Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tea Flavoured Food @ Purple Cane Tea Restaurant, The Gardens, Mid Valley City

String Bean fried with Preserved Radish (RM12)

I'm slowly exploring the dining places at the Gardens. Not an easy feat as every day, a new outlet opens. Last weekend, we ended up at the Gardens instead of our usual Bangsar to sample this restaurant. It is not new in town with branches at the Chinese Assembly Hall and Shaw Parade in Pudu but was packed with people who had limited choices at the half finished mall. I remember dining at the Chinese Assembly Hall branch once where friends introduced us to a few unique dishes. Since it was too long ago to remember what was good, we stuck to the wait staff's recommendations.

Tea Wine Chicken (RM18)

Purple Cane is said to use tea leaves and brewed tea in their cooking. Although one would associate the food to have hints or the fragrant aromas of brewed tea, there seems to be almost none here. I guess I would have preferred a stronger tea interpretation for their food like the Tea Smoked Salmon I made before.

Fried Kangkong (RM10)

The menu consists of one meal dishes and also cooked dishes you can order to share. We followed the wait staff's recommendations and tried the fried string beans. We all liked the crunchy beans fried with little oil. Fragrant bits of preserved radish (choy poh) were also added to give the beans more flavour. Although there is a mention of Tea in the Tea Wine Chicken, any taste of it would be drowned by the fragrant rice wine (fatt tiu). The dish which had chicken, sliced mushrooms, sliced ginger was served with a thickish sauce that went well with the rice.

Cuttlefish with Oats (RM18)

Although the food was generally good (once you deemed it just as a place to savour Chinese food versus tea flavoured food), service was slow. We noticed the wait staff recommended the same dishes for almost every table to cut down time as they will cook batches of the same food. After a few reminders, our food finally arrived. The fried kangkong was tasty and had very little oil. Unfortunately there's no way to verify if brewed tea was used to cook it but they topped it with a few pieces of fried tea leaves. Splashie Boy's must-have is deep fried sotong hence I ordered the cuttlefish with oats. Although the cuttlefish was slightly chewy, we all liked the oats which had curry leaves, coriander leaves and whole green chili padi. I believe this is the same oats you can get at most Chinese supply stores which is prepacked.

Green Tea Rice (RM1 per bowl)

Last but not least, they serve you green tea rice which is slightly brown in colour as the rice is cooked in brewed tea. Bits of tea leaves are also found within the fluffy rice grains. Again tastewise, no taste of any tea involved except for the colour.

As they're tea specialists, we liked their Pu-Er tea which was not cloying but with a light fragrance. You can get a pot for RM6 which is topped up with hot water throughout your meal. They give you two pots - one to brew the tea and one to pour the brewed tea to keep it. This is to prevent the tea from getting too bitter if it is left to steep for too long. My mother who had joined us for lunch was impressed with the teapot as the wait staff confirmed it is made from high quality clay.

Another thing I do like about this place are their nifty wooden chairs. They may be tiny and space saving but the chairs are comfy even when we were sitting so long for the food. I definitely would not mind coming back on a non peak time to try the food.

Purple Cane Tea Restaurant
Lot LG 206
Lower Ground Floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Kuala Lumpur

Tel No: 03 - 2283 6090

(Pork Free. Open from 10am to 10pm daily. Other outlets are at Chinese Assembly Hall and Shaw Parade, Pudu.)

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review.

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Lyrical Lemongrass said...

The branch is one of the nicer looking restaurants near my office, so we sometimes go there when we have a guest. Unfortunately (and this is the collective feeling of several makan kakis), the addition of the tea leaves in the dishes seem to be more of an afterthought. Tastewise, there seems to be nothing spectacular. Perhaps those with a milder palate may enjoy the food at this place.

Precious Pea said...

Hmmm...from the dishes they serve, it seems to be quite 'flavourful'. Even if they use tea for the dishes, i wonder how they can cover the taste, for example the curry leaves on the sotong. Hmmm...but then again, i must go try since i have never been there before.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i use to go the 1 at the chinese assembly hall..the food is pretty decent but i must say the selling point of using tea leaves in their dishes are pretty non evident..but their tea is top notch..

sc said...

hmmm, for a place that is suppose to sell tea flavoured food..guess it didnt fare that well? But like u say, if we take it as normal chinese food, it's tasty..will try this the next time i'm at the Gardens :)

Ginger said...

Oh, so very interesting. Tea flavoured rice (!).

raintree1119 said...

Hi! Would like to seek permission to use your photos and restaurants' info in our publication known as Super Classifieds, specifically in the Fork & Spoon section. This section is dedicated to food lovers, introducing nice places to dine in.

Hope you can reply me at and we can explore the opportunity to publish your blog in our publication.

Best regards,
Lai Yee

ling239 said...

i tot greentea rice should be in green color ~ :p

~Christine~Leng said...

wow... exploring food at the Gardens! wanna get a taste of the green tea rice. sounds new 2 me :)

boo_licious said...

ll - I think it is a selling gimmick. But the food is quite "ching" so good for those who don't like oily food.

precious pea - true that is why I thought it was strange the waiter said rice wine chicken when rice wine's taste will drown the tea taste.

joe - think the mindset shld be they just serve healthy Chinese food with tea on the side!

sc - yup they fail but to be fair I notice that when you cook with tea, the flavours are not pronounced unless you tea smoke the meats or fish.

ginger - think you can try yourself, just brew tea and replace with the water you add to the rice.

raintree1119 - thxs for the invite. Will email you for further details.

ling239 - at first I thought normal tea rice but the bill said green tea rice so I guess that's the colour you get. Green Tea is quite mild in colour though esp the Chinese version.

souled_oUt said...

boo, do you have the recipe for fried prawn with nestum? i ate it at danga bay during hari raya with my family and it was so sedap, i can't get my mind out of it. i would like to try cooking it at home.. could you give me the case you have? tq

HairyBerry said...

green tea rice sounds interesting...but by adding green tea leaves, the rice would have tasted slightly bitter, no? Btw, i've added you under my Foodspirations.. :)

boo_licious said...

souled out - I have one for just normal oats. Hope this works for u.

If you prefer the thinner oats as per the pix, get them from the Chinese sundry shops at the wet mkt.

nic - nah not bitter at all as the taste is so subtle. You wouldn't know it was cooked with green tea until u look at the bits of tea leaves inside it. Thxs for linking me!

tanalan2 said...

Had tried Purple Cane at The Garden also. Have to agree with you that the food there is so so only. Ate at the Chinese Assembly Hall branch a few times, seems much better there !!!! I like their soup though !!!

boo_licious said...

guess one must visit Chinese Assembly Hall one as it was pretty good when I ate there once.

chocolalat! said...

id go there , just to sample their pu-er, not so much for the food ( looks pretty normal to me)

boo_licious said...

chocolalat! - the pu-er is nice. Even my mum the tea expert liked it.

Unknown said...

Thank you again for your review.
Here is the photo from my visit:

Cik LibangLiboo said...

Miss Boo.. Since u said u r sampling food in Gardens Midvalley, could u suggest halal food outlets there? Planning 2 go there for bday celebration if there's a decent halal mkn place there. Do email me okay!! Thanks! (

Unknown said...

Miss Boo... I might be going there with a group of friends. All of us are first timer. We all LOVE sinfully GOOD desert. Anything particular that we should try?

boulevardsg said...

Tea flavoured food purple cane tea is described here. Useful post
bars in Singapore

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