After what seemed an eternity of searching for a tea house where you could spend a lazy afternoon or evening sipping on an eclectic mix of infusions, I finally found the jackpot at Red Monkey Tea House (470 Victoria St, North Melbourne Ph: 9326 7572). And as an avid tea drinker, I am in heaven.
A friend introduced me to the concept of tea houses when visiting Montreal, where you could relax on an ottoman or daybed, sip on a hot pot of Moroccan Mint, Oolong or Jasmine tea, read a book or play a game of chess. They are a perfect way to spend a few relaxing hours. But upon returning to Melbourne, we couldn’t find anything remotely similar and so when I first heard about Red Monkey, I knew I had to visit immediately.
The funky, friendly young couple behind Red Monkey combine everything that is tres chic in Melbourne at the moment, pulling elements of CBD laneway bars, gritty Fitzroy cafes and hot tapas bars to create an intimate place to hang out. Once you’ve knocked back a few, a game of Scrabble or chess is a good way to ease further into a relaxed state.
Tea is supplied by North Melbourne local, Tea Party (137 Victoria St, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne) and varieties range from traditional blacks to whites, greens and rooibos. But tea is not the only item on the menu. The team can whip together some very tasty cocktails and the staple beers and wines are on offer too. And to top it all off there is a good list of tapas ranging from yum cha bites to more Spanish influenced dishes.
Red Monkey Tea House is a perfect place for a date in an area that is fast earning a reputation of quality dining establishments and watering holes. And although it’s only been around for a few months and its name has to spread around, it is great place to kick back and enjoy a quiet night out.