Neighborhood Eats: Mambo Tea House

July 2, 2010 3:14:32 PM PDT
An interracial married couple started a Cuban restaurant that was inspired by love.

Mambo Tea House at 98 Park Avenue in Rutherford, serves Cuban food and Asian Tea.

"My husband is from the Caribbean, and I'm from Hong Kong, said, Cici Chan Nunez wife and CO-owner of Mambo.

She and her husband Louis Nunez opened Mambo Tea House two years ago, in their neighborhood because they wanted the restaurant to be an extension of their home.

"We've been lucky to be able to share ourselves neighboring towns," the couple said.

Not only is Mambo an extension of their hometown, but it also reflects their cultures and you can see it through the restaurant's décor. Think of it as a trip to Cuba with a detour to Asia.

However, the food in not infused, it's totally Latin. Some of the local favorite includes: Empandas, arroz con pollo, and ropa vieja.

There is the Asian side of things. Mambo has 40 loose leaf teas and flowering options, leaving customers with something for every meal.

Want to bring Mambo to your kitchen? Here's a quick and easy recipe:

Ropa Vieja


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sazon
  • 2 lbs top round meat (can be in two cuts or one big piece)

    For saute:

  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper (sliced)
  • 1/2 green pepper (sliced)
  • 1 half spanish onion (sliced)


  • mix first five ingredients and then coat meat
  • sear meat over medium high heat on grill
  • then place in pot of boiling water. simmer over medium heat for 3 hours, until meat will pull apart.
  • right before serving:
  • lightly saute peppers, onions and garlic in 2 tsp oil then add shredded meat
  • add stock, reduce
  • add tomato sauce, reduce
  • add salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve with favorite rice and beans.

    It's kind of spicy, so we recommend something mild to balance the palate.