Teahouse Restaurant
By Michelle Hopkins

Stanley Park's Historic Teahouse

A meal at The Teahouse at Stanley Park is an event: not just because the restaurant offers some of the best and longest sunset views in the city. Or because it's housed in a historic 1938 building with large windows overlooking the North Shore Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. What makes a meal at this iconic Vancouver dining room truly memorable is the culinary magic that executive chef Alan Tse and his team deliver with each and every dish.

A native of Hong Kong, Alan grew up in a family who loved to cook for family and friends. However, it wasn’t until a trip to Hawaii that he truly fell in love with food. “I realized after eating the best shrimp I’d ever had that I wanted to try cooking,” says the affable chef. Alan attended VCC Culinary Arts Program and was hired on at Cardero’s in 2005. He honed his skills at the waterfront restaurant for six years before moving to the kitchen at The Teahouse in 2011.

We have a lot of customers, generations in fact, who have created fond memories here, dating back to the 80s. - Eli Brennan, general manager

A Passion for Food

Chef Alan's passion for food is on full display at The Teahouse; seasonal menus feature artfully presented plates that showcase an array of regional flavours. The talented chef is a firm believer allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves; his food is never overdone, nor overdressed. Pacific roasted sable fish, traditional rack of lamb and the duck confit will make your taste buds sing, while the wild sockeye salmon hits all the right notes.“We use local, sustainable and Ocean Wise fish as much as possible,” says Alan. “If I can’t get a product locally, I try to source it from somewhere in Canada."

Stuffed mushrooms, prepared with crab, shrimp and cream cheese, were part of the original carte du jour at The Teahouse, and are a house specialty; this dish is nostalgia at its best. “We would never take those off the menu in fear that our customers would stage a revolt,” quips the restaurant's general manager Eli Brennan . “We aren’t putting a new dish on the menu unless we think we can make it better than any other restaurant in the city.”

To drink, The Teahouse offers more than 100 New and Old World wines in its selection, as well as craft beers and signature cocktails. “We support a lot of local wines, while rotating some of our drinks every three to four months to make it interesting for the bartenders and our customers,” adds Eli.

Housed in a 1938 building, The Teahouse offers four distinct dining areas, each with its own unique ambiance.
Housed in a historic 1938 building, The Teahouse offers three distinct dining rooms, each with its own unique ambiance. Photo courtesy of The Teahouse

Preserving the Past

Nestled among the old growth Cedars of Stanley' Park, The Teahouse has a rich history in Vancouver, one that the Sequoia Company of Restaurants works hard to preserve. “The owner, Brent Davies, has always wanted to honour the history of the building and the classic look of it as well,” says Eli. “We have a lot of customers, generations in fact, who have created fond memories here, dating back to the 80s.”

Although The Teahouse underwent a mini facelift in 2016, the historic building (originally built as an Officers' Mess during WWII) still retains its “beautiful bones and original glory,” according to Eli. The venue features three distinctive rooms: the airy Conservatory with a glass domed room, the Tea Room and the Drawing Room, as well as a popular open-air summer patio.

With an iconic location and storied past comes the responsibility to deliver the very best in customer service, food and ambience. And this venerable restaurant lives up to expectations. Whether it’s a special occasion, a weekend brunch or a romantic candlelight dinner, The Teahouse never fails to deliver excellence.

The scenic dining room overlooks Ferguson Point, offering gorgeous waterfront views.
The scenic dining room overlooks Ferguson Point, offering long, gorgeous waterfront sunset views. Photo courtesy of The Teahouse
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