Down the rabbit hole – for some art & tea!

White Rabbit Gallery & Tea House is a little gem hidden in the back streets of Sydney. It is a small gallery that houses contemporary Chinese art. I find it an excellent destination to catch up with a friend on a relaxing day out while appreciating art and sipping flavoursome Chinese tea. Certainly a ‘different’ thing to do in Australia.

We headed to the gallery first for some cultural immersion. Here are some snaps of the artworks.

wall art china
A wall art of the people of China

This art installation below looked attractive with their beautiful, subtle white glow from afar. However provoked a nasty feeling on a close inspection. A chaotic city full of disfigured monsters with distorted human limbs.

white plastic monsters
Disfigured monster sculptures, white plastic

Away from the strange art above, I pretty like the next one. An oil painting so dense it looked sculpted. Cheerful shades of red and berry resembled a blooming garden. Or corals. Pleasant to the eyes and evoked positive emotions.

red oil painting
Oil painting, red

With only two levels, this gallery won’t overwhelm you. If you like the works, then stay longer. If not, then it won’t bore you for a long time. Regardless, since you’re there you have to pay a visit to the Tea House, because it’s super awesome. The interior was a smooth fusion of modern elegance and vintage quirk. You will not miss thousands of empty bird cages hanging from the ceiling. You will sit on red wood furniture like the ones in ancient Chinese films. Maybe for a moment, as you stare out to a distance, you imagine two Chinese young men come out of nowhere fighting and jumping around the tables showing off kungfu moves… Until a friendly Caucasian waitress popped by to take your order, and you remembered you’re in Australia.

IMG_0393.JPGIMG_0457

The food, yes, the food. I cannot recommend enough of their dumplings! I had chives and egg last time, which I regretted the instant the waitress turned away. Because it dawned on me the dish I just ordered would not have any meat, and thus would not worth the price. (Relax, it was only $12. It was just me on a student budget.) But the moment I took a bite, oh my, I really really loved the taste. Surely did not expect a vegetarian choice to taste that great!

Since we’re in a Tea House, we tried some tea, too. I had lychee red tea, which had a wonderful, sweet lychee-ish fragrance but lacked a significant lychee taste so I couldn’t really recommend. My friend’s choice, however, was an excellent one. If I remembered correctly it was Goji Chrysanthemum. It came in a cute transparent little teapot and you could see orange goji berries and chrysan flowers in full blooms floating around. Chrysan is known to promote health while goji to brighten eye sight. It tasted good. All in all, authentic food and drink.

There’s a small section in between the gallery entry and tea house that sells merchandise. Only a few shelves but worth a look.

rabbit chair
A bunny stool. This practical artwork is for sale at over AUD$300.
rabbit finger puppet
Finger puppets. Adorable gifts for little ones.
vintage tins
Vintage tins. Useful to store mementos… or cookies!
vintage postcard cinema
A postcard showing old time’s cinema

We spent an enjoyable afternoon here and would like to visit again some time.
How do you like this place?

Address: 30 Balfour Street, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday, 10 am -5pm. Close on Monday & Tuesday.
For more info visit the official website: http://www.whiterabbitcollection.org

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2 thoughts on “Down the rabbit hole – for some art & tea!

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