Capstone Tea House: How a Menu Change Ruined a Good Night

Diana Chan July 9, 2011 Dessert, One Beaker, Robson Street/West End

I was hanging out with a bunch of people downtown and we were craving dessert. Since it was late at night, only a handful of places could seat tables of 10+. We called up a few places and Capstone Tea House said they had space for us.

I came here about a year or 2 ago and I remember it being decent and not bad at all.

When we arrived, they already set up the table for us. The water came quickly out for everyone as well. It was weird how water was served in bbt cups.


One thing we noticed was the change in menu. This was really different than the one before. They raised their prices and removed some of the items we wanted to order. The prices had a dramatic increase and a few people at our table did decide to go elsewhere. I don’t blame them at all since it is quite expensive even for drinks.

Once everyone opened up the menu, we all wanted to leave. Out of courtesy, some of us felt guilty for leaving since they set up the tables for us already. Some items didn’t look too bad and since it is a fondue place, it was a logical choice to get the fondue.

When the cheese fondue for 2 ($22.95) arrived, we were a bit confused because the menu stated, “comes with 2 personal sized fondue pots”. This was not what was depicted on the menu. When we asked the waitress, she said it is only available in Richmond and not at this location. She said she could not do anything.

At this point we were wondering why they did not tell us this before placing the order. It is not acceptable to mislead your customers.

We did order 3 sets of the ‘cheese fondue for 2’  and expected it to be enough for 6 people. The cheese ran out fairly quickly, so we had to ration the cheese so we could use up all the vegetables and items that came with it. We wanted to order more cheese but, it would have cost us an additional $8.99 for a refill of cheese.

The cheese fondue is made of Swiss cheese and comes with endless assorted French bread cubes, tomatoes, grapes, apples, carrots and these mini garlic crackers. It also came with the unlimited bread. However, no one came to refill the bread and there wasn’t enough cheese to keep on eating unlimited bread.

The taste was all right and we did have fun, but $22.95 per pot was not worth it.

The other group at our table ordered the Chocolate Fondue for 2 ($22.95). It came with 6 ice cream balls, grapes, strawberries, apples, pineapples, bananas, biscotti, and 2 nutty toppings.

They use to offer gummy bears and pretzels too, but they don’t include them anymore. Their experience was better, but still expensive!

We were all pretty mad since why would you have a new menu and items that your location does not carry. It was ridiculous and the waitress did not say anything at all. No personal sized fondue pots were seen here.

The prices were not worth it. The website menu is also not updated to reflect the new changes. They no longer offer the $7 sampler items and the all you can eat fondue option on the menu increased by $2.

Just for the sake of complaining, I had to sit beside their really weird vase filled with dirty water and weird particles inside. It looked gross.

When the bill came, we were very surprised! There was an automatic 20% gratuity for tables of 8 or more. 20% is a bit steep and we were not informed before hand. Looking back at the menu, their clause was on the last page in small font. I would gladly pay it only if they provided us with excellent service, but sadly, the service was quite below par. At least they help us split the bill, but looking at the gratuity per item, its quite a lot.

Even for other restaurants, they would charge 17% or 18% gratuity, but 20% is a bit too high in my opinion.

I am not a very confrontational person, so I would have just let it slide. PRgirl was really furious and told the manager about how upset she was over the whole experience. The manager kindly explained that their shipment of dishware and would not arrive till a few weeks later, thus there was only one larger fondue pot instead of 2 personal sized pots. He was not trying to rip us off and kindly removed the 20% gratuity and gave us a 10% discount. It was good of him to do what he did to amend the issues.

If you are ever unsatisfied at any restaurant, don’t be afraid to speak up. No restaurant ever wants to make their customers angry. So, tell them your thoughts and hopefully they can fix any issues. I am glad PRgirl said something because I would be way to shy to say anything.

Overall, we did have a bad impression of the restaurant. As a dessert, this place is great to take a date or a small group of friends.

Words of Wisdom:

  • 20% gratuity for 8+ group
  • New menu with increased prices
  • Slow service
  • Expensive for what you get
  • Delicious cheese fondue
  • No individual cheese fondue
  • Nice interior decor

We Rate Capstone Tea House:


1429 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Capstone Tea & Fondue on Urbanspoon

About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

Leave A Response