tea for tú, Northbridge
A and I were exhilarant about our recently planned trip to Melbourne, looking forward to eight blissful days of eating, drinking and sightseeing (and of course, imminent food comas). As a result we decided to catch up to discuss the nitty gritty details of where-to-go-when-once-in-Melbourne. A is an avid traveller and is well versed in the eating culture both interstate and overseas, whilst I am a novice in comparison when it comes to travelling – I hadn’t been on a plane since 2010 and our eight day stint would be my first time away sans parents… which meant freedom! (Side note: I do love my parents). I peppered A with questions (mostly about how to pack things efficiently and lightly, so not to incur a overweight baggage fine) whilst we enjoyed a spot of afternoon tea one breezy Friday afternoon.
For our first food trip of 2014, we decided to try out tea for tú, a little hideaway shop behind tú, a gorgeous boutique shop just off William Street. There were tables set out near the front entrance which we sailed past, into a nook at the very back of the store – there was a small coffee machine humming away, along with a slender fridge containing some sweet treats in the very corner. Up the stairs would take you to a sunny al fresco area, just a stones throw away from Mechanics Institute Bar.
A and I grabbed some menus and sat in the shade, enjoying the relative peace and quiet. Tea for tú’s layout reminded me a bit of my favourite café in Geraldon, Saltdish Cafe, with its mismatched chairs, tables, benches and crates. It was kooky and quaint, unique it is own special way. We visited the first week of January, when everyone was still recovering from New Year burnout and when most other cafes were on hiatus. As a result, there wasn’t much of a selection in terms of cakes and pastries at tea for tú. We glanced over a stand of chocolate cupcakes and brownies to select a few old favourites. For A, it was a slice of banana bread and for myself, it was a New York inspired bagel.
Drinks foremost! A inquired about the content of the housemade iced teas on offer. Our very nice waitress informed us that she could easily prepare any brew for us. There were several large glass jars that contained a variety of different tea leaves that we could opt for. The lady at the counter recommended the Seventh Duchess Hibiscus and Vanilla Iced Tea, so we ordered two each ($4.50 per drink) as I was rapidly reaching the point of dehydration. The iced teas came out a couple of minutes after our food arrived, with long bendy straws which were a cute touch. Our iced teas were bright berry pink, not excessively sweet but with a good dose of syrup that swirled around in the bottom. A good amount of ice bobbed at the top, quenching our summer thirst. I’m used to paying $6 for a small glass of iced tea or freshly squeezed juice in Perth, but tea of tú’s iced teas were in mug-like glasses. A thought they were delicious and felt as though we got a lot out of it, despite the mugs themselves looking rather small.
A ordered a slice of toasted banana bread ($4.50), which also came with a side of butter in a delicate china cup. I got a bite to try, hot and crispy on one side and soft and fluffy on the inside. It was banana bread baked well, however A thought it was rather basic. There didn’t appear to be anything else integrated into it apart from your standard banana (no walnuts, hurrah!). It reminded me of the time when I worked at Harbour Town, hot pressing away the said slices. There was one time my team and I had left a slice in the sandwich press, resulting in a great deal of smoke expanding at a terrifying pace in our small kitchette. A small army of security guards had to come to our aid, thankfully not setting off the whole Harbour Town fire alarm. It was quite scary at the time, but hilarious when I recounted it to A. Ah, good times.
Bagels are my favourite to-go food, so I had a cinnamon and raisin bagel ($4.50) from the fridge. I requested it toasted and buttered, which was heartily agreed upon by our waitress – the only way to go for a bread-based treat! I loved mine – it was toasted well and spread with a good amount of butter. The bagel itself wasn’t too saccharine, enhanced with a touch of spice from the cinnamon and embedded with juicy plump raisins. Fantastic with my iced tea. I was very pleased with the bagel and iced tea combo.
Overall, I enjoyed my time at tea for tú. I loved the cool, calm ambience of tea for tú. The little leather animals for autographs and signatures packed up on the shelf within tú itself were adorable, adding to the eclectic decorations of the little cafe. The food was decent, though limited range (again, perhaps due to the quiet presence of post-New Years down trade) and the drinks were decent. Service was friendly and easygoing, everyone sporting a sunny smile. The utilisation of space in tea for tú was also very smart – it’s a tiny place, but slots in very nicely to the reforming alleyway bars and café scene that are popping up all over Perth. The stairwwell gallery was beautiful with some vintage knick knacks placed here and there. I would happily return to tea for tú in the future to try out their tarts, pastries and cakes. It would be the perfect addition to a potential “café crawl” in the Northbridge area along William Street (A and I to plan in the near future).
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Address: 218a William St Northbridge, 6003
- tea for tú is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5 pm and weekends 9 am to 5pm.
- Daily Drink specials available (i.e. $3 iced teas or $3 coffees from 9am to 11am).
- Take away coffees and pastries also available!
- Walk in’s only.