Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
Published May 30th 2017
A tasty twist on traditional dumplings
There's dumplings and then there's dumplings and while Chapel St has a solid variety of your cheap and cheerful dumpling places, stepping into Oriental Teahouse on the South Yarra end of Chapel just takes it up a notch. A very delicious notch.
Tea lovers will fall in love with their tea menu which arrives at your table as a wine list might and offers a wide variety of loose leaf teas. You'll find everything from black teas to green, fruit teas, special blends and pretty much everything in between. Each one also comes with an explanation of its health benefits and a bit about the flavour too. Looking for something in particular; the waitstaff are as versed in tea as a simelier is in wine!
Oriental Teahouse on South Yarra's Chapel St serves up a huge variety of loose leaf teas and chinese cuisine. Image:The Ideas Library
While you'll find many dumpling favourites on the menu, you'll also find several options that are a bit of an unusual take on the traditional including the basil, spinach and prawn rice dumplings served in a Vietnamese ginger and lemon sauce (below). They're not only a clever twist on the traditional, but a great option for those keen on gluten free dumplings too.
The prawn, basil and spinach dumplings in a Vietnamese lemon and ginger sauce. Image:The Ideas Library
Another atypical take on the traditional dumpling is the 'Flame Thrower' created via competition where diners designed their own dumpling. The winning dish was added to the menu by Oriental Teahouse. It's a popular choice (and with good reason if you like your dumplings on the spicier side) as it's made with pulled pork on the inside and served with slices of pork belly (below).
The Flame Thrower dumplings made from pulled pork and served with pork belly. Image:The Ideas Library
You'll also find plenty of other non-dumpling options such as stir fried and fried dishes as well as substantial sized mains (making it an ideal menu for sharing). We also tried the tea smoked chicken served with a raspberry mayo and couldn't get enough!
The tea smoked chicken served with raspberry mayo is definitely a win. Image:The Ideas Library
For those with a sweet tooth, we couldn't pass up a popular favourite, their signature white chocolate dumplings steamed and topped with coconut prailine. It's super delicious and sweet without being too sweet.
It's a great place for a pre-or-post movie meal as it's just a short distance from the Jam Factory cinema. On weekends, Oriental Teahouse offers a Yum Cha menu that's worth booking in for.
The service is friendly, the atmosphere is incredibly welcoming and it's certainly one of Chapel St's underestimated spots.