Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I received a gift certificate to Teaism Restaurant for Christmas, so my good fortune has translated into another review!
Teaism has 3 locations in DC and I visited the one that is between Lafayette and Farragut Squares. I have actually been to the Teaism in the Penn Quarter and was not impressed with their afternoon tea. This may be because I was hoping for a traditional "English Tea" and was given an "Asian Tea". Being a self-proclaimed "tea snob" I am very particular about my tea. I wanted an English Breakfast Tea with scones and clotted cream, but instead received green tea with wasabi sandwiches and ginger cookies.
So with this Asian-influence in mind, I headed to Teaism for lunch. Of course before venturing out in the cold DC weather, I first checked online to see Teaism's lunch menu. It is a fairly concise menu with your typical bento boxes and your not-so-typical portobello and goat cheese sandwich or veggie burger. I chose a pot of Dragon Well green tea and the Tuna Bento Box, which includes "rare tuna & wasabi sauce, sweet potatoes & miso sauce, broccoli & brown rice".
Everything in the box, except the tuna which had little to no flavor, was delicious. The Wasabi sauce was supposed to enhance the tuna flavor, but it did not have the right balance. To quote Top Chef, I think it was lacking "acid" (usually a vinegar or citrus flavor). However, the sides were cooked perfectly. I think my lunch companion and I could have eaten a barrel full of the sweet potatoes with it's awesome miso glaze. I would love to get my hands on that recipe! Also, the brown rice was fluffy with just the right amount of sticky texture to it that shows they know how to cook brown rice properly. Notwithstanding the tuna, this was one of the better bento boxes I have had in the city.
Although, my eating companion said that her Chai tea was tasty, I would suggest sampling Teaism's green, white or oolong teas since they are stereotypically associated with Asian cuisine. This is a great chance to try a new and interesting tea. Most Americans really only drink black tea, or brew green tea improperly which causes it to be bitter. Teaism properly brews their tea, so it is the perfect opportunity to see how green, white, and oolong teas are supposed to taste. But again, I'm a biased tea-snob...so you should discover all that Teaism has to offer for yourself!
Rating (out of *****): ****
Price (out of $$$): $
Address: 800 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C., DC 20006