There are 3 locations at which one can enjoy the Imperial High Tea for $28.80++, at Beach Road, Serangoon or at the 60th floor of UOB Plaza, overlooking the city skyline and towering skyscrapers. For such a prime location, you'd expect it to get snapped up during the weekends so we suggest making reservations. (Walk-ins are usually turned away, disappointed, due to lack of space!)
The interior has a lot of Chinese touches, such as bamboo and wooden stool inspired chairs. There is a lot of wood used for a warm, homey feel. The entire restaurant is spacious and large, with private guestrooms as well for private dinners and business meetings.
From this menu given, you can see that there will be 3 teas served (staggered, throughout the meal) as well as 9 other dishes.
Out of all 3 teas, I liked Long Jing
and Pu er
as it had a subtle fragrance to it that went down very smoothly. The Long Jing comes in a glass tea cup where you have to drink it by angling the lid (the tea leaves are in the cup) so that you won't drink the leaves in too.
The other 2 teas were served in tiny porcelain tea cups, which were dainty and really provided a nice touch to the whole feel of the high tea.
(Left) This is the fried osmanthus with water chestnut. To be honest, this was a bit strange for me because it tasted like the Chinese fried Nian Gao
. The sweetness and the texture was similar too, the only difference was that it had osmanthus (gui hua
) in it, and that provided a nice fragrance, albeit faint. I didn't really like this dish, it was a bit odd for me.
(Right) The sweet potato glutinous rice ball was served in a small spoon-like dish, in sweet soup. The ball wasn't sticky and starchy, it had a nice gluey texture to it and the taste of sweet potato was distinct. It's chewy, soft and I really liked how the sweet potato gave this substance instead of it being just another starchy rice ball. The sweetness of the 'tangshui' was also just right.
(Left) The steamed crystal dumpling with osmanthus really surprised me, the texture of it was soft and it looked like it might be gluey, but it held its shape. The inside was delicious -the dumpling was chockfull of vegetable with bursts of the refreshing scent of osmanthus. The skin of the dumpling wasn't sticky too.
(Right) The lotus root roll was a nice savoury snack -it had the crunch of the lotus root and yet the skin was really smooth. A nice contrast in flavours, this reminded me of a vegetarian chee cheong fun! (Couldnt really taste the osmanthus in this one, but it was still good)
(Left) Minced meat dumpling in chilli oil would have been good if not for the fact that there was so much garlic in the sauce! The chilli oil it was doused in provided a nice kick to the otherwise plain meat dumpling, but the bitterness as well as the sting of the garlic was a bit sharp for my liking. Maybe this could have been avoided by dipping the dumpling into lesser sauce.
(Right) The noodle with onion oil was well cooked, it had a delicate flavour which was deliciously appetising. The noodles were springy and had a good, slightly chewy texture. My only gripe would be that this dish is REALLLY oily. The flavours however, were gearing for light,refreshing and subtle. This they succeeded.
(Left) The pea shoot dumpling had a slightly thicker skin, with a lesser translucent quality compared to the crystal dumpling. The taste however was satisfactory, the pea shoot still had some crunch, and this dumpling proved to be a good savoury snack. I would have liked it slightly more juicy though!
The homemade beancurd with wolfberry tasted like ordinary tau hway to me. Nevertheless, it wasn't too sweet and the texture of the beancurd is really silky smooth. When paired with wolfberries, it tasted surprisingly good! A small bowl is just nice for rounding off the high tea.
It was only after we had left and revisited our photos that we realised that they had left out the Deep Fried Chicken Puff ): The service is relatively good here, and they keep topping up the water for the teas. Service is also pretty efficient, and 2 dishes come out at one go, so it isn't a painful wait for every dish to be served. At $28.80++, I wouldnt say it's really worth it (don't get me wrong, the food is definitely decent), but it's worth the experience. Chinese high tea is more centred on having many small dishes similar to dim sum, lots of tea, good conversation and a mix of sweet and savoury.
If you wish to order ala carte, this can also be done, but we recommend just sticking to the given menu. After all, they have planned out a good variety/range of dishes ranging from fried, steamed and boiled/handmade.
Date of Visit: Aug 03, 2013
Spending per head: Approximately $32(Tea)Other Ratings: