Xihu Tiandi has finally come of age, so much so that an extension is planned right across the street. The area has taken a good three to four years to catch on. How many times have you walked by this place and wondered what went on in there? From the name you can guess that they've got tea and wine. Which is true. They serve up the hot stuff in those pretentious little teapots, so you can tell they take their tea very seriously. The list is long, and prices start at 30RMB. The wine is a different story. You would think that since this is a Wine Chapter, they would have a wide variety. But, they've only got one label, lots of kinds from that label, though. Montes is the name. From what we've heard, it's a pretty good Chilean wine. However, we didn't see one bottle uncorked. If you're looking for a little peace with your cha, it's best to come here in the afternoon because while it isn't a big place, there are lots of tables, which means it can get pretty noisy in the evening and at night. We were there for a late dinner and were the only diners (it was nine after all). Most were enjoying their friends over some tea. Lots of energy. Lots of action, and despite the numbers, the servers did a great job of keeping up. They were quite attentive and did a nice job of bringing the proper dishes at the proper time, like saving the dim sum for the end. The food was great. They have a very selective menu and pull from all over the country. The Tender Pork in Special Sauce was tempting, but we opted for the 68 kuai Meatballs in Soy Sauce. The best dish of the night, but damn were they spensive. The Fresh Asparagus in Cream might have been good had they not run out (Warning: Get there at local dinner time. The only veggie left was Broccoli in Clam Sauce good though). The Scallops and Asparagus in XO Sauce also looked good, but we didn't want to shell out the 98RMB. Basically, everything looked delish. For more exclusive dining, there's a second floor. It's got less character and is half the size. You also have to spend a minimum of 220RMB per person on food. Try the patio area outside. It's cheaper and definitely quieter.
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