Oriental Teahouse | South Yarra
Oriental Teahouse has been a Chapel St staple for nearly 14 years. As much a part of the furniture as The Jam Factory’s familiar red brick façade, or a late-night Lamb On Chapel garlic kebab. But this year it’s undergone a significant revamp, styling itself as a premier Shanghai-style dumpling and teahouse. An old dog with a few new tricks.
The refit was designed by the award-winning team at Hecker Guthrie, and it’s pretty stunning. A mishmash blend of rustic ironware teapots, delicate porcelain and brushed concrete, lit up with a neon flair. Yum cha favourites like the knock-out chilli Wagyu beef dumplings and the Chinese Wonka chocolate dumplings are back on the menu, but there’s a few new faces too. The flame thrower pulled pork dumplings are a dead set winner, while veggos should definitely check out the house-made tofu, fried Szechuan style with mixed wild mushrooms.
As you’d expect, Oriental Teahouse has kept the tea retail space in-tact. You can pick up a box of smoky ‘Black Dragon’ or calming ‘Happy Tea’, along with a range of copper tea tins, strainers and china pots.
And to finish the night? Head upstairs to the new-look Zhou Zhou Bar, a 1930’s Shanghai throwback with a cheeky 3am liquor licence and an epic whisky collection. As Chapel St drinking dens go, Zhou Zhou is definitely underrated. Here’s how to do it: kick back under the neon signage and sip on hard-to-find Asian beers like Hitchino Nest and Coedo, then order up a double serve of ginger prawn dumplings from downstairs. Happy days.
And if the Christmas spirit is grabbing you, you've GOT to try OT's new range of Christmas-themed dumplings. They're going all out this year. We're talking roast turkey and chicken dumplings with chilli cranberry sauce (err...yum!), pan-fried lamb dumplings with parsnip and mint jelly, even Christmas pudding dumplings (!!) with custard, cherries and strawberries. You can see why Santa finds it hard to shed those Christmas pounds...
Get them in-store up until Christmas Day. Then they're gone for good.
Image credit: Oriental Teahouse