Palette Tea House - Ghirardelli Square

i really enjoyed my meal at palette tea house, the latest dim sum restaurant from the family behind koi palace and dragon beaux. everything was delicious, service was friendly, and they take reservations.

like dragon beaux the menu is modern with traditional items as well. many items are exclusive to each restaurant so there isn’t much overlap in the menus.

will definitely be back, nothing even comes close in la.


sauces to use on your “palette”


pork xlb
pretty standard, not bad.

ha gow
delicious, highlight.

premium scallop siu mai
excellent, loved the dried abalone (?) on top. highlight 2.


crispy crab claws
huge meaty stone crab claws, outstanding. highlight 3.


iberico cha siu pork
palette tea house doesn’t have my favorite item from dragon beaux, the roasted pork belly, but this more than made up for it. perfectly tender with a nice balance of fat and meat. highlight 4. must order @Chowseeker1999, @TheCookie, @Bookwich, @attran99, @foodshutterbug, @NYCtoLA




typhoon crispy ha gow
haven’t seen this item before, crispy with plump juicy shrimp inside, another highlight 5 @TheCookie



abalone sticky rice
sweet and savory, with tons of umami. highlight 6.

snow cap bbq bun
sweet, crispy, pig.



Palette Tea House
900 North Point St b201
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 347-8888

pre-dim sum bang at arsicault



almond and chocolate croissiant

kouign amann


Hi @PorkyBelly,

Great report! :slight_smile: Looks fantastic, and even visually it already looks so much better than what we have LA! It’s always great to have a 2nd option after Dragon Beaux. Can’t wait to try it on my next visit, thanks. :blush:


@PorkyBelly how does that Iberico pork compare to Mott32? All of the stuff looks great despite some initial lukewarm reports.

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Bummer. Looks delish. Love the plating. Bookmarking!

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the har gow and rice grains on the sticky rice look great!

those are conpoy aka dried scallop

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Holy balls! That looks amazing! :scream:

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I need to post about Christmas morning dim sum at Dragon Beaux. Incredibly disappointing. To the point that it’s unlikely we’d return.

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Looks great! Were resies more easily accessible than at Dragon Beaux, and if you didn’t have resies, how did the lines look?

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I haven’t tried the iberico pork at mott 32 yet but the few dim sum items I did try there weren’t even close to pth.

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As I wrote last year I wouldn’t be surprised if Palatte eventually surpassed Dragon Beaux. Or has it already? By the way, a second Palatte branch is opening up very soon in the regional mall in San Mateo.


Reservations were pretty easy on yelp, about a week in advance for weekends and same-day for weekdays.

The line on saturday was about 30 people at opening with a mix of reservations and no reservations.

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did the wrappers have an almost mochi-like elasticity and chew to it?

Building a fifth and sixth restaurant is easier than staffing them.

Never posted about my two visits to Palatte so since you were so good to start this thread, I’ll pile on. From what I can discern, the name Palette is used to distinguish itself from Dragon Beaux, just as Dragon Beaux distinguished itself from the commonly owned Koi Palace, evoking a more artisinal approach towards their menu, their preparation methods, and their selection of ingredients. This is demonstrated at the beginning of the meal with the collection of dipping previously illustrated.

We started with the Dungeness crab cheung fun. Totally awesome to look at and eat. Also an indication of Palette’s committment to high quality ingredients. Likewise for the unillustrated black cod stuffed with eggplant and the Iberico pork rice noodle rolls, both of which were excellent.

Palette serves a combination of dim sum and non-dim sum items at both lunch and dinner, leading to a much shorter dim sum selection than Dragon Beaux. Furthermore, some of the dim sum items are dinner only. The item on the left is a lobster siu mai, topped by a fried quail egg. The liquid in the tube is lobster essence. While Palette relies principally on trained Chinese wok and dim sum chefs, they also have on staff food professionals with no background in Chinese food preparation who come up with new ideas like the lobster essence. The item on the right is a Kurobuta pork truffle xiaolongbao.

Interestingly the most fantastic dish of all was this ordinary looking plate of fried tofu. Except this was fried silken tofu, as smooth and creamy as the raw version you see in the supermarket. And their advanced cooking techniques provide fried dishes which in final form have nary a hint of oil.

Probably the ugliest thing that typically shows up at dim sum is the wrapped sticky rice. Not so at Palette where abalone sticky rice becomes an Instagrammable treat.

Palette shares a commissary kitchen with Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux which prepares some of the more common items on the menu. I wouldn’t be surprised if these crispy baked bbq pork buns are one of the dishes prepared at the common facility.

Perhaps most visually creative dim sum item is the black swan charcoal taro puff.

Like Dragon Beaux, Palette has some very interesting sweet dim sum items like the green tea custard.

As well as the purple yam almond cream.

The creativity of Palette Tea House is clearly demonstrated by this almond panna cotta, which is their updated take on the traditional almond jello Cantonese dessert dish.

A sampler of some other sweets–a fantastic blueberry sesame bun, the Portuguese egg tart, a mixed fresh fruit mango pudding and a French chocolate truffle dessert.

Since General Manager Dennis Leung started out on the dessert side of the business, there is a heavy emphasis on the dessert menu. In addition to the items previously noted the chocolate egg rolls accompanied by a lychee based sauce is truly creative.

Another dessert was called Cloud 9 (nine frozen melon balls surrounding a scoop of frozen tofu dessert).

Clearly Palatte is on its way to being the next great Chinese restaurant.


Validated parking?

yes but you still have to pay $6 after validation

The Hillsdale one’s supposed to open next month.



Going to try this in my next visit

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