The first thing that caught my eye in NeiTea House was the presence of the two large flat-screen TVs—one next to the front door, the other above the register. They were both scrolling through images of nameless menu items, including colorful desserts, icy-cold tea drinks and a variety of savory snacks and soups.
The decor of this Japanese/Hong Kong cafe is simple, but the place bubbles with activity. Loud, energetic music plays on the speakers, and there is a rack of random magazines available for perusing, not to mention several board games. The walls are filled with drawings done on small sticky notes by customers. My favorite was of a sketch of a Pacman preparing to eat a ghost with a woman right below him about to consume some tea.
NeiTea House’s desserts and teas are the biggest allure. The egg puff (or eggette) is a must-try item. It is a simple wafflelike pastry that’s popular in Hong Kong. NeiTea serves large sheets of egg puffs for $3.25 apiece. The “original” flavor is lightly sweet, and the puff is soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and made fresh with each order.
The other main dessert item, crepes, is a strictly Japanese concoction. The crepes are thin, crispy, fresh and wrapped like a cone—indeed, much like a waffle cone, except that it can still unravel if set down on the table. The ice cream and toppings are served inside the crepe, along with a spoon. I had strawberry ice cream with blueberries, strawberries, chocolate syrup and whipped cream ($5.25). The bites of crepes, ice cream and toppings all together are the best. Who knew that ice cream and crepes were such a perfect fit?
The milk tea and honey green tea ($2.25) are particularly delicious. The taste of honey in the green tea is so strong it nearly overrides any tea flavor. They are served either hot or cold. The popcorn chicken was basically fried chicken with salt, pepper, basil leaves and white mushrooms ($3.50). The takoyaki, fried octopus balls, were crispy on the outside, mushy on the inside and served with takoyaki sauce, which is similar to Worcestershire sauce ($3.25). The barbecue pork and corn ramen was filling and delicious, particularly the doughy noodles and long slices of pork. It also comes with chives, corn and fish cakes ($6.95).
Lastly, the owner suggested I try a new item: an Asian fusion pizza made with bacon, chives, seaweed, cheese and kimchi ($6.75). The flavors, he said, are a mixed bag from all over Asia. Each bite varied wildly, depending on which items I happened to get in that particular mouthful.
20956 Homestead Road Ste D, Cupertino, CA 95014 (408) 253-3877