Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tea for Two
Can't remember the last time I had afternoon tea in a hotel. So when my best friend said we should have a belated birthday celebration for me, both of us were pondering where to go. After chancing upon Le Meridien's promo, we both agree the Conservatory would be worth checking out.
We were there before the witching hour but the waitstaff offered to serve us tea as the food was still being prepared. So I ordered Super Sencha while my friend opted for mochacino. The ambience in the Conservatory certainly didn't live up to its name - overall it was a tad gloomy and we were mystified how come the area nearest to a row of tall French windows were considered prime seats in the house.
The tea menu consists of two separate sets, cheekily named This and That.
Besides the raisin and apple scones (still can't beat those from Delicious or The Tea Pot Cafe), there was a square of hazelnut mousse-type cake (delicious!), a mini tartlet and another square of phyllo pastry filled with mixed nuts (both tasted a tad dry), a mini sliver of vanilla and sour cherry roulade (passable) and a square chocolate case filled with vanilla mousse and raspberry sauce (good).
Honestly, we had a hard time recalling the various savoury and sweet morsels for both sets as the waitstaff kept taking away our menu. Perhaps they're afraid of it falling into competitors' hands?!!
The above selection shows a skewer of chicken satay in Thai red curry sauce, an oyster shooter in zingy tom yam, half a mini burger with grilled lamb and caramelised onion and green tea soba with two slivers of Wagyu beef. Personally I think some of the tidbits would have been tastier had they been served piping hot. Alas it was not to be but we still devoured everything anyway.
This set comprises the popular Indian sweet - gulab jamun, an unexpectedly fudgy chocolate cake, a pink raspberry macaroon (yummy!), an interesting macha (green tea) slice with crumbed almond base and another dainty square of cake that tasted like a cross between coffee and chocolate.
All in all, the afternoon was a hit-and-miss affair. Service was inconsistent at first - we tried hard to catch the staff's attention but after we had called for a second round of tea, they finally caught on and conscientiously refilled our percolators without being asked.
This was another bone of contention for me as I recall the Regent KL had the best tea service with proper Royal Doulton tea pots and cups no less. There were other little touches too that made their afternoon tea a truly classy affair - white starched linen napkins, a fine tea strainer on the side, tea brewed from real tea leaves and classic English-style morsels like cucumber sandwiches and rich fruit cake reminiscent of Enid Blyton's delightful stories. Ah, those were the days.