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“Good food, small restaurant, popular”

Spice Island Tea House
Ranked #6 of 38 Coffee & Tea in Pittsburgh
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch
Neighborhood: Central Oakland
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good food, small restaurant, popular”
Reviewed November 2, 2013

Busy on a friday night, service was good enough, but the food was great. It is a gem in a college campus saturated with food options.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Spartan121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best Food in the City”
Reviewed October 26, 2013 via mobile

Don't judge this book by its cover. From the outside the restaurant is a bit deceptive; however once you are seated you will know what I am talking about. The food is fantastic! Everything that I have ordered from the Java Fried Rice to the Penang Chicken to everything in between was terrific. I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.

Visited October 2013
Thank Sarah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“great asian fusion food”
Reviewed October 16, 2013

From the outside, the restaurant doesn't even look like it wants customers. There are tall plants inside the restaurant, blocking the windows, there are posters and stickers stuck all over the door and window, and every single source of outside light is kept out in the inside. The sign of the restaurant is also faded that you basically have to squint to read the title. My friend brought me to this restaurant the first time and she basically walked past it missed it, because it was so well hidden. From the outside, you cannot see the inside of the restaurant. The lights are very dim in the inside too, very hard to see things.
The waiters are very nice, kind, and courteous. They do not push you to hurry even during the busy hours. They constantly keep in check with how things are doing, refilling your drinks, answering questions.
The first time I came, I had the Pad Thai. It is good and tasty, but not Pad Thai. It was more sour than original Pad Thai and was missing several key ingredients too, like chopped peanuts. This restaurant is supposedly a South Eastern Asian restaurant, but after coming here twice, I would like to call it an Asian Fusion restaurant. It's sort of like P.E. Chang's. Not real asian food, but food with an asian modern twist. The second time I came, I had the curry chicken. I loved the coconut rice and the chicken, plus the extra flat bread, but the curry was not spicy (but it may be that I'm an avid spicy-eater, so "spicy" may mean something else). All in all, the food is tasty, but don't expect it to be authentic.
The portions are actually big, but not super big, the rice and noodles seem to come in big sizes. The prices are great, hence why so many college students visit it.
The decorations of the place are like a rustic and hippy feel. There are small colorful decorations on the wall, small wooden tables with mismatching chairs. The place is small, so don't be surprised if you eat very close to a stranger.
I would recommend this place to someone looking for a tasty and inexpensive meal. :)

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Pandokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good for where it is...”
Reviewed October 2, 2013

I love SE Asian food having travelled to the region quite frequently. The food at Spice Island was good for Western standard. I had the beef rendang which lacked the spices typical for this Malaysia or Indonesia dish where it originated. The special some type of African stew was quite bland and forgettable. The Burmese cake for dessert was quite nice. Overall it is one of the better SE Asian restaurant around the region.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AmuseBouches
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“From excellent to terrible....”
Reviewed September 30, 2013 via mobile

I was visiting Pittsburgh and was excited to try this place again. I remember loving it, but that was years ago.
Ginger salad--overdressed.
Hot and sour soup reeked and tasted like nether regions.
Shrimp satay--cold and overlooked so badly I could hardly get it off the stick.
The best part of the entree was the tastes coconut jasmine rice.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bojap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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