At the beginning of January the Lan Su Chinese Garden offered free entry if a person brought a food donation for the Oregon Food Bank. I had wanted to go back after having visited the garden in the past because I wanted to check out the Tao of Tea Teahouse which is located in the Tower of Cosmic Reflection in the garden.
So here is a brief look at what it's like to experience having tea there. The inside of the Tower of Cosmic Reflection is ornately decorated giving the rooms a unique feeling.
Carved wood is everywhere including tables and window frames.
Not only is tea and food served there but they offer tea cups and more for sale.
Because the garden was very busy people were having to share tables. Still there was an air of tranquility and contemplation helped by framed quotes at the tables.
I enjoyed my first visit so much that I came back a second time. Glad I did because live music was played on a huqin. This made my second visit even more special.
My first visit I had fragrant Bamboo Mountain oolong tea. The second time I was a little more adventurous so I tried the Tao Green Tea Sake which was chilled and garnished with a bit of fruit. Both drinks were very nice.
I decided to go with the Chinese Steamed Dumplings with fermented black bean sauce. I think these were pork and corn if I remember correctly.
I also tried their Steamed Buns Bao-zi which were filled with a green vegetable. This came with a lovely dressed cucumbers. While I'm guessing due to the size of their kitchen that much of the food is prepared elsewhere it was still delicious and the setting added to this.
For both my visits I had the Coconut Macaron Tarts. They were that good. Really nice to have with the hot tea.
My table neighbor saw I was taking photos and asked if I wanted to take one of her meal. She ordered the Baked Tofu and Lo Bo Gao turnip cake and said they were very good. I enjoyed Lo Bo Gao my first visit but due to my camera falling I did not notice the setting changed and my photos were too dark.
Another lady at our shared table ordered a Moon Cake and was kind to let me take a photo of it. Their moon cakes are very popular.
I'm very happy I got a chance to check out the Tao of Tea Teahouse. I really appreciate the Lan Su Garden for having this event where not only did we get to help out the Oregon Food Bank but many people were able to experience the lovely garden.
If you are ever in the area and would like to see the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon, their website is here for more information.