Samovar came highly recommended by my local mate- who cautioned us that the success of the establishment has lead to it doubling it's prices.
After playing around in Delores Park on the swings and slide we scampered up to Castro and Samovar. Seated speedily, with the afternoon light gently streaming in our seats, i found it very relaxing.
The shocker was the prices!. I live in Perth which is the most expensive city in the Southern Hemisphere. However, $10 for a pot of tea is a bit "rich" if you pardon the pun. Also, the menu states that each person MUST order at least one item. Which to me, does not make sense as a pot of tea can be shared between 2 people. So, economically it does not make sense. It would make more sense that if one pot can give you 4 cups why not let people share so they can finish sooner and you can have faster turnover of clients?.
Plus, the tea is pretty much not as nice as Bewley's in Dublin. We had the masala chai which had too much of a strong top note of cinnamon- not necessary, hardly tasting the star anise. The scone was okay but not light and airy. The cream accompaniment was good.
Overall, i can see why it is a hit with the wealthier Castro and hipsters in Mission but it's not as special as you think. We chalked it up as an experience of an American Tea House and enjoyed the company of a mate i had not seen for years.
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