Tea. Whipped cream. And Oreo crumbs. Say whaaat? It’s called plant milk tea and it’s the signature drink at TeaPlus, a Taiwanese teahouse tucked off Burwood Road. The glass beer mug lets you see all the pretty layers: three-quarters milk tea, one-quarter white creamy foam, a layer of Oreo crumb soil, and the teensiest sprig of mint leaves sprouting forth at the top. It's a drink pretty much born for Instagram.
Plant milk tea drinking instructions
The drinking instructions – yes, they’re written in the menu – include abandoning the straw, drinking straight through the foam, and relishing any cream moustache you end up with (no, really, they’re being serious). There are five different plant milk teas to choose from: original, oolong, taro, matcha green tea or chocolate. Get them all for the complete rainbow.
TeaPlus hand-drawn menus
The foam doesn’t stop there. The sea-salt milk foam teas layer salted cream over a jug of milk-free tea, a strange idea that actually works. And there are pages and pages of other drink variations, from passionfruit yoghurt slushies to jasmine tea lattes to super mango smoothies with coconut ice.
It’s not all drinks. The menus – handwritten and hand-illustrated on every table – offer a little bit of everything across South East Asia, including takoyaki octopus balls, Taiwanese sausages and golden-fried mantou buns ready for dipping in condensed milk.
Japanese takoyaki $6.90
Taiwanese sausages $3.90
Crispy buns $3.50
Wallet-friendly prices make this a popular spot for students who all seem to pile in as soon as the sign flips to 'open'. The décor is minimal but charming: turquoise walls, white chairs and tables, blackboard menus written in Chinese (relax, the menus are in English) and self-serve cutlery on every table.
House special chicken basil $6.90
Pick at the house special of deep-fried chicken pieces with basil, or hoe into Taiwanese favourites like hand-chopped pork in sweet gravy on slippery noodles, or deep-fried pork chops on rice.
Pork sauce on noodle $9.80
Taiwanese-style egg pancake with pork floss $6
Taiwanese-style egg pancakes come rolled up with all kinds of fillings including cheese, corn and chicken. Go for the pork floss for fluffy strands of sweet and salty deliciousness.
Crab meat and flying fish roe tamago $7
They do similar tricks with Japanese tamago, soft and silky rolled omelettes strewn with a range of toppings. Our pick is the crab meat drizzled with mayonnaise and covered in a thick carpet of bright orange flying fish roe.
Deep-fried chicken cutlet and deep-fried pork chop $6.90 each
Taiwanese snacks and drinks
TeaPlus Taiwanese Cuisine and Tea House
Shop 9, 258 Burwood Road, Burwood, Sydney
(Shopfront entrance on Clarence Street)
Tel: +61 (02) 8958 4264
Tuesday to Thursday 11.30am - 9.30pm
Friday and Saturday 11.30am - 10.30pm
Sunday 11.30am - 9.30pm
Closed on Mondays
This article appeared in the June 2014 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online]
Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews
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6/29/2014 01:39:00 am