One Tea Lounge & Grill

* Thank you Robbie (itd_be_rude_not_to) from Instafoodie Events, David from One Tea Lounge and Gateaux Sydney for organizing this evening. Shout out to Brian(@brhinos), Phil(@philtiono) and Daniel(@lifeandyouphotography) for sharing a table with us. 

Amongst all the hidden restaurants, cafes and bars in the city lies One Tea Lounge. A seemingly small restaurant on York Street opens up to a magical den at night. 
The restaurant holds a retro and colorful vibe and although it looks small from the outside, the restaurant can accommodate a good crowd yet still feels quite intimate at the same time. One Tea Lounge is better known for their Ramen Burger which blows up the Sydney Food scene every time the night markets roll around. Their restaurant is known for their ability to intertwine Japanese green tea into the menu and create unique experiences for their diners. 
There are also two Pokestops for the Pokemon lovers that David keeps refreshed with lures. 

Of course, we couldn't help ourselves to start the evening off with some cocktails from the One Tea Lounge creative bar menu. 
Japanese Highballer 

So Pre-tea 
They weren't exaggerating when they named this cocktail - pretty as a picture indeed. Going along with the intense matcha theme of the restaurant, the Pre-tea cocktail had a combination of cucumber, elderflower and vodka with green tea. It's surprisingly citrusy and refreshing - the kind of cocktail that suits a hot day. 

A not-so-simple but generous bowl of chips hits the table. We're greeted with this gorgeous complex combination of spices. 
Having recently tried (and loved) Bao Stop's Peking Duck Fries, I was both excited and skeptical about whether or not One Tea Lounge could live up to my past experiences. 

I'm glad to say that although Bao Stop is great, the two are different and each have their strengths.
The biggest point of difference between the two was the sauce. Whilst Bao Stop holds a more traditional style Hoisin sauce, One Tea Lounge serves their sauce with a bit more kick and complexity. Personally, I found Bao Stop was a little more generous in terms of duck (crispy skin included) however doesn't have the depth of flavour and sauce ratio that One Tea Lounge served. 
The chips were unanimously highly commended. Every chip was super crunchy and well seasoned amongst the mix whether they were on the top or on the bottom.  Overall a good version of Peking Duck Fries and is perfect for someone that has a huge craving for that beautiful combo but can’t commitment to a whole duck. 

The next dish brings the beginning of what One Tea Lounge is known for; their theatre.
David presents three kinds of oyster shots: Yuzu foam, sake and wasabi soy on a clever traditional bed of ice.

The dish itself was visually stunning and packed a punch of flavour as well! The three choices complimented the fresh oyster in different and unique ways. 
Sake - The beauty of a distilled rice wine with oyster was complimentary and delicious. It was refreshing and cleansed the palate. 
Wasabi Soy - Thankfully the wasabi wasn't overwhelming, the combination is reminiscent of the usual sushi/sashimi combination bringing out the briny flavours of the oyster.
Yuzu - We thought the yuzu was one of the more muted flavours out of all the oyster shots. Despite the citrus foam, its  flavour didn't really dominate the dish. 

Smoked Octopus
Ever think about eating smoked salmon, trout etc. and wonder ‘I wonder how it gets smoked?’ Well, One Tea serves you your smoked octopus smoking! 
David told us this is one of the best sellers on his menu but funnily enough this was a dish that completely divided our table. Some found the smoke overwhelming. They felt the combination with smoke didn't quite suit the particular dish. 
Personally, I didn't mind it. The smokiness of the dish is reminiscent of smoked chicken and the textual difference between the soft avocado and chewy octopus was nice. 

Juicy AF Fried Chicken 
Of course, everyone loves fried chicken so we were all certainly excited to try a piece.
David serves his with a Sriracha Mayo to bring a little heat to the dish. The cooking style is unique; combining a sous vide and a fryer is an unlikely combination but it’s how One Tea Lounge delivers juicy chicken every time.
The batter was crisp and crunchy, however depending on which piece you get some pieces were juicier than others. We found the chicken the tiniest tad overcooked but didn't completely ruin our dining experience. The Sriracha mayo was nothing special but a nice addition regardless.

Ramen Burger Sliders
Our next course was the Ramen Burger, a familiar face and certainly the pride and joy of One Tea Lounge. The Ramen burger made its original debut in the 2013 Night Noodle Markets and since then kicked off the progression and innovations behind One Tea Lounge.
Personally having had this slider in the past with mixed experiences, but overall always found that the ratios were a little off, the ramen buns too sticky and just texturally unpleasant. 
This time around it was a lot better. The buns were very crisp and a little thinner than I’ve had previously and the freshness of the tomato and lettuce came through a lot more. 
Mister_eats loved it and was definitely his number one dish of the night


A seemingly simple and delicious looking dish hit the table with a huge onion volcano sitting proudly in the middle. Thinking the dish was ready to go, David warned us not to sit too close as there was theatre to follow. 

Flaming Wagyu Volcano - 9 + Wagyu Beef

And just like that, the dish was up in flames, giving everything on the plate including the teriyaki sauce a delicious quick sear.
Flaming the dish meant that the Wasabi soy became that touch stickier and coated the shimeji mushrooms and beef really well.
Overall, a very nice dish but mind your eyebrows when it's served. 

Lava Stone Grill - 9 + Wagyu Beef

With a little less fire, the lava stone grill hit the table for a more interactive dish.
The wagyu beef sits proudly on the plate and the distinct marbling shows the meat’s premium quality. 
The lava stone comes accompanied with 3 dipping choices: Matcha Sea Salt, Yakiniku sauce and Matcha Hollandaise. 

Although the beef itself is absolutely gorgeous on its own, each of the accompanying sauces brings out moreish beef in its own way. 

Ice Cream Baogers - White Chocolate Ferrero , Red Bean and Black Sesame, Red bean and Matcha 
My personal 'dish of the night' was the ice cream Baogers, although I've had them in the past and I'm partial to sweets on the best of days, I couldn't resist. 
Having tried this recently at the burger festival in Sydney Uni I already knew what I was in for. 
What makes this dish is the sheer contrast between textures and temperatures. The crispy bun is often served hot and as you bite into the baoger you're greeted with the cool ice cream and the gooey topping, whether it's Ferrero or red bean.
Most of all I love that this dish isn't overly sweet. The bun tends to have just that tiny amount of saltiness that balances the sweetness from the ice cream. My personal favourite is the white chocolate and Ferrero and would definitely recommend this dish to everyone. 

Matcha Rain Drop
The infamous raindrop cake that took Sydney by storm has a home at One Tea Lounge. 

Personally, this dish didn't leave a big impression on me as raindrop cakes tend to be a little bland and overall non-event. However, the cake itself had a bit of sweetness which other raindrop cakes have lacked. The cake was balanced in the way that it wasn't overloaded with gelatin and was certainly lifted by its surrounding textures. 

The One Tea Experience served in a Matcha Wheel 

The Matcha Wheel embodies One Tea Lounge completely. Both beautiful and theatrical, the wheel presents a green tea cocktail. The drink is fruity, sweet and the green tea isn't overpowering at all. It's certainly a beautiful drink and refreshing at that.Although it's delicious, mind yourself as there's a fair amount of alcohol and it's all too easy to drink the whole thing. 

A new addition to the menu is the cookie shots that have been plastered all over Instagram. 
They're absolutely adorable and extremely photogenic at that.
The cookie shot glasses came in chocolate brownie, red velvet and matcha. Similarly the beverage comes in Matcha Latte, Peanut Butter Latte and Red Velvet Latte. 

We opted for a Peanut butter to go with the range of cookie shots we had at our disposal.
As exciting as it is, my advice is not to immediately down the drink, since the cookie shot is quite robust, let the warm latte infuse and soften the cookie up before taking a swig.
Unfortunately, we learnt this the hard way. Although the drink was amazing and we had a beautiful combination of melting chocolate and latte, the remaining biscuit was dry and hard. 

Gateaux Sydney's Nutella Cake

To finish off our evening, we had a guest appearance from Kristy from Gateux Sydney who brought us a magnificent towering Nutella cake and some take-home mini Napolitaines. 

The cake itself was so beautifully soft, moist and fluffy, I couldn't believe it, it wasn't overpoweringly sweet or dense and it was amazing. 

Overall One Tea Lounge is always full of surprises and almost feels like you're entering a green tea wonderland.
It's been amazing to watch this restaurant grow from its humble beginnings at the Noodle Night Markets in 2013 and to see David's creativity run wild. 
We're looking forward to seeing more of One Tea Lounge in the future and see how the menu will continue to surprise us. 

Written by Jay Santiago @the.eatventures

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