Gen Sou En Tea House
Gen Sou En Tea House brings the rich cultural tradition of Japanese tea house dining to Boston. Walk through the door and you’ll be met with clean design and an attention to detail that defines omotenashi, the Japanese way of caring for guests. Our menu seamlessly blends traditional Japanese dishes with contemporary tea inspired entrees and an array of sake cocktails that will appeal to diverse palate.
We went to hear the live music (Alexi Tsiganov Trio). Was very happy with most of the food. Though some was a bit sweet and over cooked. But they took care right away and sent us perfectly cooked salmon.
The beef tataki was totally amazing as were the drinks, salads & desserts.
Food was great. Service was quite slow. I could not find my server around when I needed service. He was forgetful and kept asking me what I ordered. He had a notebook but seemed like he did not know the menu well.
My boyfriend and I went to Gen Sou En Teahouse as part of Boston restaurant week. We've only just found this place, but we love the ambiance. It doesn't look anything like an authentic Japanese tea house, but they somehow manage to feel like one.
Despite it being restaurant week, we didn't end up getting the special because we wanted to try the beef tataki appetizer, which wasn't included. It's slices of filet mignon on daikon slaw with crisp onion slivers. It's delicious and mild, and we loved how rare the beef was. We both had the black tea udon for dinner, which was delicious. It had a really rich, complex broth and perfectly cooked tofu. I had the matcha tiramisu for dessert, and my boyfriend had the chamomile creme brulee, which are both must-tries, in my opinion.
We sat in the tatami room, as we've been once before for lunch and were concerned it would get loud at dinnertime. The ambiance was fantastic and we were right that it was much quieter, but I have some knee problems and the tatami they chose is much harder than standard tatami.
All in all, a fantastic experience. Definitely a must-try. We intend to go back, but during off-peak hours and at a table.
Lovely Zen atmosphere, interesting food, would definitely recommend for a quiet lunch or a place to chill out.
A lovely spacious space with great food, a former Panera in Coolidge Corner. Great place for food before or after a movie at the Coolidge Corner Theater.
This is my second visit and I still think this is a wonderful cafe location, even on a gray and rainy day the space was bright and vibrant. Staff are courteous and was a pleasant visit.
Delicious healthy food with a really unique setting
Wonderful, interesting food in a charming environment. The jazz played was wonderful and low key.
Ameauter services and mediocre taste, not good
Gen Sou En is a welcome addition to food options in Coolidge Corner. The food is delicious and the space is large and comfortable. I highly recommend it as a place to eat before or after a movie, or just to meet friends.
Very unique and delicious authentic Japanese food.
Recommend private tea room, with sitting on the floor.
Decerts and matcha tea is must have.
Great food! Beautiful vibe! So happy to have this lovely tea house in Brookline.
The restaurant is not very ready yet. The service is really bad. We have been sitting at a table for 10 min without anyone comeing over to serve. Appetizers came after we finished the mains. My friend asked for a spoon twice and the waitress kept forgetting it. For the food, both the steak and salmon were overcooked but their sides are very good. Tempura is the best I ever had in America.
Would go back for dinner on a night they have live music playing. Wasn't overly impressed with the food. Had never had temaki before and it is much more difficult to eat than regular maki. The shape of it makes it difficult to handle and the distribution of flavors varies from bite to bite. Staff was lovely. Space is very nice. Entree of seared tuna was very good but didn't wow me. For dessert we had the Chamomile Creme Brulee - THAT WAS DELICIOUS!!
The decor is excellent and it is a very pretty, cozy place to get a cup of tea and read a book.
However, for a sit down dinner the service was hot garbage and the food was pedestrian.
Honestly, would give 6-stars if I could. Like, for real. Not only was the food outstanding, but this was definitely the single best service I’ve ever had at any restaurant, period.
First, we were impressed that our waitress (Alexis) told us exactly how long to expect for each dish, and then gave us occasional (but not too frequent) updates. Also, she was just generally so friendly with us and talked to us about each dish. The general manager (Ricardo) later checked in on how everything was going, and was also super kind and warm.
When we left, we waited a couple minutes to tell Ricardo just how great Alexis was as a waitress, and since he was all out of business cards ti give us, he shared a large shot of sake with each of us. I truly have never had such quality service in my life. Already planning to come back a second time!
Great ambiance, good food, reasonable price! Would recommend it!
I have been to Gen Sou En many times, the food is reasonably good but the services is always uneven. I made a reservation two weeks in advance and made arrangement for dog sitting, and was excited to have dinner there. There was only one server for the entire dinning room, which has more than 15 parties awaiting for their wait staff. Then, two of the main courses were not available. Drinks were not brought to our table until we reminded the server, when we already started the dinner. Our orders were brought to a different table, the dinner for the next table were brought to a different table. It was just a mess. Then, when we ordered the dessert, we were told that the item I wanted was not available. Our reservation was at 6pm, basically the first seating! It was a major disappointment. I don't think I will go back again. When the restaurant first opened, it did not have a lot of tables so it was nice a quiet. Now, they triple the number of tables so it is crowded and noisy! It is such a shame that they did not think it through when they made the changes. Very very disappointing evening.
Delicious and unique dishes and very vast sake and tea selection! Love the feel, but it seemed understaffed.
The food was excellent but service was slow. There seems to have been only one server at the time and she was rather inexperienced when it came to checking on the tables in a timely manner. Water was also not filled for the whole table when someone came around to do so.
This is a beautiful tea house and great place to meet a friend or partner for a tea/coffee/drink. I would not recommend having a full meal here however. I waited over an hour for my order, because the order was never put in. It was nice that it was on the house, but I would have preferred to have the order in on time. In addition, it was very difficult to catch the attention of staff to have water refilled, or plates taken away, or to get the bill. We had to sit for a LONG time with the dirty plates in front of us.
Beautiful space and one of the few places in the city to get a Japanese breakfast. It has salmon and soup and rice but it is a lot lighter than i think people assume. Was worth the drive for me and my family and very much so worth the calories. Especially the cafes souffle cheesecake.
Delicious food. Very fresh. I’d never had matcha prior to that evening and the server brought me some to try, which I appreciated. I’d definitely return
I like the take and go counter - coffee is very good and bakery/lunch options are very good.
As for newly added restaurant part - it's overpriced for quality of food (nicely presented but no has no flavor and pretty simple) and service is poor.
Based on a local review, I expected a small, intimate tea house setting. Instead, this is a hopping space with many open laptops and a very young vibe. The hostess disappeared for 5 minutes upon our arrival, and the wait staff person who came up to assist was downright hostile when I requested a quiet table. Food was very good, but the overall "program" could use some serious polishing.
don't eat there. tea / sweets ok but the kitchen is totally clueless and got forbid if they are busy you won't even get to try the food you order!
the food is very good and the service is attentive. It seems that they didn't figure out yet how to handle their success. By 6 :30 pm they ran out of some entrees and desert and there were no toilet paper in the bathroom.
Enjoyed Gen Sou quite a bit. Ordered several of the small dishes, matcha, other teas, and dessert. Service was consistently good and pleasant. Love the indoor garden atmosphere and spaciousness. Only complaint is that we wished they offered warm saki.
The dinner menu at this Tea House was a great find! We had the bronzino, salmon, tiger shrimp and tuna and all were outstanding. Very nice appetizers, tidy wine list, and full range of sakis.
What a great find! If you are a tea drinker this is a most go to place. The desserts were unbelievable and the selection of sake’s were amazing. They also had some great cocktails!
Comfortable seating, good tea selection, small plates were good, nice atmosphere.
Lovely setting but very overpriced and food bland with uninteresting flavors
The atmosphere in this restaurant is so relax and the tea was great. Tge food was really good as well. Our waiters were so nice and extremely accommodating
I had great hopes once they added the dining room option and the ability to make reservations. The service has improved little since they first opened, water glasses shouldn’t run dry. The menu looks great and the one appetizer we had, edamame three ways, was quite good but they didn’t bring the dish for the shells when they brought the dish. When the entrees arrived I was brought the wrong meal. The replacement came quickly, I hope they didn’t just swap them off the wrong tables. My beef tenderloin was good and cooked as I requested, however the accompanying sides and garnishes were not. My friend ordered a katsu dish and it was sooo greasy as to be inedible and best described as unctuous. When we paid our credit card were gone for a concerning length of time. Oh well
Food was delicious and service was great, very attentive without being intrusive. The only thing was it was a little disconcerting that the casual Cafe and formal dining area weren't really separated, but I think that's because it's a new concept I'm not used to. All in all, it was a good experience.
Apps took 45 mins to arrive, even though we were the only table on the restaurant side. Food was okay but overpriced. Cafe side also was slow with takeout cake slice and drink. Service definitely needs to improve here.
Great for tea, but the restaurant was an unpleasant experience.
We really enjoyed the zen atmosphere, the friendly service, and the beautifully crafted furniture. The food was good. The tiramisu with matcha and sake was delicious.
A beautiful space with great food ,wonderful specialty teas, and amazing deserts
While the price tag is substantial it may well be worth it.