Review: Palette Tea House.

By far one of my favorite foods in the world is dim sum. There’s something magical about these delicious morsels that come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors.

When I heard about a new modern dim sum establishment opening up in Ghirardelli Square, I was a bit hesitant as I’m a traditionalist when it comes to dumplings. However, after seeing positive reviews, I was eager to try the restaurant and came with an open mind. Palette Tea House took over chef Jonathan Waxman’s restaurant, Waxman’s Restaurant, and the space is quite large which seems fitting for a Chinese restaurant.

You won’t find carts roaming around here like at other dim sum restaurants but you’ll receive a menu slip where you check off items that you want. Be warned that the dinner menu, while still large, does not have some crowded pleasers such as various baos and lotus wrapped abalone sticky rice (both dishes I wanted to try).

Dishes come out as they’re ready but typically dumplings do come out prior to larger plates.

Various Sauces.

Sichuan Seafood Dumplings (8.5/10).

Sizzling Peking Pork Dumplings (8/10).

Typhoon Ha Gow (8.5/10).

Vegetable Dumplings (Didn’t Try Since It Had Mushrooms).

Out of all the dumplings, my favorites were the Sichuan seafood dumpling and the typhoon crispy ha gow. The Sichuan seafood dumplings had the right amount of heat without being overbearing. The typhoon ha gow was a fun take on a classic shrimp dumpling with its super crispy exterior.

Rainbow Prawn Rice Crepe (6/10).

I’d say the rainbow prawn rice crepe was the weakest dish because it lacked flavor and easily fell apart.

“Honey Walnut Shrimp” Balls (8/10).

Definitely an innovative take on classic walnut shrimp and it actually worked. The outside was light and crunchy with a moist and piping hot center. The kaffir lime added a strange but pleasant touch.

Lamb Chops (8/10).

The lamb chops were a special that day and surprisingly were really tasty. Supple meat and tons of incredible charred flavor.

Octopus (Didn’t Try).

While I didn’t try this dish, others commented that the octopus needed to be more tender and lacked that char flavor.

Iberico Cha Siu (8/10).

The iberico cha siu was tender and had a sticky sweet glaze on top, a must get for sure.

Sautéed Pea Tendrils (8/10).

Simple yet delicious and heavenly seasoned with garlic. A great way to get some greens in.

We tried two types of noodles, both great but the dan dan noodles reigned supreme. Something about the rice noodles tossed with that heavenly creamy cashew sauce with thinly sliced vegetables on top was just a killer combination. The Sichuan pepper did have that mouth tingling numbing sensation but it has almost an addictive quality.

Wagyu Chow Fun (7.5/10).

Dan Dan Noodles (9/10).

I’m glad I tried Palette Tea House for it’s eclectic and innovative creations on dim sum. While I still prefer classic dim sum, I think it’s a fun place to dine so my rating is a 7.5-8/10.

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