Prince Tea House is open in Virginia Beach. The fusion dessert spot was worth the wait. – The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH – More than once I’ve passed the Prince Tea site while it was still under construction, disappointed that it hasn’t opened yet.

Then I got the email from co-owner Jason Jiang saying it opened in May.

The Prince Tea House – sorry, no connection to the singer – is an Asian-European fusion dessert, brunch and afternoon tea in Virginia Beach. The space was gorgeous and perfect for my inner queen. Sunlight illuminated creamcolorful dining room; I sat at a cabin with blue cushions, a light color wooden table and two French dining chairs. Transparent lanterns hung from the ceiling, giving the area a Japanese vibe.

The afternoon tea option was not yet available, but I created my own from the long list of entrees such as crispy salted chicken, sandwiches, salads, desserts and hot and cold tea drinks. I selected the mix and match combo trio under the dessert section. Jiang suggested I pair it with Rose Lover Milk Tea (hot). I was hesitant as rose flavors tend to give me a dry kick. I went anyway and loved the creamy sweet drink with its subtle floral notes and black tea finish. The pastries made me feel like I was eating in a Parisian cafe. I created a French tune in my head and devoured the puff pastry with strawberry ice cream. I nibbled the airy chocolate éclair carefully as I didn’t want the filling to ooze down the sides. Then I laughed at myself for thinking it wouldn’t. I considered saving one of the fluffy green tea financiers (French tea cake) for the next day. However, the attraction was too strong. The dense and slightly sweet muffin did not come home.

I lay down and enjoyed the alone time. I imagined myself spending evenings at Prince’s with my “taste buds” (foodie friends), wearing our wide-brimmed hats and frilly dresses.

My husband, Curtis, joined me for dinner on my next visit. I ordered afternoon tea for two (tea for one and tea for three were also available). Curtis relied on me for the selections. I had the rose lover milk tea and the tropical garden again. We sipped them until the three-tier serving tray arrived. I got into jazz. I looked at the appetizing treats, contemplating which to consume first. We started at the bottom and worked our way up.

I ate the wasabi stuffed egg; I felt little to no heat from the spice. The open sandwiches were on par. Had to tell the owner about it, especially the avocado smoked salmon. The combination of flavors was a tasty bite. Curtis preferred the crabmeat with the garlic aioli. I also liked the simplicity and lightness of the cucumbers with tzatziki and the pastrami with Swiss cheese. They were equally delicious.

The star of afternoon tea – the scones – sat alone on a tier with an accompaniment of condiments. The outside was too golden for my taste. I cut it lengthwise to reveal a soft interior that wasn’t overcooked, though. I slathered it in clotted cream and then jam (the order was debated among the Brits as much as ‘does sugar belong in the oatmeal’ among the Americans). I inadvertently smacked my lips and hoped the couple next to us hadn’t noticed. I covered my mouth with a towel to finish chewing the rest.

The assortment of mini desserts added a delicious finish. The melted chocolate cake oozed out when I dug into it with a spoon. I took a moment to savor the flavor. I wish the cake had been served in a different container, though. The paper cup did not match the restaurant’s fine china aesthetic. I forgot about that after indulging in the green tea thousand pancake cake. It dissolved in my mouth, giving me velvety herbal notes. I remembered seeing a whole cake on the menu and made a mental note. Finally, I admired the tiny pieces of strawberry and mango on the fruit tartlet. The colors made me smile; the freshness conquered me.

Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore, Jiang insisted that we try salted crispy chicken – a popular Taiwanese street food. The thin strips made it easy to pick them up with our fingers, and they had enough salt to offset the sweetness of the desserts. I continued to eat the protein chew like it was popcorn. I was already thinking about how many balls I needed for the football season. Later I learned by trial and error how to reheat the chicken in the air fryer at 400 degrees for three minutes. It helped maintain its texture.

Let's eat

Let’s eat

Weekly

We serve weekly restaurant reviews and news on the local culinary scene.

Rekaya Gibson, 757-295-8809, rekaya.gibson@virginiamedia.com; on Twitter @gibsonrekaya

___

The place: Prince Tea House, 3244 Holland Road, Virginia Beach

Hours: noon to 10 p.m. Sunday to Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday

Order this: Afternoon Tea, Salty Crispy Chicken and Rose Lovers Milk Tea

Prices: Afternoon tea, $28 to $78; other food and beverages, $2 to $16; whole cakes, $80 to $95

Contact: tinyurl.com/princeteahouse757-301-8829

Comments are closed.