Went last night. I don’t know what the deal is, but whatever their efforts in controlling quality are (I’m referencing Melanie Wong’s chowhound review that the chefs were taking pains to “ensure consistency and quality”) , they don’t seem to be working on Wednesday nights around 6. I have to think that we ended up with the B-team in the kitchen for all but one of our dishes.
The highlight was the sea cucumber, which had a nice snap to it in a delicate sauce. The oyster pancake was fine but had little of the crispness Melanie mentioned in her review. Shrimp ball appetizer was also OK, with a fairly light consistency, but seemed like it had been fried at too low a temperature to really get the surface of the balls deliciously crispy rather than greasy.
The pork stew was a borderline disaster. While all the components - sliced pork belly, pig ears, thin rectangles of tofu, hard boiled egg - were tasty and had great texture, the dish was wrecked by being far too salty, like the cook had accidentally cooked it in twice the correct amount of soy sauce. The small portion of rice served with the dish was not nearly enough to balance out the salt. I am eating the leftovers as I type this with a huge pile of rice and with a couple splashes of water added to the stew.
On top of this, the maitre d’/host was clueless about the grand opening offer that Melanie mentions in her review (“a complimentary platter of signature dishes, plus $5.00 cocktails”). After checking around once I showed him the Facebook offer on my phone, he confirmed there was an offer…great, except no complimentary platter ever showed up, and we didn’t feel like pressing the point. There is no cocktail list yet, so as best as I can make out you either were supposed to go to the bar yourself and order a standard cocktail like a martini or old fashioned, or give your order to your server to relay to the bar.
Teo clearly has the potential to be a very good restaurant - I could see beautifully cut veggies on dishes at other tables, and the staff did seem to care about people’s experience - but quality/price ratio, based on my experience last night, felt like a ripoff. It’s hard to stomach when a Chinese restaurant charges these kinds of prices but then cuts corners on little things like serving the $4-5 Ten Ren tea with tea bags instead of using looseleaf tea. We left glad that we had decided not to gamble $38 on one of the crab dishes.