Oriental Teahouse, South Yarra

[content_slider]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[content_slide]

oriental teahouse south yarra

[/content_slide]

[/content_slider]

MELBOURNE | Oriental Teahouse opened the doors to its South Yarra venue in 2003, and since then has expanded to Melbourne’s CBD and Chadstone. Aware that things had gotten a bit tired, tea master and restaurateur David Zhou embarked on a revamp on the original, which relaunched in May this year. We were invited to experience the offering at the new venue, and being fans of good tea and Chinese food from all regions, we accepted.

Housed in what was, many years ago, an old pub and hotel, the downstairs has a modern interior. Concrete walls and ceilings, wooden tables, low lighting and a bar and waiting area at the front. The kind of design you expect to find at the South Yarra end of Chapel Street. To the side, behind a light curtain, is a tea room, featuring shelves full of tea and a tasting station with lots of different teas brewing, along with stairs up to the bar Zhou Zhou.

The ambience of the restaurant was buzzing on the Friday night we visited, and the venue full. We had read stories about the music here being very loud when the venue relaunched, but when we visited the house and dance tunes were being played at a reasonable level – even with the venue completely full, we didn’t struggle to hold a conversation at normal volume.

We don’t tend to comment on service when we’ve been invited to a venue, for the obvious reason that when the venue knows who you are and has invited you, the service is going to be good. Observing the other tables the staff appeared to be attentive and their certainly wasn’t a shortage of staff members walking about taking orders and delivering food and drinks.

Speaking of food and drinks, it should come as no surprise that there’s a big focus on tea here. Shanghai born Zhou’s aim when he first opened Oriental Teahouse was to bring an tea house experience to locals that combined Shanghai traditions and contemporary Melbourne style, and the tea menu features several blends to be enjoyed by themselves, or matched with suggested food items. All teas are blended by Zhou himself, and we tried the mellow and light “Happy Tea”, and the punchy “Ginger & Barley”, both of which we enjoyed. Cocktails also have a tea spin, for example the “Clover Club”, with Bombay Sapphire, lemon, raspberry tea syrup, and egg white, and the “Apple Sencha Martini” with apple sencha tea infused 42 Below vodka, apple, lemon, and brown sugar.

Oriental Teahouse’s food menu offers a combination of traditional and non-traditional items, and we tried a bit of both. We enjoyed flavours of the Peking duck served with cucumber, spring onion & house made plum sauce. The duck was perfectly cooked and very moist and tender, although we felt that the skin could have been better seasoned. The chicken san choi bao – large lettuce cups filled with chicken, onion, dry shitake mushrooms, carrots, coriander, egg, spring onion, and bamboo, were tasty, but, as with the duck, could have been better seasoned.

The very non-traditional soft shell crab sliders were very tasty, featuring a dense, spongy, bao like dough bun with a generous piece of soft shell crab, lettuce, slaw, mayo and Sriracha. The dumplings, of which there are many, keep in line with the mixed traditional and non-traditional options here. We thoroughly enjoyed the pork sui mai with prawn and Chinese mushroom, served in a flavoursome ginger sauce, but thought the Flame Thrower pulled pork dumplings with slices of pork belly didn’t quite hit the mark. Interestingly we were told that this dish has been a customer favourite since the relaunch, and it’s actually easy to tell why given the predominantly non-Asian clientele here. The dumplings are densely packed with a lot of flavoursome pulled pork, and the pork belly is perfectly cooked, melt-in-your mouth delicious (we also enjoyed some as a separate dish too). Of course you don’t need to be Chinese to know and appreciate good Chinese food, take us for example, but when you know about the subtleties and balance of a good dumpling, it’s what you come to expect. If you’re more concerned about perceived value – i.e. big servings and lots of meat, then your expectations are different. Again, we much prefered the sui mai, but it’s easy to see why the Flame Throwers appeal to the clientele here.

To finish, we enjoyed bao doughnuts dusted with sugar and Chinese 5 spice, filled with a subtly flavoured, light custard. We really enjoyed these – with the 5 spice and mild custard creating a nice, unique flavour, and the bao dough providing a chewy (in a good way) texture. None of this was too sweet, with the sugar dusting adding just the right level of sweetness to finish things off.

We walked away satisfied and very full, and were impressed with the serving sizes and value for money. Our disappointment stemmed from the fact that this wasn’t the authentic dining experience we were expecting when we arrived, but then again that’s not what Oriental Teahouse claims to offer. The tea is fantastic, and there are some great dishes here if you choose right. Go in with the right mindset, and ask the staff to help choose dishes that match what you’re looking for, and you’ll enjoy your meal here. Oh and they’ll happily pack what you can’t eat away for you to take home, something we took advantage of after over-ordering.

Oriental Teahouse (South Yarra)

455 Chapel Street
South Yarra
Victoria 3141
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9826 0168
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 10:30am to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 10:30am to 11:00pm

Oriental Teahouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

RELATED ARTICLES
Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

RECENT POSTS

- Advertisment -

STAY CONNECTED

13,087FansLike
103,685FollowersFollow
8,024FollowersFollow
35,106FollowersFollow
94SubscribersSubscribe