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“Wasn't Seated After Several Minutes”

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Ranked #1 of 19 Coffee & Tea in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is nestled against the Rocky Mountain Foothills in Boulder Colorado. Sitting alongside Boulder Creek in Central Park, the Teahouse is considered one of Boulder's most attractive and popular tourist attractions, as well as being a local favorite for great food, tea, and atmosphere. Completely built by hand without the use of any power tools, the Teahouse was constructed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan as a gift to their sister city, Boulder. It was disassembled, crated up, and sent halfway around the world to be rebuilt in Boulder as a symbol of friendship and cultural exploration. The elaborate and creative teahouse now sits as a reminder to the citizens of Boulder to value cultural diversity, global cooperation, and international friendship.
New England
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Wasn't Seated After Several Minutes”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

The afternoon I arrived I happened to be dining solo, and upon entering, noticed that it wasn't that busy, although there was a party ahead of me waiting to be seated. As I was waiting, a woman ahead of me became consternated as apparently they didn't have the reservation her husband made. Immediately as I saw the terse, frustrated expression developing on the brow of this woman, and the panicked, fearful expressions developing on the waitstaff and host, I wondered whether I, by my lonesome, would ever get acknowledged to be seated. Apparently the answer was "never". Now the host, waitress, and the manager were all gratuitously patronizing this woman because they lost her husbands reservation. Meanwhile I'm still standing there being ignored.

Finally after their business was sorted out I was able to get the attention of the waitstaff (the host was not present), and I asked to be seated by the river, outside (as it was sweltering inside even with the ceiling fans going). She asked how many in my party, to which I responded, "one". Although my response was in the same tone as my question, for some reason it was not heard and she asked me to repeat myself. "One" I repeated, slightly louder, and "is it okay to sit outside?" She said she would check, and disappeared (in the opposite direction of "outside"). When she returned shortly thereafter, the manager immediately engaged her about the incident and they and the hostess began discussing what went wrong with the woman's reservation, again, ignoring me standing right behind them. To try hinting at the fact that I was still present and interested in having something to eat (probably 10 minutes after I first entered), I said to the manager sarcastically, "it was my fault. I distracted her so blame me," hoping they would realize that the problem was useless to begin with but by this point was certainly averted.

Nope, they went right back to questioning the reservation, etc., and the waitress eventually walked away again. In any event, I walked outside and looked at the outdoor seating area, and it was still completely open. Wasn't sure whether they were saving tables for larger parties or what, but I didn't appreciate being completely ignored. If they didn't want my business they would've saved me a lot of time wasted standing around like a dummy by just saying so at the beginning. Perhaps they were too flustered by a simple mishap to remember how to seat a customer? In the end I walked away, not wanting to hide my anger any longer. In fact the menu wasn't anything special and what I could see of the the decor from the front entry, felt far removed from a real Central Asian tea house. A very, very, gentrified Central Asian tea house, perhaps, but I was mostly interested in an authentic experience, which Dushanbe is not.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank think3mm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,212 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Evanston, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
“Wow!”
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Two things stand out here - one, the Dushanbe Teahouse itself, which is just beautiful. Another reviewer called it "unique". I would agree with that. I would add, exotic.

Second, we had what was called a Blooming Tea, which is a beautiful concoction of a flower in the bottom of a wine glass, which opens as the tea seeps around it. Fascinating to watch the flower unfold in the glass, something I have never seen before (the tea was great too!)

I would suggest going just for the experience (although they do serve light meals as well). Give yourself an hour, order a Blooming Tea and sit either inside or out to take in the beauty of this little gem in the heart of Boulder,

Helpful?
Thank wendy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Glad We Visited!”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

We visited the teahouse on a Saturday during lunch time and were not surprised that we had a 20-minute wait. We had excellent service and were provided with menus (including a tea menu) immediately. My mother had the Russian Beet salad & I tried the Mediterranean salad and both were excellent. The building is intricate, beautiful and has a wonderful story! Be prepared for a noisy atmosphere (at least on a Saturday at lunch) - it was difficult to hear my mom across the table from me. We would definitely try this restaurant again, but might try a different day & time.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Moclips57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Refreshing!”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

The decor of the teahouse is amazing. The carved and painted wood on the ceilings--all made by hand in Tajikistan--is so bright and interesting. There are wooden columns inside with beautiful carvings. What we enjoyed most was the garden outside. We took two iced teas to go, and sat outside in the garden. We could see a colorful tile panel (also made in Tajikistan.) It was a lovely experience.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank EmmiePool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“A disappointment”
Reviewed July 7, 2013

I visited the Dushanbe Teahouse in June. My daughter and I love going to afternoon tea and have actually been to many across the U.S and a few internationally. I discovered Dushanbe through a tea book I have which lists some of the "best" teahouses in North America. I was very excited to visit Dushanbe based on what I had read in the book and reviews. Sadly, I was disappointed. I really wanted to write a good review, but our visit was very much average. I will start with the food selection for afternoon tea. Typically a variety of desserts, sandwiches, and fruit is displayed beautifully on a three tier dish. The desserts were tasty, but limited to only cakes. The only fruit was grapes and only a few of them. The sandwiches were terrible. Normally during afternoon tea 4 different types of sandwiches are served. Such as a couple of vegetarian, cucumber, egg salad, or cheese, possibly a quiche and one or two with meat such as chicken.

A friend of mine had also joined us for tea, she is vegetarian so I expected we would have a few more vegetarian sandwiches, but every single sandwich we were served was vegetarian. That might have been okay if they were good or if we had several different types. We had 2 types, cucumber with some spread and tomato with mozzarella and basil. They were extremely bland!! Zero taste. I asked if this was typical of them to offer and the waitress said, "yes" apparently they do not normally serve other types of sandwiches. Honestly, I have a hard time believing this. However, if its true that is very sad.

Also when we arrived we weren't given a tea menu. On the table there was a small tea list with about 4 teas listed. Above the bar their were many containers of tea, so I assumed the waitress would come over with a tea menu. I was wrong she did not.

The hostess was friendly and sat us right away. Once our waitress came the service went downhill, the service was terrible. First she didn't smile once. Anytime we asked her a question she looked at us if she was annoyed. I wasn't sure if I was the only one thinking this so I asked my friend what she thought, she felt the same way. At one point she disappeared and we had to ask someone else for help.

Also when we arrived we weren't given a tea menu. On the table there was a small tea list with about 4 teas listed. Above the bar their were many containers of tea, so I assumed the waitress would come over with a tea menu. I was wrong, she did not. I sat there for a while waiting and finally asked her if they had more teas to choose from. She nodded and said yes, but didn't offer to bring the menu. So I asked her to please bring me the menu. She was just terrible!

The only positive was the building. It was stunning! I was happy to see this was true to what I had read.

My friend that I had tea with lives in Colorado and has been there for dinner. She says dinner is really good, but she agreed that afternoon tea was not. It really is a shame I was very much looking forward to a lovely afternoon tea.

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is a beautiful place, but it should not be listed as a top afternoon tea destination.

If your thinking of going make a reservation.

If I'm ever in Boulder again I might go back for dinner with the hope that I can write a good review, but I don't expect to be back anytime soon.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Lizzy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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