Imperial Tea Court - Berkeley (4 reviews)
Large menu of traditional Chinese fare that goes well with the tea offerings. My favorite was a special shrimp dumpling prepared with tea. I appreciate being offered a gaiwan service.
excellent knowledge of specific Chinese teas. Great dumplings, nice view, quiet too.
This quickly became my favorite spot for a light lunch and tea. The ambiance is soothing and reminiscent of those teahouses in Chinese movies, right before the blood and guts scenes. Several visits after the first, we asked the manager why there wasn't more seating, as the food was incredible. His response was that they wanted to encourage tea drinking, and not push the food(?) Anyway, the next time we brought some friends with us, but we were all sorely disappointed with both the food and the service. The food tasted as if it was left over from the day before; the hand-made noodles which were previous long and chewy, were about one-inch long and hard. The server dropped a napkin on the floor and proceeded to set our table with it! Maybe we came on a (very) bad day, but I won't be coming here anymore, which makes me really sad, because these visits used to fill me with much contentment in the past.
Nice space with a good tea selection and attentive if relaxed service. Tasty reasonably priced lunch items including handmade noodles and dumplings. Worth a visit, perhaps not best if you're in a hurry, but then that's not the way to enjoy your tea. The outdoor garden is nice weather permitting.