Place: Alice’s Tea Cup: Chapter III
Location: Upper East Side, 220 E. 81st St. (between 2nd Ave. & 3rd Ave.)
The scoop: Four of us were looking for a place to enjoy food and catch up. Alice’s Tea Cup has pretty much something for everyone, from the variety of food to the huge selection of tea. The tea selection is so overwhelming that they have a separate menu of pages and pages of different tea options. We were a little discouraged by the hour wait that we were quoted, but magically the hour wait turned to just a five-minute wait. In fact, I’ve read in several reviews that people have had a similar experience with the estimated wait time.
Marissa has been to the other two Alice Tea Cup locations and she said this location was the most low-key. With the exception of the tea and a couple of pictures on the wall, I thought the restaurant had more of a fairy theme than an Alice in Wonderland theme. One waiter was semi-dressed up wearing wings, and there were fairy outfits hanging on one wall. I didn’t really understand the fairy theme, but I guess it goes in line with Alice in Wonderland being a fairy tale.
We were seated at the back corner of the restaurant and it was pretty dark. The restaurant is small and is divided into two sections. One section has a large window which seemed to provide a decent amount of light to those brunching on that side.
Some theme restaurants may disappoint with food, however, this wasn’t the case at Alice’s. Our waiter provided good service, and we weren’t rushed. I inquired about the iced tea flavors and he was able to recite the many options and explain them without being confused. There were so many types of tea that I was lost halfway though his recitation.
Of course we had to have a tea party at Alice’s. Two of my friends ordered the three-cup pot of tea for $6, and it was enough to keep them satisfied as well as share with everyone else at the table.
Alice’s Tea / Our house blend of Indian black Vanilla tea with Japanese green tea and rose petals. Smooth and subtle
Kathy thought Alice’s tea had a strong taste, so she added sugar and asked for honey. The taste wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t impressed. I definitely preferred the chai tea over this one.
Chocolate Chai Tea
Sue ordered the chocolate chai tea, and I thought it was amazing and tasted like dessert. Both the chocolate and chai flavors were evident, but the chai flavor was a tad stronger than the chocolate.
High noon iced tea $3 / Hibiscus, rose, orange, rosehips, linden, strawberries and apple
The actual tea that was poured into the cup was hot, but it was chilled by ice cubes. With the variety of flavors, there wasn’t one in particular that was more prominent than the rest.
Chew on this: Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. I was the only person at the table who ordered from the brunch menu; everyone else ordered from the main menu since they wanted sandwiches and the brunch menu only consists of eggs and sweet dishes.
Smoked salmon and scones $15 / Poached eggs and smoked salmon nestled on a buttermilk scone and covered with rosemary hollandaise sauce. Served with a side of roasted asparagus and pears
Alice’s is known for their scones so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with eggs Benedict with scones. The scones were delicious on their own and also perfect for soaking up the egg yolk after I pricked the eggs. Also, the rosemary hollandaise sauce drizzled on the eggs added a subtle flavor. The salmon was good, the asparagus was fresh and the pears were perfectly sweet. I love when I order a dish that has variety, and in this case, I couldn’t have asked for more. After eating all my food, I was satisfied for hours without feeling grossly full.
Alice’s Scones $3.50 / One scone with raspberry preserves and homemade clotted cream
The scone was a decent size that two of my friends ended up splitting one. It was tasty without being overly sweet, and the mixture of the raspberry and cream made the scone even more enjoyable. The scone was the best part of my friends’ meal and they will definitely be back for more.
The final bite: Although I expected the atmosphere to be cuter, I had “a very merry happy unbirthday” with my brunch meal and chai tea. If you want to brunch with somebody who isn’t into eggs or sweets, Alice’s offers a lunch menu with a variety of sandwiches and salads so there is definitely something for everyone.
Reviewed by: Victoria