One Tea Lounge is situated on York Street in the Sydney CBD. Matcha fans rejoice as the menu features many matcha drinks and eats. The signature dish would have to be the sliders-in buns made of ramen, rice or matcha dough. The sweet version are called baogers where the soft bun is deep fried until golden. They are filled with the ice cream of your choice along with salted caramel and red beans.
It's funny when your friend's lives become intertwined. Two of my friends Queen Viv and Girl Next Door have started working together at the same company. And whenever Mr NQN and I get together with Queen Viv and Miss America it always results in a lot of fun. Throw Girl Next Door into the mix and things get crazy and there's always food involved.
We had just stepped out of a private screening of Noma: My Perfect Storm. And I have to say a big thanks to Umbrella Entertainment and Kabuku PR for hosting the very first screening of the movie in Australia for my Dear Readers. It was around 8:30pm when we emerged in the middle of the city. It was raining in light droplets and we were all peckish for something hungry, our appetites piqued from all the food porn on the screen.
I consulted my list quickly and One Tea Lounge was a few minutes' walk away. We walk in and are offered a high bar table or the couch. We quickly choose the comfortable couches in the corner. Everyone has different opinions on the decor. It reminds Mr NQN and me of a hotel lobby but Queen Viv likes the light fixtures. We are handed menus - items are divided into snacks, entrees and mains. The latter are on the pricey side for a bar (around $35-$58). We also bypass the cocktails-I was initially interested in trying the Ferris Wheel cocktail but it is $15 to "rent" the ferris wheel display and then you buy the cocktail pot on top of that which seems a little odd. "Do you get to keep the ferris wheel?" ponders Girl Next Door. Service is very friendly and sweet from everyone apart from one staff member who is rather brusque.
Ice Matcha Chocolate $8
If you love matcha then chances are you might love the menu here. I decide to try an iced matcha. It is an iced chocolate drink with plenty of ice and a scoop of matcha ice cream on top. While the drink is a tad on the watery side, the matcha ice cream is fantastic and very much for green tea enthusiasts as it is strong in matcha flavour.
Peking Duck Fries $12
It was a bit of a fry off. I wasn't quite sure what the Peking Duck fries would be like as it just said "with hoisin sauce & coriander". But it's even better than that. With a generous amount of roast duck meat and sauce these fries are an undeniable hit at the table. I could eat the whole bowl very happily as the seasoning is moreish and the whole idea just brilliant. Girl Next Door and I are particularly smitten.
Matcha Fries $7
The matcha fries are good but it's hard to compete with a topping of Peking duck really. The fries are dusted with green tea salt and come with a Japanese style curry sauce. They're good but after Peking duck well...
Lollipop Corn $12
A lollipop corn in this case is really just corn on a skewer (I think we were curious to see what the lollipop corn entailed) but the sambal miso that we chose over the teriyaki is divinely spicy. Mr NQN is a huge fan of this.
Gyokuro Smoked Octopus Avocado $18
The octopus dish is simple but well done. Pieces of tender octopus and avocado are paired with a sesame dressing and arrive under a glass cloche. This is lifted and tea smoke curls out.
Sliders 3 for $21
There are several choices for the sliders: you can choose the type of bun (ramen, rice or matcha) and you can choose the filling (original wagyu beef, braised pork rib, teriyaki chicken or miso tofu vegetarian). We decide to get combos of each and share them which is one of those tricky things that you can only do with close friends as we take a bite and pass them on (no cooties! ;) ). The favourite fillings are the beef and pork rib while the chicken is odd. It's fried but there is no sauce on both of them which is really the teriyaki bit. We like all of the buns and I particularly like the crunchy albeit a little hard to eat ramen and softer than soft matcha bun.
Ice Cream Baogers 2 for $15
There are five ice cream flavours and we decided to go for the Asian style flavours and forego the white chocolate Ferrero Rocher. The baogers are deep fried baos filled with a wedge of ice cream and a topping of sweetened red beans and miso caramel. Everyone loves the crunchy golden bao that is somehow not greasy at all. The cold, creamy filling with the additional layer of sweetness is perfect.
We are literally the last to leave and as we emerge the rain is still falling lightly while the bright lights of the CBD twinkle.
So tell me Dear Reader, do any of your friendship groups overlap? What sort of bun do you think you'd like? And do you usually eat before or after a movie?
This meal was independently paid for.
One Tea Lounge
73 York St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone:(02) 9279 3311
Monday - Wednesday 11:00AM - 3:00PM, 5:30PM - 10:00PM
Thursday - Friday 11:00AM - 3:00PM, 5:30PM - late
Saturday 5:30PM late