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“Gem in the Rough”

Spice Island Tea House
Ranked #6 of 38 Coffee & Tea in Pittsburgh
Price range: US$1 - US$20
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch
Neighbourhood: Central Oakland
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Gem in the Rough”
Reviewed 26 March 2014

The outside appearance of Spice Island Tea House may turn some folks away, and if so they have missed out on a pure gem of a restaurant. A mix of Pan-Asian dishes that are off-the-charts great. The place is always full of diners - which should tell you something right away. Inexpensive and a pure delight.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank A C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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92 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    42
    39
    8
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
189 reviews
114 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“charming and tasty little gem”
Reviewed 9 February 2014

charming and funky little place with a great tea list and delicious food. service was good and prompt, and the staff seemed happy to answer questions about the menu. my pad thai was delicious, and my husband thoroughly enjoyed his mango pork curry. their dining room is small, and can be crowded for dinner. dining early can help avoid the crowds.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MSC73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nothing special”
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We got take out the other day. An appetizer of Chicken Satay (2 skewers with peanut sauce $5.00). Have had better. Grill marks look like they were made with a hot iron and chicken was hard where the iron pressed into the flesh.

The Ever Famous Pad Thai $10.00, was too oily and had a pinkish hue. It came with chicken and shrimp. The chicken was okay. The shrimp (you get 7 inch size shrimp) had veins in 4 out of 7 pieces. I had a lean cuisine with shrimp the same size and not one had a vein. The shrimp should be at least medium size. They look like the ones that are canned and it is a sin for a restaurant to serve them with the veins. Gross!!!

We also ordered the coconut jasmine rice as a side. It came with 5 slivers of toasted coconut on top. Just ok. Had a sour coconut flavor.

This place got great reviews for the most part. My expectations were high. Sadly, I am disappoint.

Oh, when I phoned in the order, the lady who answered didn't speak english well and I had a hard time understanding her. Perhaps they should let the americans they hire to answer their phones for better communications. The dining room was small but twice as big as Nicky's thai on the north side.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Josephine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Unique!”
Reviewed 16 January 2014

Like having a meal in a foreign country! I was a little put off by the rustic decorations and setting but I noticed how busy the restaurant was. I'm SO GLAD we tried it. Food very good and fresh. I highly recommend this restaurant for a nice change of pace and good food!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank karyn2323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fleetwood, PA
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“unusual menu, good location”
Reviewed 23 December 2013

Would never have found this place, nor gone inside, without Tripadvisor recommendations. Glad we did. Adventurous menu with some delicious offerings. The focus is on the food, not the decor.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank zoldiegoldie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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