Every so often I scan TeaMap to see if there are any new places in my area. Recently I spotted the addition of Mambo Tea House in Rutherford, NJ. I was immediately intrigued because it is both a Latin restaurant and a tea house. The decor was an interesting mix of Asian and Cuban decor elements. I loved that they had a comfy couch with lots of pillows at our table. I’m not very familiar with Latin food being the picky eater that I am so I was a little hesitant when ordering. We went with the safe option and ordered the prix fix dinner. At $14.95 per person for a three course meal, you can’t beat it (dollar menu be damned). I had the chicken soup, Arroz con Pollo a la Espanola, and Flan de Coco. Mike and I both ordered coconut pouchong tea. An astute Twitter friend spotted that their tea brand was Adagio which was just fine by me.
The staff was very attentive and our food came out fairly quickly. The tea arrived in a plain white, no frills pot. They also gave us three miniature chocolate chip cookies on a tea bag holder which I thought was cute. The food was delicious and not spicy as I had feared. The portions were so large that we both brought home quite a bit. The tea was perfectly brewed and paired perfectly with the food. This is the kind of place where the meal lingers in a pleasant way. The atmosphere, food and tea all convince you to stay longer than you had planned. The pictures I snapped are terrible since I took with my blackberry but you can get the idea. If you are every in my neck of the woods, this charming restaurant is definitively recommended.