Sunday, 10 February 2019

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

When I need a detox meal but am unwilling to sacrifice flavour and don't want to feel hungry in Johor Bahru, 擂茶 lei cha always comes to the rescue. Lei cha shops and stalls are everywhere in JB and I can truthfully say that I have not had a really bad one before (the traditional Hakka staple is served with pride). Restoran Hakka Tu Lou 土楼客家菜馆 in Johor Jaya is one of the popular lei cha shops in JB.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Restoran Hakka Tu Lou is a simple shop lot eatery at Jalan Dedap 7 in Johor Jaya. Look out for this sun bleached signboard and two potted tall leafy shrubs at the shop front.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

The small eatery is simply furnished with marble top round tables and marble top stools. It is bright, clean and comfortable with air conditioning inside.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

In their extensive menu, there's familiar dishes like lei cha, yong tau fu, Hakka fried pork, braised pork etc. They also have steamed Song fish head which I have marked for my next story (I am searching for the best Song fish head places in Johor).

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

I had brown rice 糙米饭 neatly carpeted with fried julienned fresh greens, diced preserved vegetables, boiled beans, and toasted peanuts. Lei cha includes a bowl of green gruel, the 茶 cha or tea. The green tea is made by grinding a blend of fresh herbs and vegetables with a pestle into a paste which is then cooked by boiling with water.

Traditionally, the pestle rod is a guava tree branch. Lei cha 擂茶 in Hakka means ground tea. As 擂 (grind) in Hakka sounds like 雷 in Mandarin which means thunder, 擂茶 is often referred to as "thunder tea" in English though weather has nothing to do with the dish.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

I tossed and folded the rice, vegetables, beans and nuts into a jumble in the bowl.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Some people spoon their green tea into the bowl of vegetable and rice daintily. Others dump it in in a splash.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

The green tea flooded my bowl submerging the rice and vegetables like a swamp.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Eating lei cha is like eating salad with crunchy juicy stir fried vegetables, tender boiled beans, crunchy toasted peanuts and savoury tea with subtle underlying green taste. The stir fried vegetables are not greasy here. It is the savoury tasting green tea that holds the dish together, hence lei cha 擂茶 (pestle ground tea) is also known as hum cha 咸茶 (salty tea).

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Recommended for you 👍 Tu Lou Hakka's lei cha is tasty and satisfying. Its overall flavours are relatively mild and balanced without overly assertive green or herb taste, hence it is widely appealing. Personally, I wish they use more mint in the dish as I love mint's refreshing taste. Hakka Tu Lou is a good place to learn about and enjoy the traditional Hakka staple.

Lei Cha @ Tu Lou Hakka Restaurant in Johor Jaya 土楼客家菜馆

Restaurant name: Restoran Hakka Tu Lou 土楼客家菜馆
Address4, Jalan Dedap 7, Taman Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru
GPS1°32'25.6"N 103°48'19.4"E 🌐 1.540452, 103.805386
Waze: Restoran Hakka Tu Lou
Hours: 11:00am - 9:00pm (Weds off)

Non Halal



Date visited: 10 Feb 2019


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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.

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