Oriental Tea House

Basic Info:

Name: Oriental Tea House
Address: 455 Chapel St, South Yarra
Phone: 9826 0168
Website: www.orientalteahouse.com.au
Opening Hours:
Open 7 days a week, 10am - late

Little Eats 'soundbite review':

Highchairs, friendly staff, meals that come out quickly and the added novelty factor of "chicken feet" on the menu, choosing food from a trolley and chocolate rainbow jelly for dessert. A great Yum Cha spot for the family on the South side of town.

Highchair: Yes
Change table: No
Pram access: Kinda (there's a few stairs)
Separate kids menu: No
Normal menu suitable for kids: Yes
Friendly staff: Yes
Play area for kids: No
Activities provided for kids (eg: crayons): No
Vibe/atmosphere: Loud, vibrant, fun, buzzy
Prices: Very good for small dishes (but don't go overboard cos it does add up)
Other: Locations also in the City and Chadstone

Little Eats detailed review:

Yum Cha is a Sunday lunch tradition for many families, and this trendy Yum Cha spot and tea house is popular with South of the Yarra families for weekend trolley service lunches and also early dinners.

Oriental Tea House is bright, vibrant and loud, and has an upbeat and buzzy atmosphere, which makes it a fun environment for kids.

It is not your normal run of the mill Yum Cha joint, but is a slicker more upmarket version located on famous (or perhaps infamous) Chapel Street in the old Black Prince (oh God, anyone remember that place?!). When we dined there recently for tea early on a Sunday evening, the crowd was an interesting mix of families with toddlers in highchairs (there were three other families plus us), couples doing dinner and groups of trendy young things sipping Singha’s and nibbling on dumplings.

There is no specific kid’s menu, however there are plenty of small dishes offering different flavours and textures, so it is a great place for your little one to start to explore new taste sensations and experience and try new things. For the less adventurous, some of the menu staples that are firm favourites with many little ones include chicken and sweet-corn soup, fluffy pork buns, steamed dumplings, spring rolls, fried rice and noodles. Slightly older ones may also get a kick out of seeing “chicken feet” on the menu. That always got a chuckle out of me when I was a kid and out for Yum Cha. And for the record, I since became a veggo, so never got the “ahem” pleasure of getting to sample them.

Our little one just loves dip-dipping... cucumber sticks into Greek yoghurt, Turkish bread into Hummus... and at this dinner, it was absolutely anything and everything into her own little dish of soy sauce. So all I can say is, that we are damn lucky we remembered to BYO our plastic Baby Bjorn bib, as she made quite a mess. But hey, thats the beauty of eating out for dinner... not only do you get a night off cooking but you don’t have to clean up either.

For the sweet tooth, or little ones who were well behaved and have earned their dessert, there are some interesting options to choose from including chocolate dumplings, chocolate rainbow jelly or an ice cream cocktail.

The restaurant area is actually quite spacious and there is definitely room for prams and capsules at tables, however there are a few steps to get inside and then another few steps to the restaurant area. There is also an upstairs section with larger tables for groups, and also that is where the toilets are located, and unfortunately no change table.

It may not be your fully fledged kid-friendly restaurant, but there are highchairs, the food comes out fast and the staff are efficient and friendly. It is just across the road from the Jam Factory Cinemas (and Borders), so is also a good spot for a bite to eat before or after a family outing to the pictures. Just be aware of the front retail section where there are lots of lovely things (eg: glass teapots) that little hands might want to try and grab.

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