ONE Tea Lounge & Grill has opened in Sydney bringing a green tea-themed venue to the heart of the CBD.
Located along York St in the vicinity of The Swinging Cat and Mojo Record Bar, ONE Tea Lounge & Grill has a vibrant setting with furnishings in light timber, some walls bearing a light green tea colour and the the circle of life featuring as an important motif throughout the space.
You can take a seat at a table, at a high table, or lounge or even you can sit at the ba, either way you’re in a fun experience with cocktails and food designed to make you forget the world and indulge in a little.
Owner and host David Yip, responsible for creating his version of the ramen burger in 2013 is bringing a matcha green tea experience for lunch and dinner. Or rather, he is bringing what could arguably be one of Sydney’s most instagrammable restaurant and bar.
The cocktail menu designed by Natalie Ng of Sweet & Chilli and formerly of Mojo Record Bar is very much aligned with the theme of a Japanese style eatery based on matcha tea. You’ll find signature drinks like Matcha Made in Heaven balancing vodka, lime, Japanese Green Tea and yuzu finished with a spray of salted nori. You’ll also find Japanese sakes, Japanese whiskies, Japanese beer and local craft beer as well as a selection of wine.
The ONE Tea Experience
Start with a take on the Japanese tea ritual. The ONE Tea Experience ($37) brings the wow factor to the table on a bed of dry ice and hints to what is to come. A miniature Ferris wheel turns as each cup is filled with a mixture of gin with peach liqueur, lemon with chilled green tea and a hint of rose.
The ONE Tea Experience
Edible flowers sit atop each cup adding a visual feast to the experience. After all the cups are filled, the kettle remains to top up as each cup empties. This is a light, refreshing and delicate drink with subtle tea flavours that could take you through the meal.
Gyokuro Smoked Octopus Avocado
Gyokuro Smoked Octopus Avocado ($15) arrives at the table inside a smoked filled cloche. The aroma of tea smoked infusion enhances the tender pieces of octopus and creamy avocado. This is a dish not to be missed.
Served in a glass on dry ice, the Salmon Tartare ($13) continues with the visual as water is added to the ice which then surrounds the glass with fog. The salmon is fresh and tasty and is balanced with avocado, cucumber and tobiko – flying fish Roe and wasabi.
From the warm starters, the bite-sized Crispy Lollipop ($12) are a Nagoya style chicken with the skin pulled inside out, seasoned with Szechuan pepper. Pick one up and bite into the crispy skin is crispy with succulent chicken in this combination of salty and sweet.
Expanding the original ramen burger concept is the Designer Sliders ($20) with a choice of three sliders and four fillings. Recommended are the crispy Ramen Burger with Original Wagyu Beef, the Matcha Baoger with Teriyaki Chicken and the standout Rice Burger with Braised Pork Rib. There’s also a vegetarian option of Matcha Baoger with Miso Tofu which packs good heat.
Lava Stone Grill – 9+ Wagyu Beef 180gm
Lava Stone Grill with 9+ Wagyu Beef 180gm ($48) allows the table to cook the meat to their preference, be it rare to well done. The Lava stone is heated for two hours in the oven to 300c+ which lets the wonderful Wagyu Beef sizzle once it is put on. Adding Shimeji and Enoki mushrooms adds to what is a very special dish. Three dipping sauces are served being Matcha sea salt, Yakiniku sauce and Green tea hollandaise. Try pairing the Matcha sea salt and Yakiniku sauce, which is like a Japanese soy, for added flavour. It’s simply delicious.
Green Tea Miso Cod
The Green Tea Miso Cod ($37) flirts with fine dining by bringing black cod, seared scallops, seaweed, celeriac and lemon reduction in a dish not to be missed. The fillets of black cod come away with a touch of the fork and impart and an incredible flavour and beautiful texture.
Flaming Wagyu Volcano – 9+ Wagyu Beef
Theatre and dining continues with the Flaming Wagyu Volcano – 9+ Wagyu Beef ($48) with flames climbing high as absinthe is used to light the volcano which is cleverly made of onion rings. The Wagyu is seared on a sizzling hotplate and is tender with the wasabi teriyaki sauce adding a touch of sweetness and shimeji mushrooms.
Matcha Ice Tube
Coming to the drinks menu soon will be the Matcha Ice Tubes. Using equal parts of peach schnapps, matcha tea and a spirit of choice makes lab-inspired drinks fun for the table to share. The Nikka 12 Year Old Miyagikyo Single Malt Japanese Whisky was used here and with its soft smoke, earth and grass notes made for a perfect choice.
Ice Cream Baoger
For dessert, the Ice Cream Baoger ($13 for 2) are slider size fried Baogers filled with ice cream, red bean paste and a choice of matcha and black sesame. Just remember to bite into those crunchy, delicious and sweet Baogers fast or they melt while you’re instagramming your dessert.
Matcha Lava Bomb
In the final act for the evening , fire again comes to the fore with the Matcha Lava Bomb ($20) set alight with orange liqueur.
Matcha Lava Bomb
Once the flames have subsided, inside is a molten centre of matcha tea encased by the crunchy white chocolate cake which has a subtle sweetness. Little tubes of fresh fruit, miso caramel and the waffle flakes give contrasts in texture and temperature and make this a great dessert to finish on.
ONE Tea delivers with an unique take of using tea through its food and cocktails. There is a touch of theatre with some dishes while others are simply fine dining. But it is not purely a gimmick designed to entice diners. ONE Tea is well and truly backed up with quality ingredients prepared and presented well. So go along, enjoy and instagram to your heart’s content. Don’t worry, this is one place where the staff encourage it. You’ll be back again to enjoy the experience without clutching your phone.
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ONE Tea Lounge & Grill
73 York St, Sydney
* Updated 12 September 2015.
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