Daily: 11:00 - 22:00
Tea Chapter aims to be a sanctuary for all tea lovers. Our surroundings are adorned with calligraphy, paintings and art pieces. The gentle music adds to the cozy atmosphere. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering to promote total relaxation and to feel at home. Once inside, drink in the peaceful and quaint ambience of the teahouse. Tea art courses are available, with minimum 10 required to start each class.
An authentically chinese tea-house decor, with woody accents, i felt very serene after stepping into this shop. it was quiet, clean and the staff politely pleasant. just how a tea place should be. there is a mind-boggling array of clay teapots, horoscope themed sets and even designer tea sets that ring up to a pretty 5 figure sum as the staff chatted with me. they even sell tea which varying health properties to go with your new tea set and willing to impart how to make a great cup of tea. great for my upcoming tea party for friends.
I actually purposefully login to my account just so that i can write this review for Tea Chapter. My visit was on 28 November 2014, Friday, 7pm.
I called to make a reservation earlier in the week, but the staff who attended to my call erroneously recorded my reservation on the wrong date. Personally I thought it wasn't a big deal, 'cos Tea Chapter was barely occupied when I was there and they could definitely accomodate a lot more customers whether or not a reservation was made. But the elderly lady at the counter spoke to me in a condescending and accusatory tone as if I made up a story to cheat my way into an almost empty teahouse. After I spotted my name and contact details recorded under another date to prove that I did call to make a reservation, she grudgingly said to me in Chinese, 'Ok, we should have space for you.' She showed us to the 3rd level (Japanese style) and only one table was occupied, the others are empty. Was it so hard to welcome customers into a teahouse with more than enough tables? I don't understand why such a simple matter that could be resolved easily and peacefully has to be dealt with in an unpleasent manner.
When we settled down at the table, she spotted my friend holding a bag containing a packet of food and the lady reprimanded us and warned us not to eat outside food. We were pretty shocked 'cos we showed no attempts in / had no intention of consuming outside food, but we were made to feel guilty for even bringing anything that resembles food into the premises.
After we placed our order for food, the first dish that was served to us was the tea egg and it came without utensils. We requested for spoons from the same elderly lady and she said to us, 'No spoons. You've to eat with your hands 'cos it's finger food.' I was so stunned by her response over a simple request for spoons. The tea egg wasn't the only dish we ordered, we had place orders for lotus leaf rice, dragon well noodles among others that would later come with spoons, so I don't understand why it is so hard to give us spoons first. The impression I get was that she just wasn't interested in serving us at all.
Then our $24 Long Jing tea leaves came which she unceremoniously dumped on our table with nary a word on how to use the tea set. I'd have requested for a brief initial demonstration but the lady was so eager to turn our backs on us that I gave up asking 'cos I figured that it's much easier for us to fiddle with the tea set ourselves then to ask for help.
Thankfully, our other dishes were served by another waitress who was less rude and obnoxious.
When we finished most of our food, the elderly lady came back to clear our table. My left hand was actually INJURED AND BANDAGED, and she demanded that I passed her the plates 'cos she thought it was too much effort to try reaching out to get my plate / come over to my side of the table.
While food was OK & ambience wasn't bad, the service was too lacking for me to return.
Check out the full photo review here at ande-anna.blogspot.com!
Located at one of the many shophouses under Singapore's conservation project, this tea house provides exactly what chinese tea lovers would love - the peace and tranquility for a few hours, be it for a quiet moment to communicate with your inner self, or for a relaxing moment with fellow tea lovers. One thing to note though, if you are heading over during the weekends, be warned that the topmost level may be a tad noisy. In view of that, we opted for the second level (which requires a top-up amount of SGD5) when we pop by for the second time.
I recalled that they did serve their own mini mooncake platter with chinese tea in 2012, but the staff told me that they have decided to discontinue that popular tea set, and the mooncakes are now available for sale on its own during mid-autumn festival.
When we were served our order, the staff checked with us whether it is our first visit, and if we need guidance in brewing tea. He then patiently run through the whole process with us, teaching us from brewing to appreciating tea. It is indeed a profound knowledge, as everytime I go there, I get to learn something new about chinese tea.
We ordered Superior Grade Longjing Tea, the well-acclaimed tea eggs (must-try!), tea jellies (eight treasures tea, osmanthus tea, and red bean tea), and tea cookies.
I would say that you may wish to just skip the tea cookies (dry and nothing extraordinary) and tea jellies (not bad, but don't really make you want to go back for more). Instead, just get the tea eggs, and choose your tea wisely!
Enjoy your inner zen moment there!
P.S. Don't expect your tea leaves to be in a huge pack. As tea leaves can be used and brewed a few times, your tea leaves of choice will arrive in a mini zip-lock sealed bag.
P.P.S. Try to make a reservation before going to avoid disappointment!