Since Ron was going to work all day, I thought I’d go to have high tea with some girlfriends. Vicki and Kat both came out in the pouring rain to try out Samovar Tea Lounge. I’ve been with Vicki to Secret Garden Tea House and have been wanting to try other tea houses in the city.
Samovar does not take reservations so we just arranged to meet there at 1:30pm. We were seated right away but it got pretty busy while we were waiting for Kat. We decided to try two of their tea services, the Russian and English tea service. At the bottom of the menu, it stated “please refrain from taking photos” so only took two photos with my phone… I didn’t want to pull out the big DSLR and get scolded…
The Russian tea service has a beet salad, seasame crackers, fish with horseradish sauce (nice and spicy), fresh fruits, and a deviled egg with caviar. The tea was prepared on the samovar near the kitchen and you had to get up to refill your tea but you could have as much as you wanted. I didn’t really enjoy the black tea, it was a bit too bitter for me and not as fragrant as I thought it would be.
The English tea service had a mushroom (or salmon) quiche with a baby green salad, a scone with jam and cream, and some fresh fruits. The tea was very traditional in flavor, I think a lighter red tea.
We also shared the ginger syrup waffles also served with fresh fruits (sorry no photo).
I don’t think any of us will be going back to Samovar though. It was an interesting experience and very different than the traditional English tea. The music in the background were chants, traditional Chinese, and other languages… so a bit strange. It’s also a bit touristy in this location but they do have a nice outdoor space so if it wasn’t raining, it would be a nice place to enjoy a pot of freshly brewed tea but the food didn’t wow me.
We’re going to try to make this a monthly excursion to try other tea or brunch places in the city… next is probably Lovejoy’s Tea Room in Noe Valley…
Samovar Tea Lounge
730 Howard Street (between 3rd and 4th Street)
Upper Terrace of Yerba Buena Gardens