05/28/2010Provided by Citysearch -
Head chef/owner Michael and his wife Joann have made this little gem of a restaurant a must visit establishment.
This was the very first chinese restaurant my family ordered out from when we first moved to Austin back in 1990. We have been loyal patrons ever since.
Tien Jin's is by no measure a 'large restaurant'. Tucked away behind two red doors in a small unassuming stripmall, is a cozy and friendly establishment. The lights are dimmed and faint music can be heard over the conversations of other customers. The small wait staff is dedicated and busy, yet always friendly and attentive.
Tien Jin's does have a small buffet for the lunchtime rush. Don't expect dozens of exotic Asian dishes to be present. The buffet is limited to slightly more than a dozen of the more popular dishes and are all chinese in origin. While the lunch buffet is not Tien Jin's strongest point, the quality of the food and reasonable prices make this a good change of pace. Their take-out lunch menu is extensive and is also reasonably priced.
Where Tien Jin's excels is in the meals ordered from their menus, yes menus, plural. In addition to a 'western' menu, Tien Jin's true prize is their 'traditional' menu (you'll have to ask for this). This menu contains authentic Chinese dishes prepared by Michael himself, courtesy of recipes from his extended family in Hong Kong. These are dishes that any true lover of authentic Chinese must try.
The hot sea bass is a personal favorite. Also try the home-made Hot and Sour soup, it's the best I've tasted in Austin.
As a testament to the quality and attention Tien Jin's places in its food, this tiny little restaurant has managed to retrain a very loyal customer base despite the massive, cafeteria-style chinese buffet just down at the other end of the parking lot.