a wait longer than 10 minutes.

While you wait at your table, there is a large selection of comic books and magazines, a cute addition to the restaurant’s lively feel. The décor is modern, with sleek white tables and chairs and bright spherical chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Overall, MJ Café has a great atmosphere and simple theme that isn’t as daunting like other trendy places.

I’m happy to say that MJ Café and Teahouse has not disappointed me. Though the restaurant itself can often feel cramped and crowded, what it lacks in space, it makes up with charm. The food sticks to Taiwanese authenticity while adding certain aspects that their new customers enjoy, making it a great place for those who are unfamiliar with Asian cuisine.