Hangzhou is one of the most beautiful place on earth. And besides the beautiful landscape is the fact that Hangzhou produces one of my favourite tea – Longjing Tea.
A lot of people would spend a lazy afternoon drinking Longjing tea at one of the numerous tea houses along 梅家坞 MeiJiaWu, a long and meandering street in the Longjing district of Hangzhou with tea plantations on both sides.
My company came here for a retreat and we organised a team bonding event to the tea mountains and into one of these tea mansions to have a bit of tea and try out 农家乐 or farmer’s home cooked cuisine. First you have to negotiate the steep stone stairs before you can reach the tea mansion up in the hill.
But once you get there, you would not be disappointed by the great hospitality from the owner and his family. They sell Longjing of course, but the price was quite steep. I would not recommend that you buy your tea there.
However the dinner was a very generous 12 course affair with lots of beer. It was only around RMB 100 per person for the food and tea, and of course beer would depend how much you drink.
Only one of the dishes would feature the tea in them, Scrambled Eggs with Tea Leaves. It was strange to have the bitter sweet leaves in a scrambled egg. I would expect it would be a 龙井虾仁 Stir-fry Shrimps infused in Longjing, or 茶酥 Tea Puff Pastry like what they served in Flavour Mansion 味庄 @ Hangzhou. Anyway, I guessed they sell tea, not really professional when it comes to running a restaurant.
My favourites for the evening would be the Steamed Salted Pork Belly 蒸咸熏肉, a salted pork belly that was steamed until tendered that went very well with cold beer, and the 农家土鸡煲 Claypot Free Range Chicken Soup. The hot soup was great for a cold and wet Qingming evening in Hangzhou. And as the night wore on and everyone had a lot to drink, the hot soup provided the warm reprieve from the alcohol in our belly.
Overall, the company of comrades and the rustic charm of the place brought many fond memories of the evening. The owner was not rushing us even as we took our time in finishing the meals, but of course, we polished off their entire stock of beer in the fridge. They had to bring the stock from storage, and we had room temperature beer but no one minded.
Alas we have to go because the bus we booked cannot wait any longer and we had to go back to our hotel in the city.
Definitely worth a go if you have a big group while in Hangzhou.
Osmanthus Tea Mansion 桂树茶庄
Date Visited : May 2018