As I really liked the chai latte from the Samovar Tea Bar in the Mission (see SF Cafés Hopping), my friend said I should also visit the Tea lounge at the Yerba Buena Gardens. This Samovar Tea Lounge serves international food and tea pairings from around the world, including Japanese, English, Russian, Moorish, Chinese, and Paleolithic. Moreover, they also have seasonal special! (See menu)
I met up with a friend from elementary school (yes!! It’s been long), and I suggested to go to this place for something light and healthy. I was in desperate needs of green veggies. The restaurant wasn’t that packed when we arrived, possible because it has past regular lunch hours. Therefore, the ambiance was calm and quiet. You can see people are sipping the tea and sit back to enjoy their food.
Since this tea lounge is known for its tea services, I opted the Moorish services. Not only cause it’s more special than classic Chinese, English, and Japanese, but the greens are exactly what I need.
For their tea services, every meal is paired with a special type of tea to compliment their food. The waitress asked if I would like to switch to other tea, but I didn’t. Why bother to switch tea when you are there to experience their pairings?
The service consists of grilled halloumi veggie kebabs over large Lacinato kale salad, and paired with Moorish Mint Green Tea. The salad tastes fresh, and the amount of dressing is just right. The salad did not end up sitting in a bed of dressing. As for the tea, it’s minty (duh..).
My friend ordered the Poached eggs & smoked duck bowl. She said she always order this whenever she comes! I didn’t try it, but I guess it’s good. Otherwise she won’t get this every time. The portion is just right for ladies.
I was already full, but this Greek yogurt dessert was strongly recommended by my friend too! It has greek yogurt, Lover’s Lane honey, Other Brother olive oil, dates, walnuts, fresh mint, and Malden salt flakes. From the ingredients, you can tell that it’s a sweet and salty dessert. I loved it! The olive oil, honey, and sea salts are well-balanced. The mint refreshes your mouth after the meal. The dates and walnuts give the greek yogurt some crunchy textures.
Besides the tea services, they also have fresh eats such as sandwiches, salads, small bites…etc. Moreover, they have a lot of teas to choose, which makes it a perfect place to chill and relax, while enjoy the beautiful San Francisco views! The masala chai latte is also available here if you don’t have a chance to go to the Tea bar at the Mission. Not to mention the view is gorgeous.
Samovar Tea Lounge
730 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA
Tel: (415) 227-9400 (Reservation available)