Bestie and I regard taking tea as an enjoyable social ritual. I wanted to relax after a long day of meetings, while she wanted to try whether Singapore’s Mandarin Oriental afternoon tea is on par with Hong Kong’s. A valid reason to splurge a little on quality high tea, kekeke!
As the pianist sets the mood, indulge in an excellent 4 course afternoon tea. Chill in comfy sofas, in a chic, stylish setting. Sit by the floor-to ceiling windows and watch the world go by. Admire the view over Marina Bay. Don’t expect stunning views of Singapore’s skyline though, as Axis Bar is only on the 4th level.
As expected, service is impeccable and friendly. I love the consistency of Mandarin Oriental’s high service standards.
Afternoon tea is available daily, from 3pm to 5pm. Priced at $42++ per person and $80++ for two, it consists of a single tea selection (refillable) and 4 courses of dainty treats (non-refillable). Currently, there is a 15% discount with Citibank, UOB and Amex credit cards.
Apart from TWG, Parisan brand Mariage Freres is also available; a refreshing change from the usual tea labels I have encountered in Singapore so far. M’s choice was the alluring Earl Grey French Blue, a black tea with fragrance of rare bergamot and royal blue cornflowers. I had A L’Opera, a green tea with subtle fragrance of red berries and precious spices. Notice the teapots are rather small? It’s enough to fill one cup, which ensures no over-steeping.
We started off with a glass of Golden Apple and Lemon Jelly.
Warm Dried Cranberry and Golden Raisin Scones arrived swiftly, accompanied with lashings of clotted cream, lemon curd and orange marmalade. These are incredibly good scones which left us yearning for more. By the way, I forgot to take photos before digging in, so one scone is missing.
The other portion of the second course came in a lovely floral three-tiered stand. A visual treat!
On the first tier, we have smooth, intense Chocolate cremeux with morello cherries , delicate Mascarpone rose and lychee mini gateau, and Strawberry tuxedo. What a creative name for something so simple. These fresh strawberries have perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, undoubtedly the best I have ever tried so far.
On the middle tier, sits:
- Heart shaped Fresh berry and ricotta cheese tart. Unlike the usual dense and cheesy cheese tarts, this rendition is superbly light and subtly sweet, thanks to the ricotta cheese, which has a light texture with a sweet flavor reminiscent of milk.
- Raspberry pate a choux with Golden Cherry. This could have been better if there was more raspberry cream in the choux pastry.
-Hazelnut plantar “terrazzo” pot – hazelnut mousse skillfully layered with sponge cake, with a cute little mint leaves “planted” on top.
The bottom tier consists of familiar savory savories: Mini Turkey ham & cheddar sandwich, Smoked salmon canapés, Smoked duck wrap with arugula & garlic aioli, and petite tuna salad sandwich.
The 3rd and fourth courses arrived at the same time- a basket of savory pastries fresh from the oven and a platter of canapés. While the buttery Ratatouille Puffs and Mushroom Chicken Pies tasted lovely, the lack of filling was disappointing.
Here’s final course, canapés with a touch of luxe…
Wafu prawn compression with caviar…
Smoke chicken & grape salad in mini cone…
and Caesar Salad in tart.
I was rather perturbed by the lack of sequence of how sweets and savories were served, but the food was so good, it’s not important after all. The menu changes every month, so I will definitely revisit. If you are looking an afternoon tea experience which tantalizes your taste buds, search no further. M’s verdict is that this high tea is comparable to Hong Kong’s and I feel its slight better than Bangkok’s (Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Author’s Lounge afternoon tea is considered the best in the city of smiles).
Reservations recommended to avoid disappointment; even though it was a weekday, most tables were occupied.
Recommended Dish(es): Scones,afternoon tea
Date of Visit: Feb 26, 2014
Spending per head: Approximately $42(Tea)
Keep it up!