We may remember the infamous ramen burger at Sydney’s night noodle markets where we’d have to wait hours in the queue to get hold of a burger. Well, good news. David Yip has brought his version of the ramen burger to the heart of Sydney CBD where it is here to stay.
David Yip surpasses our expectations at One Tea Lounge and Grill, offering a menu that consists of 75% green tea flavoured dishes. The cute looking matcha baogers and its dessert counterpart, matcha ice cream baogers, are becoming an instagram sensation and are striking everyone’s inquisition to venture to the asian fusion bar to grab a bao, and of course, to get a picture of it!
One Tea Lounge suited our purpose of a relaxing girl’s night out with its casual mix of lounge seating and high tables. The bright orange and green statement decor against simple black and whites gave the joint a modern and funky feel.
The menu was vast, ranging from snacks and entrees, share plates, larger mains, side dishes and lots of drinks including their specialised cocktail list.
My choice of cocktail tonight was the Matcha Made in Heaven – a contemporary twist on a classic cocktail with a delicate balance of vodka, lime, Japanese Green tea and Yuzu finished with a spray of salted nori. It was served in a tea pot and tea cup style to conform with the asian elements of the restuarant. The vodka was strong but balanced with the zesty lime, and yuzu and sweet-bitterness of the green tea. A citrus-sweet but strong cocktail was perfect – just how I like it.
Their signature ‘design your own’ sliders consists of a choice of three buns (matcha boager, rice burger or ramen burger) and four choices of filling per slider (wagyu beef, teriyaki chicken, braised pork rib and miso tofu for a vegetarian option). According to One Tea Lounge, the ramen burger does come in the larger burger version for lunch, but sliders are only served during dinner for variety.
I had just come back from my holiday in New York, where I had tried the original ramen burger with extra cheese and bacon at New York’s Smorgasburg food festival. So, I was excited to re-taste David Yip’s version to compare. It was quite interesting to see the difference in the way the ramen buns were made and the flavours used in David Yip’s ramen burger with the one I had in New York. David Yip stated that they went without the cheese or bacon to retain a distinct asian taste. He also infused ramen soup sauce into the base of the burger buns to achieve extra asian flavour.
I felt that I preferred the soften ramen style from NY, and that the matcha bun became a little soggy on the bottom. Nevertheless, it was a good bite and I am looking forward to the new ideas to be implemented to these sliders in the future.
You can’t go past the matcha fries! We got two sets – one dusted with green tea salt and another with seaweed. Both were delicious though the green tea salt flavour won me over.
Gyokuro tea Smoked Octopus Avocado salad was brought out covered by a glass dome by the waitress. As she lifted the dome, a ball of smoke emerged and there was a whiff of tea-smoked smell. Some have said that the tea smoked smell is reminiscent of the smell of weed..
Salmon ceviche was served with dry ice poured into the plate by the waitress at the table. The salmon tartare was cut in cubes mixed with avocado, cucumber and fish roe giving the dish a refreshing light taste.
Lollipop Corn cobs were interesting with spicy sambal miso, and was topped with a handful of butter popcorn which balanced out the strong spicy taste of the sambal sauce.
We also had skewers (wagyu beef, pork belly with char siu flavour, chicken thigh with teriyaki glaze and enoki wrapped beef) from the robata grill with the enoki beef wrap being my favourite.
Just in case we weren’t full yet, we ordered a large main of Green Tea Miso Cod to share. The dish consisted of seared scallops, seaweed, celeriac and lemon reduction. The green tea miso was subtle but nicely enhanced the sweetness of the cod cooked to the perfect level. I would definitely recommend this dish.
We were all stuffed by the time desserts came. We opted for green tea and black sesame ice cream baoger to share, and a tofu white chocolate cheesecake.
After the effort of dividing each bao between all of us, I regret that we didn’t order one each. They were delicious with two slices of deep fried sweet baos sandwiching green tea/black sesame ice cream, complimented by the generous layer of red bean paste smeared on the inside of the bao.
The tofu white chocolate cheesecake was on par with the sweet baos. The cheesecake was rich and creamy and contrasted beautifully with the crumbed polenta, lemon curd and assorted berry textures.
One Tea Lounge and Grill was an enjoyable experience for all of us. I particularly loved the green tea miso cod, the matcha fries and both the desserts. I can understand why the desserts are becoming the highlights of One Tea Lounge. If you enjoy anything and everything green tea and asian baos, this is the place to visit!