ONE Tea Lounge & Grill

Rebecca Varidel
11th Aug 2015

Ramen Burger from 2013, Rice Burger from 2014, and Matcha Baoger from 2015 top the new One Tea Lounge & Grill lunch menu launched yesterday. The designer burgers come as mix and match to order in three easy steps:

1. Choose your BURGER- Ramen Burger, Rice Burger, Matcha Baoger
2. Choose your FILLING- Original Wagyu Beef, Braised Pork Rib, Teriyaki Chicken, Miso Tofu Vegetarian
3. Choose any ADDITIONAL 1/2 SERVE SIDES- Matcha Fries or Popcorn Curry Chicken

From the start, I'd like to say I was a Ramen Burger virgin; I was a cynic; I hadn't tried one way back when they became famous, at the Night Noodle Market. Today was my first bite of one but this time I was sitting in the new York Street digs.

There is both a sad and yet beautiful story behind his new York Street restaurant bar. David Yip told me the story, but I don't think I can tell it better than he told it on his instagram @onetealounge.

"On this Sunday, I came across a quote that reminded me what truly matters is to enjoy life & to be happy is what matters... It reminds me of the inspiration & purpose of my restaurant bar to fulfil a special person's dream and provide a place for people to 'Celebrate life and food & treasure the moments with those closest to you'.

In memory of my late fiancé, Daisy who passed away from cancer last year but her spirit lives strong as the inspiration behind my restaurant bar with our Daisy wall feature & 'Circle of Life' painting... I hope that everyone can treasure those special moments with their friends and loved ones as this was her wish to do so... Be happy and be strong."

And how were the burgers? Well I am converted. It is a well considered, intelligent and tasty dish, with a crispy crunchy exterior and soft wagyu interior. The Ramen Burger is the perfect fit-in-your-mouth-in-one-bite size and not a monstrous tower that is masquerading as a hold-in-your-hand food. Notice, I didn't say fast. The three inventions, of three years, the three burgers are anything but fast food. This food is crafted with care. Just about everything you see on this menu is made on the One Tea Lounge premises including the miso.

Also on the lunch menu are some other noodle options in hotpots and once again it's choose your noodle and add your filling. There are also rice options, but her the rice is green. It's not an easy thing to cook rice in green tea as the green tea shouldn't be heated above 60 degrees. It took some experimenting, I'm told, but they've nailed it, I reckon. Green tea rice arrives at lunch in Matcha Bento Boxes, the Matcha Donburis rice bowls, and Sizzle rice hotplates. The lacquered compartments also nurture a most delicious cold wasabi pea mash, a wasabi dressed salad, seaweed, pickles, soft shell crab and a choice of Salmon teriyaki, Salmon avocado, spicy cheese pork, chicken teriyaki, black pepper unagi, or vegetable tofu.

Maybe the best of these dishes, is the most unassuming. David Yip likes the Spicy Cheese Pork Sizzle rice hotplate best, and I've got to agree. Here it comes, presented as a tower of vegetables, rice, pork, cheese and the egg is poured around it, cooking on the hotplate, stirred as it sets, through the dish, all combined. It blushes when its ready to eat. Humble. But oh so very delicious. One Tea Lounge & Grill is worth a lunchtime spot just for this dish, I reckon.

While the spacious blonde tables or funky orange high stools give good lunch, they also give good beverages. Yes this is a green room, a specialty green tea house including matcha. The prize of them is Gyokuru which can come by the leaf, but is even more special when ground to a matcha powder and whisked to a frothy traditional bowl. The green beverages don't stop there. This is green heaven from Iced green tea and Iced matcha latte to Matcha Made In Heaven, which for those unitiated in this ceremony, is the One Tea Lounge take on a classic cocktail- Tanqueray, Japanese matcha, Yuzu and a spray of salted nori. Yes indeed. Bring more of those teapots. Classier still, because the pouring includes a (dry ice) smoke show.

Then the lights dim, and dinner brings back the burgers, as sliders. And, adds tasters to share from the Popcorn curry chicken with green tea lime mayo to Gyuokuro smoked octopus and a chilled glass of Salmon tartare. The biggest feed of all here cooks at your table. It's 9+ marble score in the wagyu; the beef sizzles with mushrooms at the table on a hot lava stone grill. And of course green tea can't help but pop its head in, even when it's not centre stage. There's three dipping sauces with the beef: Matcha sea salt, Green tea hollandaise and Yakiniku sauce.

Then comes the finale, two Ice cream baogers- sliders of fried baogers with (you guessed it) green tea ice cream and black sesame ice cream, lychee and red bean. Kinda like a 2015 take on fried ice cream, don't you think? Even when you think you can't get there, these kick that second stomach, the dessert stomach in.

Loading Map....
73 York Street
+61 2 9279 3311

Mon – Wed 11am – 3pm; 5.30pm – 10pm

Thu – Fri 11am – 3pm; 5.30pm – midnight

Sat 5.30pm – midnight