Tag Archives: Afternoon Tea
Tiong Bahru Bakery first made its foray into our local cafe scene in collaboration with Spa Esprit Group two years ago and fast earned the title of the ‘best croissant in Singapore’ as dubbed by many media heavyweights and food critics. The man behind this successful bakery and its baked goods made from traditional French techniques, is none other than celebrated French baker Gontran Cherrier. Two years later, he is back again in Singapore to introduce more delectable goodies for the fans of Tiong Bahru Bakery.
This humble bakery which used to pack in the crowds since the day they opened their doors at the corner of Eng Hoon Street in the hipster enclave of Tiong Bahru (hence its ‘heartland’ name) has also since launched two more outlets at Raffles City and Tangs Orchard as an answer to the demands for Gontran’s well-loved breads and viennoiseries.
First up on their new menu is the Panini Lunch Set $9.90 which comes with a choice of either Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese or Bacon and Mushroom Curry. We tried both paninis and thoroughly enjoyed the classic combinations of those ingredients put together. The former was my personal favourite while the latter though delightful barely had a hint of curry spice flavour. We think that calling it a Bacon and Mushroom Panini would suffice and it would still be as popular. Each panini also comes with a side of Caesar salad freshly tossed with croutons, bacon and parmesan cheese and so well-dressed that even those adverse to salads would be happy wolfing this down.
Also new are these two hot dog viennas- Spicy Pork Hotdog with Black Sesame Vienna and Chicken Hotdog with Pepper Vienna $5.30 each. While the price may be a tad steep for plain ol’ hotdog buns, these are actually hardly plain and neither are they run-of-the-mill. For starters, its hearty size is almost justification enough for its price, next would be the fluffiness of that sesame/pepper bread and finally how the thick overlaying melted cheese ties it all together so beautifully. The chicken one actually packs a punch with its subtle spread of dijon mustard while the pork hot dog tasted somewhat like smoked cured chorizo.
English Afternoon Tea at L’Espresso in Goodwood Park Hotel brings back many fond childhood memories. It has been mum’s and my favourite afternoon tea place for the longest time and always our usual space to spend some quality mother and daughter time with each other. L’Espresso in fact holds many such lovely memories for others as well, having been serving traditional English scones and delightful finger sandwiches since 1968. And even with so many hotels introducing high-tea buffets these days, L’Espresso has stood the test of time and remains till today, one of the more popular choices for the ladies.
Recently, this chic and sophisticated cafe updated its daily English Afternoon Tea menu with new pastries, antipasti and even introduced a chocolate corner- making its already elegant appeal even more alluring and attractive. Their usual signatures of freshly baked scones, finger sandwiches and croissants are of course still on the list.
I do not usually carbo-load at buffets but am willing to make an exception for the soft sandwiches and fluffy croissants here at L’Espresso. The highlights that afternoon were definitely the Prawn and Egg Salad croissant, Smoked Salmon with beetroot mousse and Caviar open-faced sandwich and Spicy Crabmeat Salad with Tobiko finger sandwich. I will not deny that they do fill you up fast, but wow are they sure worth the calories!
INDOCAFE – the white house along Scotts Road is a rare breed of its own. Both a restaurant and cultural centre, this establishment seeks to preserve our heritage and tradition through food and appreciation of the arts. Having been to the restaurant at the beginning of this year for their CNY Peranakan-Inspired Feast, it was only fitting that I also paid a visit to their Arts & Cultural centre next door which hosts their daily High Tea experience together with dance & music performances and coffee appreciation workshops as well.
Their Peranakan High Tea offered every day from 3-5.30pm, is not only about your usual cakes and scones. But yes, those are included as well. What’s truly special, is the inclusion of Nyonya savoury light bites that are miniature or canape versions of the dishes you can find at the restaurant. The items change regularly but you will definitely get 4 different types each time.
While we were there, we had the opportunity to try the Mini Steamed Penang Otah with Pan-seared Hokkaido Scallop which was a healthier version of our usual Otah but made more luxurious with a plump whole scallop sitting atop, the Kari Kapitan Tarlet with Idaho Potato Mousse- somewhat like a deconstructed take on curry puff, Kurobuta Buah Keluak on Crispy Man Tou- this one I really loved with its contrasting textures and robust flavour and Foie Gras Mousse Tartlet with a nice buttery crumbly crust.
These 4 savouries are non-refillable.
Freshly baked scones (parmesan, chocolate chip or coconut) with jam and clotted cream- quintessential high tea items are offered on the 2-tiered display and are refillable as per request. Nyonya Kuehs such as Pulut Hitam, Kueh Jagung, Ang Ku Kueh and Kueh Salat are also on the menu but they are limited to 2 per diner.
Afternoon tea is always a much welcomed affair with the ladies and it comes as no surprise that reservations for hotels offering a good buffet spread of pastries or gorgeous tiers of treats do not come easy. 10 Scotts at Grand Hyatt Singapore is no exception and you are advised to make your booking at least 2 days in advance. Priced at $43++ per person with a top-up fee for champagne, afternoon tea here is not exactly cheap, but is considerably one of the more affordable options especially in the heart of town.
I brought mummy here for an afternoon of luxury one day and was fortunate enough to get hold of a reservation at the first seating beginning at 12pm. Located at the lobby level of the hotel, the lounge greets with elegance and posh as do the polite and cheerful waitresses with a smile. Within seconds of waiting, we were led to our table and invited to pick our choice of tea, Dammann Freres no less.
Meanwhile, another server brought out a two tiered display of savouries- a nice mix of western and local delights. On the top tier, there were mostly ham & cheese and smoked salmon & cream cheese sandwiches among others, with prosciutto & pesto and goat cheese & anchovies on homemade toasted bread filling up the empty spaces on the tray.
The bottom tier held popiah, crab cake in remoulade sauce, curry puffs and a mozzarella salad. These items on the stands are all refillable and the waitresses are quick to offer to replace any items you may like once they notice that you have finished your portions. Plates are also changed efficiently in between items.
Named after ‘halia’, the Malay word for ginger, The Halia at Botanic Gardens- flagship restaurant of The Halia Group, is no stranger to many having been around for the last 10 years. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Ginger Gardens in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the award-winning restaurant charms easily with its full-length glass windows that creates an optical illusion of dining at a fancy garden party without the associated humidity and mozzies.
We came here for their highly raved Weekend Afternoon Tea which has a ‘no-reservation’ policy. Choose between the air conditioned 32-seater dining room or get in touch with nature at their al fresco deck that beckons with its gentle breeze and warm sunlight. Either way, it promises to be an excellent dining experience.