Food adventure @ Oriental Teahouse, South Yarra
If there’s two things that Oriental Teahouse is renown for, it’s for their abundance of teas and their serving of YUMCHA at NIGHT. Mid-week cravings for yum cha have resulted in afterwork visits to the Melbourne Central establishment on several occasions. But with a recent invitation to visit the South Yarra restaurant, I saw and experienced Oriental Teahouse in a whole new light… I would like to thank Oriental Teahouse and Harvey Publicity for the opportunity to visit Oriental Teahouse South Yarra.
Save for the location and the restaurant’s dimensions, the Chapel St restaurant looks similar to the one in Melbourne Central.
Some refreshing chilled teas to start.
Prawn Hash Browns - breakfast favourite of the Orient, with prawns and Asian greens.
The hash brown tasted like a variation of the deep fried prawn and bean curd dish typically served at yum cha, but with more flavour and less flaky crunch. The fried pieces of kale added to the dish’s crispiness.
Chicken Dumpling & Quinoa Salad - leafy greens with mixed quinoa, chicken dumplings, broad beans & red onion in tangy ginger dressing.
This salad completely disproves the theory that you don’t make friends with salad. Hearty and full of flavour, as opposed to light or refreshing, the ginger presence in the oily dressing brought much aroma. My lips gradually became slick with oil, but this was easily forgiven thanks to the taste. Both the skin and filling of the chicken dumplings were soft and tender.
Chilli Wagyu Dumplings - wagyu beef marinated in kaffir lime, served with homemade chilli sauce.
Give me silky dumpling skin and chilli oil sauce, and I couldn’t care less about the filling. But for the record, the filling was very similar to the chicken dumplings in texture, with the natural taste of wagyu beef pairing well with the chilli sauce.
Main share dishes, served with rice.
China Fried Chicken Ribs - chicken ribs tossed in pepper, garlic salt & chilli.
Thanks to the abundance of seasoning, these ribs were packed with flavour. In fact, there were times when it seemed as though there was too much flavour, with the crispy crunchy batter coming across as very salty. Luckily we had some rice on hand.
Confucius Says, “Eat Your Veggies” - a wholesome bowl of stir fried string beans, carrots, barley, black fungus, bok choy, edamame & baby corn studded with with goji berries.
While the variety of veggies looked sensational on the plate, the taste was fairly average.
Chinese Wonka Dumplings - fried sesame & sticky rice spheres filled with melted chocolate, served with vanilla ice cream.
I’m not the biggest fan of Asian desserts, but may need to revise that mindset given the amazing sweets we were served…
There was a great contrast between the flavour and texture of the crunch from the sesame shell and the chewy doughiness of the sticky rice layer. The oozy, melted chocolate brought much of the overall sweetness. The creamy vanilla ice cream was the cherry on top, tying together all the elements perfectly.
Signature White Chocolate Dumplings - ‘amazeballs’ stuffed with white chocolate, topped with white chocolate & peanut praline.
While I was already blown away by the sesame dessert, critical levels were reached with this signature dessert. Picture this: a condensed ball of white chocolate with a nutty explosion of peanuts and coconut. Again, each component worked wonderfully with one another. I can’t help but agree with their ‘amazeballs’ description.
With many of the dishes bringing something new to the table (here’s looking at you, quinoa salad and dessert balls), there’s now even more reason to visit Oriental Teahouse asides from the late night yumcha fixes. Seriously… amazeballs… get on them!
Disclosure: the opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.
Oriental Tea House
455 Chapel St,
South Yarra, Victoria, 3141.
(03) 9824 0128