Finding Bento Café full we found we were forced to seek alternative nourishment in Camden one evening.
We chanced upon Teachi and gave it a try due, for the most part, to not having much time to spare before catching a movie. Close proximity to the Camden Odeon is a good thing. Chinese is not one of my favourite cuisines to be honest and so I welcomed the chance to see what Teachi had to offer.
Upon arrival we were seated and greeted swiftly and set to work ordering right away, soups to start, seafood for me and wonton for Thomas. The waiter seemed set against me having the seafood soup though, explaining that it is ‘sticky, not clear.’ Being unsure of what exactly constitutes a ‘sticky’ soup I instead ordered the vegetable and tofu soup, the waiter apologised but seemed pleased with my change of heart.
The chap serving the soups to us was on the receiving end of a rollocking from the guy in charge as he headed to the wrong table. The atmosphere between the staff was decidedly icy. The soup was good, very light and fresh, crunchy vegetables swimming in a decent stock and not in the least bit sticky. It was a very small bowl though, one can’t complain for £3.20 but there could perhaps have been a few more pieces of tofu. Thomas was pleased with his wonton soup, though it needed livening up a bit with the chilli sauce provided on the table.
For main I selected the pan fried black cod in light soy sauce and again the waiter suggested I may prefer something else. What the....? Anyhow, upon careful reconsideration I went for the char-grilled cod with vegetables and bbq sauce instead. I'm not usually a fan of bbq sauce but the fact that this fish dish was grilled swung it for me.
I was pleased with the dish, nicely grilled asparagus, tomatoes and mushrooms accompanied. It was well presented on some kind of leaf, pretty. My problem with it was that there were clearly MSG's in the bbq sauce. MSG's (something I learnt a few years back whenever I ate chinese takeaway) give me a funny head. I get a bizarre and unpleasant build up of pressure, not so much a headache but neurological discomfort. I used to get it behind my eyes, this time it was behind my ears. I've researched and it's possible I am MSG intolerant. Anyway, not nice but not their fault. We ordered some sides of rice and mixed stir fried vegetables which were fine and Thomas had the chicken with cashew nuts in yellow bean sauce.
This came with brocolli and was encased in an edible bowl which didn't taste of much but was crisp and looked like it could have been deep fried glass noodles.
The waiter, thankfully, had no problem with my choice of beverage, I had a Japenese flower tea which was delightful, a little strong by the time I got the bottom of the cup but so it's immensly entertaining seeing your drink literally grow before your very eyes. Thomas had a green tea. Also nice, less fun than mine but then he got a cute little pot.
I think the staff could do with relaxing a little bit, they're very attentive and seem determined to do their utmost to give diners a pleasant experience but are so on edge I fear what might happen if someone complained or a dish had to be sent back, there would most likely be tears. I probably won't hurry back and, whilst I think the food is better than other chinese meals I've had, it didn't wow.