I had the pleasure of meeting ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL owner, David Yip, while at a food critics tasting for another venue in the amazing Hawker Lane at Chatswood Westfield. We were actually eating testicles, tendon and kidneys and not having a very good time and one of the other food peeps saw David and they knew each other, he came over, introduced himself to everyone and then proceeded off the bat to bring dessert over for a dozen people for free. It was an amazing experience, his dessert was mini ice-cream baogers (down below) and we all fell in love with them and David’s bubbly personality and ability to talk ears off with his passion and love of food and his venues.
Since this time I have returned to his Chatswood smaller outlet ONE TEA GRILL in Hawker Lane multiple times to try his burgers. David and his staff are always professional and always up for a chat and a friendship has since grown, he messaged me a couple of weeks ago to see if I was free to come in and try out his CBD venue on York St, ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL, and I had a spare 30mins so we arranged for a fly-by visit, feast and photo shoot that was the most rushed thing I have ever done :).
The ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL was a passion project of David and his fiancée, who sadly passed away in 2014, her name was Daisy and when you pass that beautiful giant Daisy on the wall when you walk in know that the lady of the house is still looking over the venue and is the soul and inspiration for everything that happens at ONE TEA. Most things in the venue are circular and it is the venue’s inspiration to embrace the circle of life, something that is a passion of Davids but also something that is comforting and embraces the principals of Feng Shui.
The venue is much much different from the smaller GRILL at Chatswood, this is a large restaurant and bar and it caters for everything from lunches to dinners, parties and corporate and their menus are extensive; separate lunch and dinner menus, banquet menu, cocktail menu and so on.
The venue has no natural light but the decor is colourful and vibrant to bring its own light to the place. Opposite Daisy is one of the most vibrant and beautiful journey murals commissioned by a friend of Davids, it is a representation of the Noodle Markets that kicked off what has made ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL and David a name in the food scene, his trademarked ramen burgers and his sublime ice-cream baogers.
I had tried ONE TEA’s XL burgers at GRILL but ONE TEA is soon to be launching their new lunch menu at that will see a few lower priced items and it was these items I was visiting to indulge in. I started with a simple and delightfully flavoursome dish of BLOODY MARY WINGS ($10): Butter Milk chicken wings with celery, Bloody Mary sauce with a dipping sauce of sour cream and bacon. It was nicely cooked and a great snack to share with a few people before your burgers arrive. Loved them but only ate one as I thought I was there for a single burger but was given two burgers, the best fries on planet earth, the chicken wings and a Matcha Cocktail Wheel for the One Tea Experience, and I should remind you, all in 30mins :).
Following the Bloody Mary Wings came the best fries on planet earth, I could nearly pray to this dish that is like a deity of duck love. They are Peking Duck Fries and the flavours are freaking insane. I left them for a while so they became a little soggy but that was what I loved, imagine the Japanese version of English chips and gravy but instead of gravy it is a generous serving of shredded Peking (Hoisin) Duck and then coriander on top – multiple foodgasm right there – and I was sad I couldn’t just eat all the fries, I love this dish. The Peking Duck Fries are $12- for the bowl that will easily satisfy two or three people, unless you are me and then everyone else can go to hell.
The first of the burgers is the trademarked BAOGER: Single Beef 80/20 Pattie (120g), American cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, gherkins, house tomato jam, garlic aioli mustard for $13-. Please note the Baoger is still on review as ONE TEA are looking to modify the fillings to more of an Asian style… but they are using the above as their CLASSIC BEEF burger priced at ($11) for now. It is a cheese burger served on a fluffy cloud like bao bun. It is simple, light and brilliantly balanced for a cheeseburger and the bin us si sift and fluffy I will need eat this one again. For burger scoring on the Spoonometer I would rate this one a 4/5.
Following the Baoger was 2-WAY BEEF BURGER for $13: Single Beef 80/20 Pattie (120g), house smoked brisket, pepper, Jack cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, gherkins, house tomato jam and smoked chipotle BBQ sauce. It was freaking delicious, an easy 4.6/5 for scoring based on the fact that it’s so juicy and flavoursome with a somewhat smokey flavour to it that keeps you going back for more. This was the one dish David and his amazing head chef, Kago, served me that I had to finish, and I was glad to lick the juices off my face and carry them in my beard until I got back to the van and much needed wet wipes :). Out of all of David’s/ One Tea’s burgers this is the one I have loved the most.
Above is ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL’s infamous burger, the RAMEN BURGER. My initial review from ONE TEA GRILL from last year – “Beautiful crunch from the Ramen bun and my filling was teriyaki chicken (you can choose between original Wagyu Beef (100g), Braised Pork Rib, Teriyaki Chicken or Miso Tofu Vegetarian). For $18 it comes with a delightful little salad and cubes of watermelon which made the dish. It was refreshing to have the watermelon between bites of the slightly spicy burger. Divine!! On scoring 4.5/5. The flavours were epic!!”
The above is THE ONE burger from ONE TEA GRILL at Westfield Chatswood’s Hawker Lane – soft shell crab, mapo beef, sriracha mayo, Asian slaw, avocado, ramen slider and ebi furai (the deep fried prawn on top) – $20. JUST WOW!!!! The soft shelled crab was divine!!! The beef was delicious and the ramen slider was a textured win. The mayo has a beautiful warmth and flavour but it’s very strong, personally would have liked about 1/3 less of the sauce so the other items could sing louder. I BLOODY LOVED THIS BURGER!! Scoring is a 4.6/5.
This is the amazing THE ASAHI – Asahi Beer infused 9+ grade 180gm Wagyu beef patty, Suntory Whiskey and Bulldog sauce, cheddar cheese, grilled gherkins, tomato, lettuce, shichimi maple bacon, and Asahi battered onions $20-. INCREDIBLE!!! The patty was superbly cooked and it can go either way on a patty of that thickness and that bacon, the crispest I have had. The bun was a little dry but the sauces on the burger more than compensated. It had a definite Japanese inspiration behind it, for something that looked large it was incredibly clean and quite oil free so it actually felt like a light meal. Would definitely order this again. LOVED. On the scoring front I would award a 4.3/5 on the Spoonometer.
And let’s not forget the Ice-Cream Baogers – One of the most instagrammed desserts of 2015; 2 x Slider size fried Baogers with ice cream & miso caramel (flavours: Green tea, Black Sesame, Lychee, Red Bean or NEW White Chocolate Ferrero Rocher (+$1)) for $15-. They are all insanely brilliant – Red Bean was my fave if I had to pick one. These dessert burgers are perfection in desserts. On scoring a hand’s down 5/5 on the Spoonometer.
And here is the man, the legend, himself; David knows how to make a meal/ night out at his venues theatrical and his use of the Matcha Wheels to deliver the ONE TEA EXPERIENCE (cocktail) is mind blowing. This cocktail dish is $53- but it’s worth it; Gin, peach, lemon with chilled green tea & a hint of rose. Served as a Japanese tea ritual in a shroud of dry ice clouds. You get the Matcha wheel filled with little cocktail Japanese tea cups and a tea pot filled with your cocktails, this is the dish that turns heads on delivery, it’s amazing and the flavour – I only drank two of the cups as had to drive but could happily kick back and polish the entire thing off to myself.
One Tea Grill is a must if dining in Hawker Lane in Chatswood Westfield and if you want a great corporate or friend’s lunch or a great night out give One Tea Lounge a look at.
Abundant thanks to David and Kago and all the staff at ONE TEA LOUNGE AND GRILL, I need to return so I can kick back and relax while indulging in the amazing food with a Matcha Wheel or two. For pricing and other information be sure to check out their website below.
One Tea Lounge and Grill Deets:
Upper Ground Floor, 73 York Street, CBD, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 8318 2246
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) ate as a guest of the venue but to be frank, if it was shit I would happily tell you as such.