Lei cha (擂茶) literally “pounded tea” is a Hakka tea-based beverage or gruel consisting of a mix of tea leaves and herbs that are ground or pounded together with various roasted nuts, seeds, and grains. Yet, there are some who call it “Hum Cha” which means Salted Tea. Traditionally, the tea is drunk for breakfast or on cold winters as a tasty and healthy restorative. Lei cha is very popular in Taiwan, Southern China, Malaysia as well as any locales with a substantial Hakka diaspora population.
Traditionally lei cha is a savory brew. In contemporary interpretations it is often consumed as a sweet drink.
I was introduced by my sister and brother in law about this authentic Lei Cha stall in my hometown Seremban. Located at a little hidden gem in Rasah New Village, running by a family business.
Many people find it hard to come to this place because it is a village and not located in the city. I would suggest you to ask the local people as many of them heard about it or it would be good if you have friend to guide you to the place.
Once you know the way to Rasah New Village, it is pretty easy to find the place. After the main gate (most of the Chinese new village has a welcome gate in front it), less than few minutes, you will be able to see this small sign board on your right beside the main road. There is no restaurant name. The trade mark is this small sign board written 擂茶 (Lei Cha) in Mandarin.
Business seemed very good. I was told by my brother in law (he is raised in this village and has been knowing this place since its first operated many years ago) that this Lei Cha place has been attracted many customers, from normal to high end people. Well, you can see many luxury cars around during business hours…
Well, you can see many luxury cars around during business hours…
Here, you won’t get the 5 stars ambiance with air conditioning while dining. You will be eating outside of this old wooden ‘kampung’ house. It was quite chilling that day. But it might be hot during afternoon. Despite the setting, i must say that this place is really clean. Clean floor, clean tables, clean chairs, even the toilet is clean (claimed by my mom because she went in). My mom is quite particular on hygiene, so she is quite satisfied and happy of the cleanliness here.
Customers are queueing for ‘take away’
You will have the feeling of being at ‘home’ when eating here. Plants and flowers are everywhere. Clothes are hanging outside. Very homely feel!
Everything is done in this kitchen. Father, mother, son, daughter, all family members are here to prepare the food. Customer wait outside the door for their food ordering.
Mixing all the ingredients.
My very first Lei Cha was in my ex-colleagues’s house few years ago. Her mother in law is a Hakka and she invited us to her house for lunch. I have not seen or heard about Lei Cha that time. When it served, i thought the green colour soup is a green tea soup or whatever. She helped me to pour the soup into my rice and told me that is the method of eating. Gosh! I hate eating watery food! And the smell of herbs were too strong. I can’t stand and ended up never finish the meal. Ever since that time, i don’t fancy of Lei Cha and even have phobia whenever i heard about it. As a blogger also food blogger, i got invited to a few places for Lei Cha. They were good. But this one in Seremban is the best Hakka Lei Cha i have never had so far!
Here is my Lei Cha. It refers to the green bowl of chlorophyllic ‘soup’ made from milled herbs such as mint, basil and at least 3 other plants and it served with a bowl of rice topped with chopped leeks, long beans, kale (kai-lan), mani cai, string bean, beancurd (tau kwa), pickled radish (cai pok) and ground nuts.
All the ingredients used in this Lei Cha and the veggie with rice were very fresh and cooked just right to retain their freshness and nutritional goodness!
You can drink the savoury tea separately, or mix it in the rice with all your vegetables thrown in. As mentioned, i prefer my Lei Cha to pour little bit by little bit rather than pour everything in my rice.
Price is very reasonable. Four Lei Cha + rice and we also took away one for my brother. Total bill is RM20.60 only! Cheap and good!!
If you want something vegan, healthy, less calorie. Lei Cha is the best choice. It is good for detoxification, increases our metabolism, lowers cholesterol plus a plethora of other health benefits.
Beside Lei Cha, you can also get to eat 碗仔糕 (Kinda dessert made by rice flour and best eaten with chili sauce). They are selling star fruits too.
Star fruits are packed and placed on a table in front of the kitchen.
Lei Cha @ Rasah New Village, Seremban
Rasah New Village, Seremban, NSDK, Malaysia.
GPS Coordinates: –
Operating Hours: 11:00am until sold out. Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Closed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.