Our day trip to Olinda Tea House was an ideal, relaxing escape into the sprawling Dandenong Ranges away from the business of city life. The autumn foliage of the Olinda gardens, the impeccable customer service, along with the beautifully executed Chinese dishes – Olinda Tea House provided us with a truly memorable dining experience in Melbourne that has me impatiently waiting for the next opportunity to come back.
Olinda Tea House’s signature dishes epitomised my favourite flavours in Chinese cuisine, whilst their high tea-styled desserts were delicious morsels of sweetness. 100% recommend the peaceful drive into the mountains to experience Olinda – and especially pay a visit to their adorable alpacas in the back!
The good fat: We started off with the pan fried eye fillet cubes, lightly coated in a delectable roasted honey soy sauce that captured the fine balance between the slightly sweet tinges from the honey and savouriness of the soy. Pan frying it meant that the edges of each cube had the slightest crunchy charredness. The soft pieces of abalone, mushroom and asparagus tossed within were especially delicious – like small pillows of flavour!
Having grown up with Mum’s braised pork belly, I was anticipating what Olinda Tea House’s famous braised pork belly would bring to my childhood favourite – and this is truly their signature dish for a reason. Having been slow cooked for multiple hours in a pressure cooker, the chunks of pork belly brought a new definition to “melt-in-the-mouth” – small pieces of flesh pulled away at the lightest touch, and the sweet soy sauce was divine. I absolutely doused my jasmine rice with this sauce to make the most of it!
Not only did Olinda Tea House execute the Shanghainese dishes flawlessly, the same went for the classic, Sichuan-styled Kung Pao Prawns. The Kung Pao sauce was sweet, sticky and spicy – a triple trifecta of scrumptious flavours! The serving size was substantial, with massive juicy pieces of prawns coated in a light batter, conferring a slight crispy texture underneath the chilli sauce. A wonderful insight into Sichuan cuisine especially for those who aren’t great at tolerating too much spice (like me!)
We also had a silky smooth stir fried spinach with century egg as a simple vegetable dish on the side to break up the strong flavours from all our mains and for those 5 serves of veggies a day!
I’ve had my fair share of desserts in Melbourne and Olinda Tea House would be one of my favourites. With 5 different desserts, the best thing that each of them left me with a uniquely memorable flavour. The matcha swiss roll with its light, creamy texture, the apple tart with a cool, sorbet-like filling within a biscuit base, and the raspberry macaron with its subtle sweetness and refreshing, fresh raspberry on top!
Chocolate cupcake is such a seemingly simple dessert – but Olinda Tea House’s cupcake was like a moist, rich brownie that left me clamouring for more. Our meal was coming slowly to an end with the chocolate mousse, a thin layer of raspberry puree lending itself to the velvety smoothness of the chocolate – each spoonful brought us closer to the end of our lunch at Olinda Tea House and I couldn’t be more regretful…
Olinda Tea House is a gem in the Dandenong Ranges – it makes the perfect stopover for tourists, for those celebrating a special occasion, or even for Melbourne locals wishing to experience the tranquillity of the mountains in a serene restaurant – whether for lunch, dinner or an Oriental fusion high tea.
The bad fat: Honestly nothing!
A pristine garden out front, high ceiling restaurant overlooking Mount Dandenong, and experienced chefs who serve impressive and authentic Chinese food – how can you say no to Olinda Tea House?
CHECK OUT OLINDA TEA HOUSE’S WEBSITE HERE: http://www.olindateahouse.com.au/
2wofatgirls would like to thank Olinda Tea House, Dandenong Ranges for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.