Tim and I recently visited The Oriental Tea House in Little Collins St, Melbourne. As the name suggests, The Oriental Tea House sells a large range of teas and tea accessories (cups, pots etc). However, it also has a yum cha restaurant attached at all locations (and there are several throughout Melbourne).
The Little Collins Street branch has a funky, bar-like atmosphere, with 70s style colourful plastic tables and chairs, a mezzanine level, and lots of bright lights.
The yum cha menu is quite extensive, and there are currently some seasonal special dishes for Christmas. We chose to order two of the seasonal specials, along with some old favourites. Most of the dumplings come in a serve of 3, with the buns coming as a serve of two. The dishes are mainly less than $10 each, which is good value in my books.
First up, we ordered Santas Goody Bag Dumplings:
Aren't they cute? These were pork and apple in a buckwheat dumpling, tied off with chives, and accompanied by apple sauce. These were the pick of the night for me - it's a shame they are only seasonal.
Next are the BBQ Pork Buns:
These are pretty much standard issue that you will get anywhere - a steamed, sweet dough bun filled with minced tangy BBQ pork.
These were followed by the ginger prawn dumplings:
These gorgeous little dumplings are a favourite of mine, and comprise deep fried pork and prawn dumplings which are then steamed with a ginger suace - mmmmmm, mmmmmm.
Next up, we had the pork shu mai - again, these are prawn and pork dumplings, but are steamed, not deep fried:
Finally, we had another of the seasonal offerings - the turkey dumplings:
These were minced, spiced turkey encased in wonton wrappers, and served with "a dash of chilli". And oh boy, did they come with chilli! There was a little too much chilli for my liking, which diminished my appreciation of these considerably.
There is a limited range of desserts available at The Oriental Tea House, and my favourite is the egg custard tarts:
Full details of the menu are available on the Teahouse website under the "Teahouse" sidebar.
A full range of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, is available for purchase.
The Oriental Tea House is a relatively inexpensive place to enjoy a range of Asian-style dumplings in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. The staff are efficient and attentive, but can be stretched when the restaurant is very busy. Certain dumplings are available in pre-packed takeaway boxes if you are on the go. This chain of restaurants is a favourite of mine, and I will be going back.
Oriental Tea House
378 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9600 4230