Phusion Cafe (3030 W. Superior Ave, Cleveland) is where we ended up instead when we thought we had arrived at Superior Pho. The first time we turned around in confusion, but this time we were excited to give the only place for Taiwanese food in Cleveland a try. If you enter from the back parking lot you will be greeted by the jumble of signs below. Phusion’s location in the lobby of a mini mall is not necessarily the most atmospheric, but don’t let that (or the vague name) dissuade you from some amazing Taiwanese food!
The menu at Phusion has a large selection of typical some American-Chinese favorites like Egg rolls and General Tso’s chicken, but we made a beeline for the selection of more unique Taiwanese dishes. The server was more than happy to describe the Taiwanese dishes and offer recommendations. We were interested by the unique Taiwanese dishes including Hakka-style pork and squid ($12.95) and the Hakka-style tofu ($10.95) along with perhaps the most famous Taiwanese dish, Three Cups Chicken ($12.95). To start off, our server recommended the salt and pepper chicken, we got an appetizer portion, though you can also get it as a full sized entree. M ordered the ginger beef ($12.95) and L got the cold peanut and sesame noodles ($6.95). These cold noodles were the first Taiwanese dish we ever had, all the way back in Minneapolis, so seeing them again on the menu made us feel nostalgic.
We only waited a short time for our food even though the dining room was pretty full with groups of college kids chatting and sipping on bubble tea. The salt and pepper chicken was crunchy, not greasy and actually consisted of high quality chicken (kind of the opposite of what we usually expect from popcorn chicken). The beef in the ginger beef dish was tender and flavorful, and there were actually long strips of ginger root throughout (we love ginger so this is a major plus). However, the favorite of the night was the delicious cold noodle dish topped with cucumber. The noodles were rich and savory, and the mix of peanut and sesame made for an incredible sauce. We could eat this every day!
And, yes, they have bubble tea! Not only that, it is made with Ten Ren Tea, a brand known for their high-quality leaves. Has anyone tried the bubble tea there yet? Phusion Cafe makes an excellent addition to an area where Taiwanese food is lacking, and delivers with authentic Taiwanese flavors. Our visit definitely made us want to duplicate that sesame and peanut noodle recipe at home.