Prince[ss] Tea House
Prince Tea House…is on Prince Street. Easy to remember. Also easier to “read” about if you skip to 4:23 on the YouTube video. It’s my version of TL;DR. I found it after doing a Google search for recommendations on places to eat in Flushing. I started clicking on links that lead to other links that lead to a wormhole of photos and landed on one in particular- Green tea crepe cake slices with an assortment of dessert trios, teas in beautiful floral porcelain and pate au choux. Fruit toasts and durian crepe cakes, too?! Winner, winner, chicken frickin’ dinner. At this point, Stephen, my videographer friend, and I had already eaten our combined weights in dumplings at The New World Mall Food Court. We walked it off at J-Mart in the upper level of the mall and then around the streets of Flushing, boba in hand. From the mall, we headed south on Main St. and rounded a corner to Prince Tea House. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon tea and some treats. High ceilings, tall curtains, crystal chandeliers, purple wall-lined banquettes, private booths and tables, and the smell of essential oils. A perfectly pretty environment with just quiet enough for me to feel kind of bad about speaking above average volume for the YouTube segment. Kind of.
The two girls working the counter and the tables were very accommodating. I had called in to make sure it was OK to film and take photos. It was only Stephen and I and I didn’t want to impose. We happily took a two top (a table for 2, for all of you soon to be hip to hospitality lingo). I started just ordering whatever sounded like it would look good. And taste good, of course. I ordered the trio of desserts and picked a pate au choux filled with green tea ice cream, a mini fruit tart and black sesame creme brulee. I also ordered a strawberry parfait, potted lavender milk tea, fruity toast and durian crepe.
Before the goodies started rolling out, before ANYTHING came out, the waitress came over and told me “So…. you ordered a lot of food. Do you mind moving to a bigger table?” My crowning moment. HELL. YES. And she was right, we needed all that elbow room.
The first arrival, the Potted Lavender Milk Tea. So easy on the eyes. It was topped off with milk foam, I believe, with some crushed oreos and mint leaves as a garnish. My own little drinkable potted ‘plant.’ To be honest, I didn’t get any lavender and I took plenty of sips. I’m no food critic so I’ll just say this was my least favorite. I’ll just save room for more pastries next time.
Up next, the Strawberry Parfait and the trio. The cream for the parfait was on the light side of the sweet scale as opposed to Western icing like buttercream. Perhaps that explains the potted milk situation. Still, it was tasty. I made up for the Potted Milk Tea with a nice and strong Jasmine Tea.
The trio had a very interesting creme brulee. It was a black sesame pudding with the sugar melted and caramelized on top. The green tea in the pate au choux wasn’t like your typical chinese buffet “green tea” ice cream full of sugar and none of the flavors of its namesake. This green tea ice cream WAS green tea; it was a strong brewed, 5 times steeped green tea.
The fruit tart was so cute and dusted with a light layer of coke- I mean powdered sugar.
And then there was The Durian Crepe Cake. It’s the little roll on top left.
Durian will get its very own paragraph. Durian is one of those entities you are sure is nature’s way of telling you NO! DO NOT TOUCH! NOOOOO TOUCHY! Durian looks like a giant pine cone. A porcupine rolled up. A questionably edible cactus. A ball of spikes… that you should cut through… and then eat. Durian has a very strong odor that can be smelled even through its thick, thorny husk. Some people, myself included, think that it has a very sweet and enticing odor. Others think it smells like old dirty socks, rotten onions or even sewage. Yummy, right? Talk about a difference of opinion. What evokes an appetite in myself can evoke disgust and dry heaving in another. I remember growing up, my mother would bring durian and cut it up. I loved it! Sweet fibrous flesh. Like a mushy fleshed mango. I couldn’t get enough. My father, however, would walk in the house, go ‘oh my GOD” and walk right out. Durian has a very distinct smell and a very persistent one at that. It’s banned from hotels and airports in Southeast Asia. Some call it the stinkiest fruit in the world. Good! Less people for me to share it with. I thought the durian crepe was delicious at this tea house. I was very courteous, though. I took one bite in delight and immediately smelled it. I didn’t want to nauseate Stephen so I waited until he left. He had never heard of durian until today so perhaps he wouldn’t have minded, but I thought it best to be a friend and wait for a day when he doesn’t have a table full of desserts he would have otherwise eaten in his face.
Lastly, the star of the show, the fruity toast! The toast MUST have been 3 inches thick. It was slightly hollowed out and filled with a variety of fruit- strawberries, bananas, melon, blackberries.
I dug in and was surprised that it was topped with not just the obvious whipped cream but also ICE CREAM! It’s not in the video but I think my exact words when I took my first bite were “OH SHITTTT! That’s ice cream!” Hands down, the best thing I had at Prince Tea House. Stephen took a bite and went “WHAT. IS. THIS!?”
Near the end, I was sinking into my seat. I couldn’t tell if this was a high from the sugar or a headache from the extremely potent fragrance oils heated near my table. Stephen left early so I was left alone to fend for myself. It was me and a fork versus cavity inducing morsels. I think they won this time.
PS I apologize for these horrible cell phone photos. I didn’t have breakfast before I left and forgot my handy little SONY rxII. The video, of course, was way better.
36-39 Prince St.
Videographer: Stephen McFadden