Long Island is full of restaurants where American chefs play with Asian flavors. At Royal Tea House, the chef is Chinese and cooks a menu of eclectic Western fusion dishes.
Royal Tea House opened last week in Great Neck, at the corner of Great Neck and Middle Neck roads, where the hair salon Cion & Company stood for many years. It also serves an extensive selection of teas.
The space has been completely overhauled, the walls covered with white wainscoting and William Morris-style floral wallpaper, the velvet chairs and banquettes upholstered in shades of spruce and aqua. The atmosphere of retro gentility is heightened by the strains of a Nordstrom-esque piano.
Dinner starters include pan-seared seafood cake with black-eyed pea salsa ($10) and kale salad with grilled chicken and toasted coconut ($7). Among mains, angus strip loin with tapenade butter and red-wine glaze ($24), crispy whiting with pine nuts and succotash ($20), and pan-seared duck breast with fennel and frisee salad, glazed apple and blueberry sauce ($22). At lunch, sandwiches include avocado and ricotta on wheat bread ($8).
The tea list is vast, comprising loose-leaf blacks, greens and herbal tisanes that are brewed to order. Hot tea is served in a china pot set over a flame to keep it warm; all selections are also available iced. You can also order a “milk tea,” a blend of tea and sweetened condensed milk, a specialty of Hong Kong. Prices range from $5.99 to $7.99 a pot.
Royal Tea House is the first of three restaurants scheduled to open in downtown Great Neck. We’re still waiting on New Fu Run (50 Middle Neck Rd.) and Saaho Village (69 Middle Neck Rd.).
Royal Tea House is at 1 Great Neck Rd., Great Neck; 516-472-0885, royalteahousenyc.com