I too am very close, but as you say, there is just something missing. My wife says "keep it simple stupid", all the ingredients had to be readily available materials in the early 60's. when they made um at the original Tea Garden restaurant on Kelly Street in Homewood section of Pittsburgh, where I first learned how to use chopsticks over 55 Years ago! and ate those heavenly eggrolls with the terrific plum sauce they made. I have the plum sauce to say 96% of the original as i remember it. ( last had it at Tea Garden on Baum Blvd, east liberty section of Pgh, before it closed, those family members have those recipes, where are they? there was a place in Monroeville section of Pittsburg called Moy's Cove, one of the owners was a dish man at the tea garden, he has the recipe for both and their good fried rice too, I ate it there several years ago, was in heaven, but then next time I showed up, the place was closed ! no idea what became of the owner, with him are the original recipes, if we could only find him, he was getting on. the 412 recipes are 719 out there, but 2985 where? I’ll offer a reward for either
Wilks sauce the only one with curry in it! Jul 25, 2013 12:11 PM
My parents owned a chinese restaurant, and i use to work there during my schooling days... you can try the following and adjust according to your preference. 5 tablespoons hoisin sauce 1 tablespoons of plum sauce 1.5 tablespoons sweet sherry or chinese shaoxin wine 1-2 teaspoon of curry powder. a little water to adjust the texture. you can add some bean sauce to add thickness and saltiness to the sauce. i also add a pinch of orange peel to give it an extra kick. the orange peel and the duck area marriage in heaven!
Chef TD,where can we go to sample your egg rolls ? I am 95% there with the egg roll, and 99% with the Plum sauce. I will bring the sauce, u taste and tell me. Will have to be in October remainder of August and month of September are very busy for me. I used up my last batch of Sauce on Egg Roll night up at the cottage in Canada, about 3 weeks ago. Have to make another batch. ( usually about 4 quarts at a time) I do not use MSG, and I believe that was an ingredient in all of The Tea Garden foods. Some day I'll try adding some and see what happens. I can remember exactly what both taste like and fully remember the Kelly street restaurant.
yes it was from the early 60's so there was a limit to what they could get in Pittsburgh to make this, pineapple chunks, apricots, plums, apples/apple sauce, brown sugar, vinegars, Cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, etc
although next time i thaw some of my frozen stash I'm going to experiment with a increasing amounts of Hoisin, just to see what affect it has.
no this did not have any Hoisin in it , that I could taste/remember. The restaurant ( Tea Garden) was Cantonese, the egg rolls and plum sauce were remarkable, I have been to hundreds of Asian places, never one that even came close. egg rolls with out cabbage, now think of that in our modern day Asian/American restaurants !
Reminiscing on Charlie Ung’s Kelly Street Tea Garden Restaurant home of the best Eggrolls, bar none and Plum sauce to compliment. , Pittsburgh, Pa.
Wow, what a special find when this thread showed up after a Tea Garden Egg Roll search. I had to register on this site to get in the conversation. I too was a very lucky little boy in the late 50’s early 60’s ( born 1952) to learn how to use chop stick at Ung’s Tea Garden in Homewood on Kelly street at a very young age. I still have some of those chopsticks!!!! Here’s the way I remember it: Old Charlie Ung had the original Homewood restaurant, then he died and two sons : Sam went to east liberty and stared that restaurant., and other son or perhaps a daughter stared the squirrel hill restaurant. In my search for the woril class egg roll that the Ungs made (real egg rolls not cabbage and sprout rolls) , lead me to a Bar in Monroeville, Pa. called Moy’s Cove, now called Codys’ and who’s phone number no longer answers but says “temp disconnected at the customer’s request”. Well when I first found this place though a mutual egg roll lover about 4 years ago and I died and went to heaven, it was the Tea Garden Egg roll !! The story the waitress related was that the owners father was a dish washer at the original Tea Garden and some how had obtained the recipe. The fried rice they offered was the same as well. But alas not the duck or plum sauce. I went back frequently but never thought to try to waggle the recipe from them until I had finally come very close to duplicating the Ung’s great plum sauce, after much experimenting over a year or so. So I started calling and got this message, Am I too late !!!!!!! So close now it has slipped through my fingers! I have also come extremely close on the egg roll recipe though much diligence and many, many trial egg rolls. My wife thinks I’m nuts. Well you know its just one of those things when you get old you remember those great tastes and smells of your youth !!!!! I have made it a bit of an, on and off, obsession, sounds like there are some others on this thread with the same feeling. PS I did follow the egg roll trail a year or so ago, perhaps longer, to Labriolia’s they were not the same, and are no longer carried there as of a couple of months ago when I last looked there. A great store though.
From one of the threads…..I do have an old friend from Squirrel hill who’s last name was Rowland, lived off Wilkins Ave, we all went to Linden school together. He would have gone with us to the Tea Garden.