Here’s another post by Judy Ruminates. I like Judy’s stuff because she isn’t like me at all. I wouldn’t go to a tea house, I rarely wear dresses, I don’t order dessert and I don’t talk about my hubby. Hopefully a Ruminates review will be a bit refreshing. You know, I get bored quicker than anyone. So I figure if I’m still entertained, you will be too. And if not, well, at least I am. — Jeffrey Tastes
Radiance Tea House
Categories: Asian Fusion, Tea Rooms
Neighborhood: Theater District
158 W 55th St
(between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10019
Radiance is an elegantly appointed quietish tea cafe that also has good food. The cafe is on one side of the shop and a bookstore with tea ware is on the other side. Because of its hybrid nature, you may not want to take a first date here, unless the date is bookish, in which case, you may score extra points.
The tea menu is pretty long and fairly descriptive. Hubby chose a pot of aged cooked pu-ehr for the table, which is aged 8 years and then cooked to give the taste of a pu-ehr that’s been aged 40 years. According to our waiter, a real pu-ehr that’s been aged 40 years is VERY expensive. What we got was the poor man’s tricked-out aged pu-ehr. It was very good and not anything resembling the dirt water of our low-grade pu-ehr at home. It occurred to me that we’ve been buying the stinky homeless man’s version.
For dinner, we ordered a bunch of appetizers/snacks. The pork soup buns were tiny but satisfying in skin texture and juiciness.
The chicken and woodear mushroom dumplings were nicely crunchy inside and the sauce on the side made them even better.
Hubby got the home-made miso soup and said it was really good. He has a discerning miso-soup radar, so take that as a good sign. Our friend enjoyed her miso shrimp summer roll, which was a pretty large serving for a non-entree.
For dessert, we all shared steamed mochi off the special menu. If you know what mochi is, you’ve probably had it ice cream-style or fresh out of the fridge from a Japanese mart. The steamed version was just ok. It was made better by the coconut shavings that my friend referred to as coke because it came in a fine powder. I could make a joke here about my friend’s random drug references but she reads the blog and she would kill me.
Despite the high prices that others have complained about, I was impressed by the amount of time we were given to enjoy our meal and just chat. We were there for a good five hours and pretty much shut the place down for the night. Places like these are pretty rare in the city and are worth a little more in my book. — Judy Ruminates