I’ve made my love of tea quite abundantly clear previously on this blog, and so when we were invited to experience tHouse at the newish Harbourside Market on the Gold Coast recently, I was definitely excited.
tHouse is the first Dilmah tea house in Australia, although the ninth in the world, and was launched in September by the founder of Dilmah tea (a person you would recognise from the Dilmah tea television ads) Merrill Fernando. tHouse features an extensive menu of Dilmah designer gourmet t-series teas, and a tea infused food menu designed in close consultation with Sri Lankan celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita. There is a beverage menu featuring cocktails, mocktails and t-shots which all also feature tea.
The concept of the menu centres around food and tea matching, so we decided on four teas to try as well as two savoury and two sweet dishes. There are also petite high teas for one or full high teas available on booking.
Teas we sampled were the Original Earl Grey, Green tea with Jasmine, Rose with French Vanilla and Italian Almond Tea. We were particularly impressed with the Rose tea, which although was extremely sweet brought to mind tastes of Turkish delight. This tea is used to flavour desserts and cocktails on the tHouse menu. We liked it so much we bought a tin to take home.
Unfortunately, tea at tHouse is served in plungers, which means contact between the water and tea leaves remains. Tea keeps on brewing, resulting in a bitterness (particularly with green tea) which is unpleasant. We found we had to drink our tea quite quickly to avoid this, which to me negates the reason behind having a pot of tea – I like to take time to enjoy the tea I am drinking.
A crusty mini lamb pie topped with herbed creamed potato was L’s choice from the menu, filled with juicy spiced lamb mince and encased in a sweet pastry. I decided upon Sri lankan snacks; a selection of deep fried treats served with two chutneys. These were quite enjoyable, particularly with a heaped spoonful of the spicy chutney accompanying them.
Our sweet selections were most impressive. L’s peppermint tea infused icecream served in a chocolate pastry case with strawberries was absolutely magical, one of the best peppermint icecreams we have tasted, so smooth and light.
My Rose hip apple crumble with vanilla bean custard was topped off with a tea infused fruit sorbet, which I found was the Rose tea we had previously been sipping on. It was a little strange to have a cold sorbet on top of a dessert that is usually served warm, but worked well. The presentation was beautiful with the dish sitting in a bowl of ice, and little dried rose petals adorning the sorbet.
tHouse is a great concept for tea lovers, and also for those who want an introduction to tea and who are already familiar with the Dilmah brand. Tea matching is something which definitely interests me, we all know that wine matching occurs regularly in restaurants, but matching teas to different dishes is something new for everyone.
Harbourside Market is located directly across the road from Harbourtown shopping centre at Biggera Waters, and is a great spot to do some shopping on the northern end of the Gold Coast. With a gorgeous gourmet food market surrounded by a range of food outlets we were pretty impressed, there is a temperature controlled cheese room, meat room with different cuts beautifully displayed and every possible gourmet food available. Have a look next time you are on the Gold Coast.
**Disclaimer: Brisbane Devoured was a guest of Dilmah tHouse. Teas were provided by tHouse, but all food items from the menu were purchased by us**tHouse Harbourside Market 610 Oxley Drive Biggera Waters (Gold Coast) Ph 07 5500 5212 www.thousetea.com