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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / tea

While coffee culture is slowly gaining grounds in Malaysia, tea seems to be a bit lagging behind. Many of us usually only drink tea (proper tea in which you don’t need to add sugar) while having bak kut teh and dimsum, I’m certainly guilty of this behavior.

A couple weeks ago we were invited to a Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien to learn a little more about the art of tea drinking.

Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL
Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL

As a tea company, Dilmah is relatively young, the Sri Lakan Ceylon tea company was founded in 1974 and has seen pretty rapid expansion lately to the local market, especially in premium outlets such as high end hotels and restaurants. One of which is Le Meridien KL, our host for the day.

I'd love to have me a fancy tea pot too
I’d love to have me a fancy tea pot too

The tea experts from Dilmah showed us how to brew a proper cup of tea. Never reboil the water, and only soaking the tea bags 2-3 minutes before tossing it off and start enjoying your tea. The habit of squeezing the tea bag with a spoon is also something you shouldn’t do. This is to ensure there isn’t any unwanted bitter taste to the beverage.

While temperature of 95-98 Celsius is good for most tea, green tea works best with water around 70 Celsius to allow the release of its delicate flavors. Needless to say, adding extra hot water to a tea bag that’s already used once is not something recommended here.

tea mixologist showing us how it's done
tea mixologist showing us how it’s done

For those who likes to be more funky with tea, the tea mixologist from Dilmah also showed us a few recipes in which tea is mixed with syrups to create stronger tasting (usually) cold beverages with tea flavor. To honest this would not ever be my way of enjoying premium tea, when I want syrup laden peach tea or something, I’ll have me a can of chilled St. Martin’s.

Using premium tea such as Dilmah for this purpose is a bit of a waste, it’s like wearing a tuxedo to fengtau disco outlets. I’m not saying the resulting drinks don’t taste good, I just think it is not appropriate.

tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination
tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination

We then moved on to have a few types of Dilmah tea paired with sweet delicious pastries and chocolates from Le Meridien. If you’re looking for a hi-tea session with fantastic cakes, macaroons, and a good cup of tea, this is a perfect place to be.

Different tea goes well with different foods though, the smoky Lapsang Souchong would go well with savory food such as bak kut teh, while lighter tea such as Earl Grey is fantastic with pastries. Just like wine/food pairing, this is an art in itself.

Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea
Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea

We tried a few types of tea over the session and I find myself really liking these tea. We have a couple tins of Dilmah tea at home from the event and I think we’d have to get some when they run out (probably in a few weeks time).

Address:
Le Meridien KL
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631, 101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

Over the Thaipusum weekend, I went to Cameron Highlands for the first time in my life. I had the preconception that Cameron was perhaps slightly smaller than Genting, with a small settlement of farmers and tea plantation workers. I was wrong.

tea plantation at cameron highlands
Cameron Valley tea plantation

I now see why Cameron Highlands is spelled in a plural, there are quite a few towns scattered around near the top of the mountain range: Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Kampung Raja, Blue Valley, Ringlet, Tringkap; with a combined population of some 35,000 people.

strawberry farm at cameron highlands
strawberry farm

The people at Cameron actually live in Cameron, and many of them are born there, and actually refer to the Malaysia outside Cameron as “low lands”. They operate just like any small town except for the fact that temperature is a cool 8-10c lower than average. Day time peaks at about 28c and at night, it hovers at about 18-20c, I like it very much.

steamboat at cameron highlands
steamboat at BrinjangBrinchang, Cameron Hignlands

Our trip started out brightly, with 3 cars and 10 of us in a 4, 3, 3 formation. About 330 meters up (it’s about 1200 meters at Tanah Rata), our trip came to a slight interruption, and you can read about that at Horng’s blog. We ended up with 2 small hatchbacks, 10 adults, and way too much luggage for 1-night stay.

Tea and Scones at Cameron Highlands
this is half of the group

Alas, the little incident did not derail out trip. We stayed at a bungalow with a fireplace and had baked potatoe, we had steamboat, tea and scones, visited strawberry farm and bee farm, shoots our own cheesy videos, and had loads of fun in between. It was absolutely awesome.

KY and Mellissa at cameron highlands
Mellissa and I

As with all trips, to me, destination come after the company, and I had the best with me.

There will be more write ups on this trip. The steamboat, the self baked sweet potato in the fire place, and maybe even a few silly videos. Stay tuned!

I did not know the existence of this place until my house mate Huey Fang the SS2 dining specialist (been to almost all restaurants in SS2 since she will usually get lost at other places) pointed it out to me last night. We then decided to have a light dinner there instead of visiting our frequent mamak square since the sky doesn’t look to be staying dry for long.

The name of the place is 中国华佗馆, pronounced “zhong kwok wah thor kwoon” in Cantonese. I didn’t spot any English or Malay names other than the HERBAL TEA printed under one of the traditional herbal tea containers (see picture below).

Update 25/8/2013: unfortunately this place is now closed

Herbal Tea at SS2 中国华佗馆
smallish place with nice ambiance, excellent porridge

The restaurant, only occupying half a shop lot, is pretty small but not overly crammed. The menu is pretty simple, offering several types of Herbal tea, “thong sui” (糖水), “guai leng gou” (龟零膏), and a few light dishes that can pass for a meal.

I ordered a five flower herbal (五华茶) tea and fish ball with glass noodle, while the other noobs went for porridge (神仙粥), chee cheong fun, and snow fungus with longan thong sui.

Herbal Tea at SS2 中国华佗馆
“thong sui”, fish ball soup, “chee cheong fun”, and a satisfied customer

The porridge was probably the best dishes. while the chee cheong fun and fish ball soup were pretty good as well. At less than RM 4.00 per dish, there’s pretty good value for money too. My traditional herbal tea and the thong sui were RM 2.00 per bowl (yes, old school bowl, not glass) were excellent too. I have also heard good things about the fried rice, but don’t bother to order the carrot cakes or curry chicken rice.

Herbal Tea at SS2, map 中国华佗馆
situated just the row behind McDonald’s at PJ SS2

This is a pretty nice little hide-out at the frenzy that is SS2. I’ll definitely go there again.

Address:
Jalan SS 2/55,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.116959, 101.621400

How many of you are sick of Starbucks and Coffeebeans? Places with somewhat decent drinks but basically no FOOD, and with lotsa Ah Bengs gathering at those places lately like vultures surrounding a dying elephant… er.. how to continue.. nevermind…

Update 30/6/2017: this place is closed

map of Petaling Jaya SS2, teapot cafe
here’s how to get there, noob!

Introducing, TEAPOT Cafe at SS2. A place for tea lover, a drink with less caffien and won’t stain your teeth. Plus, it also makes you look slightly more sophisticated, especially if you can fake a British accent (something even the mat salleh can hardly do these days.)

nice teapots
nice environment yeh? just abit too many aunties tho. =/

Other than a handsome choice of tea, including the common Earl Grey, English Breakfast, to the more exotic fruit teas, they serve a variety of local and western food too. I tried their Chicken Kiev, and it was pretty good. Nice big flab of chicken breast with juicy butter & herbs trapped inside with the help of a few tooth picks. Yumm. Fish & Chips

FA at teapot cafe
FA said Hi, and made a FU Peace sign

This is a perfect place to bring your chick for a date and away from prying eyes of the Ah Bengs at Starbucks & Coffeebean. It shows that you have taste, or that you merely read this blog. If you don’t have a gf/bf, you can always be like me, bring someone whom you can somewhat confuse otherd to be your significant other, contrary to the reality. heehee

Cheers!

p/s: If you’re a hot chick and you would like to go there with me, drop me a mail!

Address:
169, Jalan SS2/24
Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.116348, 101.622355
Tel: 03-7875 3024