In Chesterfield, Missouri, a colorful new Asian eatery offers a unique set of food and drink options. HiTea debuted on July 28, with an extensive menu that includes ramen, rice bowls, bubble tea and baked goods.
The concept comes from business partners Gavin Gao and George An, the latter of whom also co-owns Dollar Express in Overland. This is the second location of HiTea, following the original Lawrence, Kansas, location that opened in 2017. Another location is also planned to open in Columbia, Missouri in the spring. The partners also own another business called Han Cafe in Guangzhou, China. Gao, a native of Zhejiang, China, manages the Chesterfield restaurant with his wife and house baker, Jessie Han.
“We had this idea to offer bubble tea and cakes,” Gao says. “We saw that bubble tea in St. Louis is old-fashioned and wanted to bring new modern styles here, so we learned how to make the teas from a program in China and also found a farm where we buy teas directly.”
HiTea’s dining room has seats for around 40 guests in addition to a lounge area and front patio. Jessie, who studied studio art locally, carried out the interior design. The pastel pink and greenery-themed décor features her own hand-painted murals of plants, paired with contemporary furniture and light fixtures.
From the menu, choose from food options including ramen, rice bowls and appetizers. A variety of ramen options are available including lobster ramen as well as a deluxe ramen option that combines many of the topping options. The specialty bowl comes with slow-cooked beef bone broth, pork belly char siu, beef shank, large whole shrimp, ajitama egg, black fungus, menma, corn, scallion, narutomaki, bonito flakes and roasted seaweed.
Additional highlights include an eel rice bowl with seasonal salad, seaweed salad, fish roe and eel sauce. Appetizer options include gyoza, fried chicken wings and Cajun fried shrimp. The drink menu is separated into several categories: fresh brewed tea, fruit tea, smoothies, flower tea, fresh milk tea, cocoa and uji matcha.
Popular beverage picks include Mountain High milk tea made with green tea; roasted oolong milk tea; and brown sugar boba fresh milk tea. Specials include a taro milk cloud drink with hand-blended taro. All drinks are available with fresh boba flavored with honey and brown sugar.
Additional sweet treats on offer include individual cake slices in flavors such as mango, matcha and osmanthus. Custom bakery orders are also available and include options such as decorated birthday cakes and crêpe cakes.
“Our restaurant is a very good place for people to have meetings, chat and enjoy afternoon tea,” Gao says. “We want people to enjoy our food and come meet their friends here.”
HiTea is open Monday from 11am to 9:30pm, Wednesday through Thursday from 11am to 9:30pm, Friday through Saturday from 11:30am to 10pm and Sunday from 11:30am to 9:30pm.
HiTea, 13700 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield, Missouri, 314.392.9399, hiteamo.com