A Fantastic Dining Experience at the Jasmine Tea House

Opened in September 2001 at the point of the outer neighborhood where Valencia Street and Mission Street meet, Jasmine Tea House is easy to overlook among the diversity of hand-painted signs for karate studios, grocers and storefront churches. However, the place is definitely worth a visit, known for its friendly service and delicious Chinese food. The graceful space of the restaurant is outfitted with a number of sophisticated details, from small embroidered purses to artful ceramic tea pots.

In the past few years the strip of Mission Street from Cortland to Cesar Chavez has witnessed the opening of several notable restaurants, like Emmy's Spaghetti Snack and Blue Plate among others. One of such places, Jasmine Tea House is known for professionalism and warmth offering its guests well-prepared Mandarin style Chinese food. Dim sum, pork buns, cold noodles and egg rolls plumped with diverse ingredients and crisp on the outside are available daily, while chef's specials feature sunflower chicken, with small pieces of meat fried with a tangy sauce and vegetables and served over spinach.

Vegetarians are offered a number of options as well, including dishes with such ingredients as mock duck and faux chicken. Beautiful serving and presentation accompanied by friendly professional service make Jasmine Tea House a neighborhood favorite. Visitors will definitely enjoy their meals in the elegant dining room with light pink walls and ornate cabinet filled with charming decorative teapots. The restaurant is a favorite place for local tea drinkers, who are offered to choose from 14 tea variations, covering everything from strong black to oolong tea.

An ideal choice for families and large groups of visitors, Jasmine Tea House offers combination dinners that come with soup or an egg roll, entrée and the side of mixed veggies. Lunch specials include large portions of roast duck, kung pao chicken and other standbys at quite affordable prices. Most dishes cost less than $10, though the quality is high. Available on the menu is a wide selection of options beyond chow mien and broccoli beef, with such specialties as braised eel and sautéed frog legs. Gourmets should definitely taste the sizzling beef, sliced thin and fried with zucchini and fresh snow peas and served with the garlicky sauce that intensifies the flavor.

Among other favorites in Jasmine Tea House is the basil ostrich, tossed with bell peppers and strips of onion in a gingery sauce, so that you get really succulent meat. The Shanghai fillet is wonderful as well, with the flounder deep-fried and topped with a tangy sauce and pine nuts. In Chinese melon soup and shredded duck the poultry contrast with the crunchy vegetables in an extremely delicious homemade broth. Popular with many visitors are vegetable pot-stickers that are crisp and light, just as you expect them to be. For desert consider the ice-cream-filled mochi, served with sliced oranges.

One of the Jasmine Tea House's highlights, Jasmine Pearl Tea is one of the finest Chinese jasmine teas enjoyed immense popularity all over the world. It is so exclusive due to the scenting process, tea used as its base and care taken afterwards. The tea is hand-rolled into the pearl shape, which gives it its name. While a typical grade of jasmine tea implies scenting with jasmine petals only once, in Jasmine Pearl Tea the leaves are scented at least seven times in order to give the tea its strong Jasmine aroma.

Used as the base of the Pearl Jasmine is the green tea of young green tea leaves, grown on tea plantations of China.

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