Easter saw us flying through Brisbane while travelling between coasts and seeking lunch in the Valley on 'Easter Tuesday'. Our favourite lunch spot Kuan Yin was shut, but we managed to track down Tea Master as an alternative.
Tea Master has much in common with Kuan Yin - an extensive, all vegetarian menu featuring noodle and rice dishes, soups and bento boxes for around $10 apiece, most of them featuring mock meats, and an iced tea menu of similar length.
And tea, we purchased - lemongrass honey ($3.50) and passionfruit green with pearls ($3.40). Michael thought the former was a little short on the lemongrass; I loved the passionfruit flavour but was disappointed by gluey (overcooked or oversoaked?) tapioca pearls.
Michael ate the Vegetarian Hainan Chicken Rice ($8.90), an iconic Chinese/Malaysian dish that's rarely available to us vegos (although we've tried making it at home!). The 'chicken' and vegetables weren't all that inspiring, but the flavouring stock was lovely.
After spending too much time poring over the tea menu for the perfect drink to sooth my sore throat, I kinda panicked when it was time to order my meal, and fell back on the ol' sweet & sour veggie pork with rice ($8.90). This was one of the more watery sweet'n'sour sauces I've had in my time, but I appreciated the fresh capsicum, carrot, zucchini and pineapple in the mix. (I was more ambivalent about the shredded iceberg lettuce.)
This meal didn't quite live up to our high Kuan Yin standards, but it's still great value and well worth a look in. The setting is bright and cheerful, and as were the women running the cafe.
Tea Master has received generally positive reviews from the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, Random Rambling of Impressionable Me, Food Hunters and ferrous's posterous.
Shop 18, 115 Wickham St, Cathedral Village, Fortitude Valley QLD
(07) 3257 0038
veg snacks and lunches $1.10-$11.95
Accessibility: there is a ramp available for accessing this strip of cafes. Indoor and outdoor seating are reasonably spaced. Ordering occurs at the table; payment at a high counter.