Palette Tea House

4.5
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45 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Dim Sum
Palette Tea House 彩籠 is located at the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach, inside of Ghirardelli Square. Founded by the family of Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux, Palette Tea House introduces a new approach to dim sum, seafood, and specialized Cantonese cooking. Palette combines modern ingredients and a local atmosphere, yet remaining familiarly authentic.

The first Koi Palace was opened in 1996 by the Ng family, who immigrated to San Francisco from Hong Kong. Influenced by their hometown's bustling seafood port, “Lei Yu Mun”, the Ng’s hoped to share the experience of “yum cha” (the Chinese’s tradition of a tea gathering) with the Bay Area. Over 20 years later, their vision stays the same as Palette aspires to build on the tradition of “yum cha."

Palette features a main dining room, an enclosed patio, a quick-serve area for those on the go, and a full bar with a cocktail program cultivated by the award-winning Carlos Yturria. Come give us a visit!

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What 45 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JD
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place never disappoints. Service was wonderful. The manager checks in on you to ensure all is good. The food was impeccable. Just overall a great experience.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience! The food was fresh and hot and tasted amazing. Everything was high quality and presented beautifully. Great value!

S
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it. Amazing food and lovely ambiance.

BP
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Great food! Nice cocktails but they take forever for you to get them (they only had one bartender working for a super busy night). Service is also not super friendly or excited to be there unfortunately.

BA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food quality was great. The service was great. Even the owner stopped by at our table to check how food it was. Excellent service!

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was very good. Service was EXCELLENT.

T
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was fresh & colorful. The Lobster dumplings are so yummy.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very creative & delicious dim sum! Definitely “fancier” dim sum, but the flavors were delicious and the detail in everything from the teapots & candle-lit teapot holders, as well as the original dim sum options, was so well-done!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food was great, server could have been nicer but rest of staff was amazing

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Would go there again. We all had a very good time either friends.

AY
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Would definitely recommend. I gave a good for value, b/c it is not the cheapest especially for the portion sizes. Everything ordered was definitely tasty!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Beautiful restaurant overall
Just a bit surprised with the automatic service charge

SN
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

This was so disappointing on all fronts. Service was slow and not attentive. Food was really average once you got past the gimmick of a few ‘palette’ dishes with a difference. Was not enough to justify the high prices and the food was really average. Nothing stood out and noting was overly bad. Just a blah experience. Hospitality is included in the check already so be careful unless you feel like tipping more which we didn’t.

OT
Raleigh
15 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

We have been here a few times and there were some definite changes. First, our XLB were served to us sitting in a pool of water. We thought the soup leaked but it was definitely watery. The flavor was watered down. Then they changed the menu and some of the new options are not good. There is a lychee chicken that is too sweet and our favorite noodles are gone. It was disappointing but the service was good.

ES
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Wonderful food and service love this place this is our second time and it’s was great both times

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience4

Worst dining experience I’ve ever had. Forgot our order several times and did not care that they messed up several times.

Will not be going back.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall, it was great!

ED
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been to Palette Tea House about 5 times over the last 4 months. A BE BACK for us when we are in San Francisco. It is so easy to get there in an Uber or even to park at the garage at Ghirelli Square. Dim Sum all day? Rare. And the quality of the food is over the top. The bartenders make fabulous drinks. The wines by the glass could use some additions, but overall the beverage choices are wonderful. We can't say enough about the food. The specials are a treat: last time I had Peking Duck and it was so wonderful with the pancakes being so thin and lots of condiments. Also, we had Orange Chicken with Lychee. Then there is the dim sum offerings. Not on a cart....but cooked to order. Selection through a wonderful picture menu and lots of help from staff. This is OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT in San Francisco.

RS
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The cuisine was exceptionally wonderful !! I highly recommend dining there.

GL
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The food and service were excellent as usual. I am a repeat customer and will return in the future.

The only glitch that occurred was when one of my party of three and I showed up on time, but my third person was an hour and a half late.
She had an emergency which I had no control over. I explained the situation to the staff and kept them updated on her status at intervals.

After about 45 minutes of sitting at the table waiting for her before ordering, I received a message from you that I was a no show!

I don't know who determines that, but I had to go to the check-in staff and get it straightened out, so I would not be dinged for something I did not do. It was a most unpleasant experience.

SR
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous experience. Have already recommended to friends

SA
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A very pleasant surprise, and we came back on a second visit after the first experience. Would come again.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall2food5service1ambience4

Rating is purely brought down by poor service. First of all, I rarely write reviews because I have worked in fine dining and I understand I can be tough, but we felt like the experience was not nearly what we were expecting. My Wife and I had a reservation at 5:30 and were promptly seated as one of the first few tables for dinner service. We were sat in a corner and with them just starting to get busy there was tables being sat all around us we waited at least 10 minutes to be greated with waters, but it wasn't our server and he graciously explained how to order. 5 minutes later our server showed up and took our drink order, he recommended a draft which I ended up ordering. 10 to 15 minutes go by and no drinks, I asked again once he collected our order and he said they should be right out. My Wife's comes our shortly and my beer was wrong so, long story short ended up getting my drink around 610. I also had to remind our server of our Tea we ordered. I am not sure if the order timing is by design, but we received one entree and then 7 minutes later our XLB and skewer. Finally my short rib daikon and bone marrow came. I asked the man delivering it about the bone marrow and he said that it was the "new" dish and that it should have been explained that it was no longer included. This was disappointing to me because I have never tried marrow before and that was the main reason I was ordering that dish which I told him. The price was also raised.

XLB 9/10 WAGYU Skewer 7/10 wagyu chow fun 9/10 jade green tea 10/10 was very aromatic and I don't think I have ever had such a nice tea.

SF
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was my second visit to Palette for lunch. This was a holiday week so it was packed. We had to wait a bit for our reserved table, but, after that, everything went smoothly. The food was fresh and delicious; we had sauteed mushrooms, vegetable fried rice, vegetable noodles, shrimp noodles, pork buns, the best pea shoots that I have ever had, tender stir-fried Wagyu beef, special pumpkin and duck dumplings...every one a standout. The only disappointments were the chicken/mushroom sui mai (dull) and the pork soup dumplings (Yank Sing’s rendition is much better). But all in all, a great birthday lunch. $168 for 4 adults and 2 small children, gratuity included, one drink, so not terrible

OT
Dallas
8 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience with our team from work. We were seated promptly and the server was taking drink orders right away. The food came out in courses and everything we had was wonderful! Great selection of drinks, too!

OT
London
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great food attentive service.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

They ran out of corn fritters

NQ
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For a special dim sum experience, I highly recommend Palette Tea House. Food was exceptional, with a twist on traditional dim sum.

b
San Francisco
163 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite new dim sum house! Beautiful ambiance; creative slant on familiar dishes; love having 6 different dipping sauces; attentive, sweet service; and excellent value. Can't wait to go back and try more things on the menu!

LS
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service is always wonderful and the food uniformly good and interesting. I was with my grandson, who wants to be a chef and zizi showed him how things are managed at the restaurant. It was wonderful. I go often and am always delighted ( and always get extra food so I can take some home).

C
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Really great food! Will definitely come back! The green beans ended up being the crowd favorite. Loved the soup dumplings and fried rice too. The 5 different dipping sauces were awesome. The service was pretty slow to take orders and bring drinks. Once food was ordered it came out pretty quick! Also they were out of the wine we ordered and suggested we order another wine that was over $40 more expensive than the one we wanted ... we obviously didn’t want to do that so they suggested another white wine that’s “very popular” which was a totally different varietal than what we tried to order. We were able to find one that was close to the varietal we were looking for at a somewhat similar price point but I will say that I am used to the hospitality of offering the same varietal at the price of the bottle that is sold out.

R
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my cousin’s birthday and it was her first time to the restaurant. She absolutely loved it! (I knew she would!)

L
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best dim sum and Asian food we’ve ever been had. We usually avoid touristy areas but we’ll be returning here regularly. Everything was perfectly cooked and elegantly presented, the chefs showing exquisite care of highest quality ingredients and novel combinations. High concept Asian in an attractive modern space with relaxed but impeccable service. We enjoyed roast duck crispy and succulent, the tenderest grilled octopus ever, pea shoots fresh and garlicky, luscious fried Kobe beef rice and unusual delicious appetizers.

RS
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious: Exceptionally good Chinese food

OT
Sweden
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very tasty Dim Sum dinner and a great help from our waiter Omar who guides us through the dinner.

If you’re looking for a nice Dim Sum dinner combined with nice location, great service and prices that doesn’t kill you. This is the spot!

n
Western NC
38 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great food experience. I'm not a fan of taking my own order. I understand that it is more efficient for the restaurant however I feel it lessens the overall experience. Service otherwise was friendly and fast.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

No where says their kitchen closes at 3pm. We arrived at 2:45pm and was told we missed the last call and they only serve bar food. Disappointed

MM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect

DM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal in lovely spot served by attentive staff.

L
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

This is a great dim sum place. Pricy, but hey, atmosphere. Service was brisk. Dipping sauces were brought to the table a bit late, so we were missing some interesting taste contrasts. The kitchen last call was a surprise, but it was a Tuesday night.