Photo by Co-Lab Pantry
Olinda Tea House
By Tehya Nicholas
Way back in the Tang and Song dynasties in ancient China, a few places serving tea started to pop up. They were often perched on tranquil grounds with a charming view, and always attracted hoards of tea drinkers searching for respite. Cut to the modern day and these tea houses are a world-wide phenomenon, with one such venue worming into the hearts of many Victorians.
Olinda Tea House, the Dandenong Ranges very own traditional Chinese teahouse, has been serving High Tea with distinction since 2011. Earning a reputation as the best place to drink tea, it is a venue that honours tradition while adding a fresh spin of modernity - all for the noble cause of relaxation.
The 17-acre estate was originally owned and operated by the Lin family, who purchased the property after a devastating loss. As couple Cathy and Toshi grieved the passing of their young daughter, they sought refuge in the expanse of the Dandenong Ranges. The comfort they found there inspired them to share this healing place with others, and so Olinda Tea House was born.
Over seven years the Lin family grew the tea house from the ground up, eventually arriving at a stunning architecturally designed building that works in harmony with the surrounding forests, and a reputation of incredible service. Then in 2017, they passed the baton to the current owner Tony Qian for its next stage.
Qian, working alongside internationally recognised Head Chef Chin Chin, took the foundations of tranquility and introduced world-class Asian-fusion dining to the mix. The result? One of the region's best restaurants, tea houses and wedding venues.
Dishes like pan fried eye fillet cube and their signature sweet and sour BBQ ribs Shanghai style showcase the care and attention to detail paid to every aspect of the tea house. The food impresses not only with flavour, but with its incredible presentation, something the team say they love most about the process.
“Our favourite part is always the reaction of our guests when we serve their meal. Our chefs and kitchen assistants create such visually appealing creations - they really have the wow factor!”
The team also cater to most dietary requirements, with a vegan and gluten-free dining menu available. Then of course there is the High Tea menu and soon-to-be Yum Cha menu, both of which reflect the highest quality produce and preparation, and are perfect for your next celebration.
What was once built from a desire to share the beauty and serenity of the Yarra Valley, the Olinda Tea House is now a homeground for thousands of people each year celebrating the smallest of moments to the largest. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick cup of tea, a friendly dinner or staying for a wedding, the same welcoming, peaceful atmosphere will encompass you. After all, that’s what a tea house is for.