Vegetarian restaurant and tea shop. Japanese setting with traditional stools for seating. Goyza dumplings, tempura battered vegetables, bubble teas, juices, and more. Tea sets and teas for sale. Open Wed-Sat 5:30pm-9:00pm.

Venue map for Chat For Tea
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20 Reviews

First Review by Aloo


Points +16

27 Aug 2023

Gorgeous food

Chat for tea was an incredible experience of vegetarian restaurant with loads of vegan options. Very delicious and wasn’t unhealthy either. Although was expensive.

Pros: Wonderful food, Let’s of options

Cons: Bit too expensive



Points +1932

18 Mar 2023

Can't miss

The vegetable dumplings with chilli oil and fried wonton skin was SO delicious that we ordered a second serve. It had vegetables and what seemed like minced tofu, giving it a pork dumpling mouthfeel.
The mock pork and vegetables in black pepper sauce was also delicious, the veggies were cooked to perfection (cooked enough but with a slight crunch).
The jakoo rice, marinated soy-mince, shitake, coriander dish was ok, had a slight sweet taste, which I don't like, but people that like sauces with a sweeter taste might enjoy it.
There was a dessert special of spiced pineapple, sponge cake, yuzu sorbet which had a vegan option (omitting the sponge cake and adding in caramelised puffed rice) which was a very nice and light way to finish the meal.
The samosa was ok, the vegan option is omitting the yoghurt. I don't know why they don't just replace cow yoghurt with vegan yoghurt as the only option, my partner thought the samosa could really benefit with a yoghurt to make it more moist.
The one downside of this place is that although it is vegetarian + vegan, the wait staff don't tell you what the vegan option is, nor do they clarify if you want the vegan or veg option, vegetarian seems to be the default if there is a choice, which I thought was a bit unusual as, with the exception of 5 items, everything is vegan or vegan option.

Pros: Delicious Dumplings

Cons: Menu should clarify what the vegan option is


18 Mar 2023

I’ve got to say that the veganised dessert sounds a bit sh*t. Like the main act was replaced with some sub-standard stand-in.

I haven’t been here in a while but what you say about not indicating vegan options concurs with my experience, which is just ridiculous in 2023 for a vegetarian cafe that has been around for well over 10 years. It’s like, do you give a f*ck about vegans?


19 Mar 2023

@Tiggy, I was quite angry about it, that their vegan options is just omitting the non-vegan component, especially for the dessert, as it was still the same price.


Points +141

10 Nov 2022

Innovative, deceptively simple, and waaayy tasty

In Ballarat for the first time in a year having shifted from being a vego to vegan GF in that time. The usual suspects are out and this place came up as a viable option for me, and for my partner who fancied some sort of fresh Asian food. We arrived at 8pm and the place was empty except for us - half expected to be told they were closing but instead the staff were really welcoming and friendly. We ordered a couple of lighter dishes and a big pot of ginger tea. The tempura batter vegetables with the housemade wasabi soy dipping sauce might be my new favourite thing! The second dish was the baked eggplant with capsicum and basil which was fresh, light and creamy, and hearty all at the same time. So nice to have proper menu choices and where care has been taken to prepare and present the food. Will definitely be a first choice every visit to Ballarat now - there's a good looking menu to work my way through!

Updated from previous review on 2022-11-10

Pros: Lots to choose from, Creative menu, Good prices, something to suit every budget

Cons: Parking nearby was impossible even on Thursday


Points +151

25 Jul 2022

Must Stop for us

This place is such a find... worth a visit if you're in Ballarat! Lovely helpful staff and a creative (and varied) menu meant this was a hit for us.

Pros: Lots of options to cater to tastes, Good pricing

Cons: Chai tea came automatically as a dairy milk tea


Points +745

21 Nov 2021


Very creative modern Asian fusion food menu, mostly vegan dishes (some vegetarian so double check before ordering). Lovely ambience, great for celebrations and date nights


Points +31

19 Nov 2021


Went here for the first time last night. Loved everything on the menu. I will be going back! They had a specials board too which had some great things. Last night they had amazing mushroom spring rolls. Their deserts are wonderful too - I had a banana fritter with soy ice cream and rhubarb.

Pros: Diverse menu, Dishes can be shared, Inexpensive

Cons: Some of the mains were quite small in size

country mum

Points +58

28 Feb 2021

Good food, nice decor, unfriendly

I have been to this small restaurant for more than 12 years, because it's the only veg restaurant in the area. The decor is very pleasant, a nice place to sit and enjoy tea and a meal. The food is simple and pleasant, I particularly like the entries and snacks. The curries are mediocre ( not a patch on my home cooked curries).
The real disappointment came when egg was added to the menu. An egg free menu was reassuring that contamination would not occur.
The service is sometimes slow even when nobody is there; particularly inconsiderate at times when it comes to change of plates and cutlery for multiple dishes at a table with friends or family sharing.
(even ignoring after being asked for fresh plates or cutlery).

Pros: nice nuggets, good choice of tea, nice decor

Cons: unfriendly, inconsiderate, egg on menu


Points +223

27 Dec 2017

Breadth with Depth

Worth the drive and worth stopping through.

Stopped by here assuming a small town try hard place but was blown away how great the food is.

Pros: variety, flavors, friendly staff


Points +70

26 Oct 2017

Asian fusion

I'm personally not a fan of this place, but a lot of my friends are so I find myself here more often that I'd like to be. The intent is there but I find the food to taste the same and become very boring about midway through.

Pros: No meat options

Cons: Everything Chinese tastes like five spice, Everything Indian tastes like Keen's curry powder, The Japanese dishes don't taste Japanese


Points +427

03 Jun 2017

Chat For Tea 👍🏻

Cosy environment at town centre.
Nice food.
Friendly owner

Pros: Food are delicious , Contain no garlic & onions , Location are strategic

Cons: A bit pricey


Points +51

05 Mar 2017

Nice little place

We went for dinner Friday night and ordered up a feast.
Very friendly staff and fast delivery of the food.
Portions were right.
My only suggestion is it would be better with bigger and fresh vegetables. Also don't use so much coriander!!

Pros: decor and vibe , lots of choice's , friendly staff

Cons: Too much coriander!, not enough vegetables


Points +46

09 Dec 2016

Stop for a chat at Chat.

A lovely dining experience tucked away in Ballarat.
Lots of mock meat options. Would highly recommend the soy nuggets. Most of the menu is vegan, only 2 options, that were vegetarian only.The only thing that would have improved our dining experience is a nice glass of wine to accompany the meal.

Pros: Great service, Big portion sizes, Well priced

Cons: Not licensed


Points +13904

10 Sep 2016

Very good with just a couple let downs

I'd been here once years ago and was looking forward to trying it again on this visit to Ballarat. We came in the early evening and the place was about half full. We looked at the menu and were surprised to find that vegan items weren't specified. When I went up to the counter to order (as it's counter service) I saw there was one menu at there on which vegan and gluten-free items were marked. The fried gyoza were delicious, not too soft or oily. The Pad Thai was very good: fresh, pungent and light. The mock pork stir-fry was also delicious, except for one fairly important thing: the potato was significantly undercooked. Afterwards we went to order dessert. I asked about the banana fritter and ice cream, but the ice cream wasn't vegan. On top of this they had just thrown out the last of the vegan chocolate avocado tart. (It was 7pm and it was still on the blackboard menu.) A good meal but a disappointing ending.

Pros: Delicious food

Cons: Vegan items not marked on menus, Undercooked potato, No vegan dessert available


Points +95

02 Dec 2015


Who would have thought Ballarat could come up with such an outstanding vego place?! Highly recommended

The Eggplant Man

Points +85

17 Oct 2015

A Vege Oasis in Rural Victoria

'Chat for Tea', is the number one vegetarian restaurant in Ballarat (also the only one). Luckily, they are fantastic at what they do, a super-friendly family business, quick service, lovely relaxing atmosphere and most importantly great food. Lots of vegan choices and lots of variety on the menu. Mostly Thai and Malaysian style dishes with the addition of some fun things like fried 'drumsticks', a barbecue plate, and a big selection of bubble teas, green teas and organic juices. An absolute gem in the middle of Ballarat!

Pros: Comfortable and clean, Reasonable prices, Great food!


Points +81

28 Aug 2015

Heaven on a plate

Super clean Vegan cafe/restaurant serving up a great range of Asian dishes.a well balanced menu with lots of tofu,tempeh,seiten options.Best gyoza I have eaten,superb Vietnamese spring rolls with many other options.A treasure in the old gold mining town of Ballarat~well worth a visit!

Pros: Clean and beautiful layout, Very friendly helpful staff, Extensive menu


Points +48

01 Oct 2014

Quick and delicious

A delightful hidden treasure in the middle of Ballarat. I was pleased to find a local gem when I moved up from Melbourne, and Chat for Tea is a regular hang out now. Friendly staff, interesting menu, some gluten free dishes and all veg and some vegan (most you can ask to make vegan). Service is generally quick and I think prices are very reasonable comparative to going out elsewhere. I like their mocha chai and huge range of other interesting teas. But I keep coming back for the consistent food and good friendly service.

Pros: Lots of choices, Inexpensive, Friendly staff

Cons: Limited opening days, Limited desserts


Points +40

03 Jun 2014

Best vegetarian restaurant in Victoria

This is my favourite restaurant in Victoria, luckily it's close to me(about 45 mins drive - everything is far from where I live).
It is a small tea house that serves delicious and interesting food. The family that run the restaurant are wonderful. All the food is great and most the selections are vegan.(from memory there are only two non vegan dishes).
The Gyoza (potstickers in the USA) are the best I've eaten anywhere in the world, make sure you try them. The tempura is also delicious, they put a touch of wasabi powder in the batter which gives an interesting taste and the tempura is cooked to perfection. My favourite mains are the green curry and the jackboo rice, but everything is great!
They also have a fantastic variety of teas including the best genmai cha I've tasted.

Pros: Gyoza and tempura, Wonderful hosts

Cons: None


Points +271

09 Jun 2012

Cool little gem

Cool little dinner / tea shop. Good vegan choices, house made chia. The food was a mix of Asian, very well presented and good ingredients with a nice balance of flavours. Similar to other places but better. Relaxed warm atmosphere good for a date or with close friends. The tempura was superb and the south Indian curry plater was the best curry I have had in years. I will definitely be making a trip to visit chat for tea again.
Updated from previous review on Saturday June 09, 2012

Pros: Great flavours, warm atomosphere, Value for money


Points +6528

12 Sep 2010


We went there for lunch one Saturday. Loads of locals wandered in and clearly had their favorites, and new the staff. The ambience is lovely, with Japanese themed wood work and different teas on display. The tea I had was amazing! They have a smallish lunch menu, and I felt we were a little disadvantaged because they didn't know us! We ordered an entree and a laksa, and both were good. The serving sizes could have been bigger, and it was not cheap. Still, good to have an option for interesting food in the country.

Pros: ambience

Cons: serving size

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