The hustle and bustle within the tiny space at the Domain is counterintuitive to the soul and experience intended at The Steeping Room. A splash of orange sandwiched between a Starbucks and Banana Republic provides an organic oasis for hungry shoppers and lunching office employees.
If you're planning on visiting during the week for lunch, be prepared for a wait, however this time around, we planned ahead and reserved a table. True to its name, you are given both a general menu and a booklet offering a wide variety of teas categorized by type.
I started with my favorite, the Spring Buds Chai (hot) with almond milk. It's a standard spice-laden masala chai with lighter vanilla and nutmeg notes. A perfect light cup to warm you up from any breeze in the air. As a matter of procedure, any dairy-type drink is accompanied by the question, "what type of milk would you like?" Your options: non-fat, soy and almond.
Next up is lunch. Being known for teas, there is a wide selection of sandwiches to accompany your choice brew, from roast beef to traditional cucumber tea sandwiches. In addition to sandwiches they offer a daily soup, curry and Buddha Bowl.
For my entree I chose the Buddha Bowl, which is composed of greens, the grain of the day, the bean of the day, yams and your choice of chicken or tofu all brought together with your choice of dressing. My bowl had bright orange yams, steamed collared greens, basmati rice, anasazi beans and chicken with the sesame-tamari dressing on the side.
The yams were sweet, warm and velvety, the greens still firm, the rice and beans were pleasant, yet my only qualm was with the chicken that was a touch dry. The dressing was just the right amount of tangy and sweet, while adding a much needed pop of flavor.
Having my tea and Buddha Bowl brought out my inner zen, while the fresh, simple food made me feel like I was on track with those New Year's resolutions.
I made a split decision to try the Salty Toffee Cookie. Wow. I can eat that all day, every day. Gooey toffee, melty chocolate and a zing of salt to offset the sweet.
The Steeping Room is a mid-priced restaurant that focuses on bringing the simplicity and serenity into the body through food and tea.