Monday, 2 April 2012

Chinese tea

This Saturday I had a table reserved for the bf and I at a Chinese tea place. Because of some football game going on in the area we ended up getting there about an hour early. There was a lovely pub close to the tube station where we disembarked. We shared some nachos and had a couple of beers. Well the bf had beers, I had some cider and ginger beer. Ginger beer just screams summer/spring to me so I had to get some.

So after we spent just over an hour getting slightly tipsy we moved on to Chaya Teahouse. It was easy to find, but I was very glad for the directions we received from the owner. The tea house is tucked away in a residential area. In fact, I think the guy who runs it lives upstairs and has the tea room on the ground floor. It is one large room. In the back there is a kitchen, just like you would find in any other house and then there are four tables across the room. We picked a low table with a couch. And this is what greeted us:

On the left you can just make out an electric kettle that looks like a teapot. It would reheat itself whenever the temperature dropped below a certain point. After we had chosen a tea (a red variety) a red clay pot was placed on the wood tablet. It contained the tea and was filled with the hot water. After the lid had been placed on it some hot water was poured on top of the clay pot. It only sat for about a minute and then was poured into one of the white cups. Where it would sit. From there it was served into those two tiny tea cups that are on either side. They didn't contain more than a shot. Made us drink the tea very slowly. And there is a certain way you are supposed to drink the tea. You take hold of the cup with your thumb and finger next to it. Your middle finger then supports the cup underneath and tilts it when you want to drink. Very clever.

The little tray right in front of us contains cards. One for each tea variety they serve. As you can see we picked a red one. The menu next to it contains all the food items. We ordered one of each. First we were served two savoury dishes:

These dumplings were delicious. Everything was prepared freshly and neatly arranged on little plates and bowls.

The rice parcel was especially good. It was very spicy without being hot. I had a bit of trouble eating with the metal chopsticks. The rice would just slide right off it. 

 This is lime sorbet with tea jelly. Usually I am not a bit fan of jelly, but this was very good. The combination of sweet with sour worked.

All of these were heavenly! The marshmallows were so soft they melted in our mouths. Unbelievably good.

The scones were probably the most 'traditional' tea item. The jam was made from rose petals. Gave it a nice twist.

Here is the menu we were served. It changes every weekend. I think they are only open on weekends and you need to reserve a table. It's really worth it. We spend £20 altogether. Which was absolutely worth it. Try it out if you get the chance.

tea pâtisserie; sweets
tea savouries


  1. Wow, that all looks lovely! I'll have to remember it next time I'm in London.

    1. It was very different to all other places I've been to. Really worth checking out ;-)

  2. I have to say i am very jealous of all of your tea times. It always looks so lovely and delicious, and you seem to always find such neat little tea houses.

    1. That just shows how obsessed with food and tea I am. And it shows that I spent way too much time of my lunch break googling tea houses and other food places...