I tend to keep my birthday celebrations relatively low-key (for the most part, I prefer small groups, great conversations and LOTS of food), but since I’m turning 21 this month I thought it would be nice to indulge in a bit of fine dining. Luckily for me, Clos Maggiore offers a surprisingly affordable pre-theatre menu in what was probably one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating in!
I recently went on a two day getaway to Brighton during my “reading” week (in my defence, I did work beforehand!) and tried out a number of restaurants in this vibrant seaside city. One such place was Talk of Tea, an adorable little hideaway specialising in loose leaf teas and afternoon teas- I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area! Continue reading
The Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel
Address: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central
High tea is all the rage in Hong Kong right now, and for good reason too. After all, who doesn’t like having tea in beautiful surroundings, eating minute bites of Instagram-perfect, aesthetically pleasing scones/sandwiches/cakes whilst listening to live music?
The Lounge is located on the lobby floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Central, which is located within the IFC mall. I found this extremely convenient as it meant that I didn’t have to walk all the way in the rain and stuffy humidity. The interior was relaxing, airy, and spacious- yet not overly pretentious.
We ordered the two person tea seat which came in three layers- the top consisting of sweet cakes and desserts, the middle consisting of scones, and the bottom, sandwiches and little savoury treats.
Obviously no high tea is complete without drinks. I settled for the “Chocolat tea”, which was a type of chocolate-infused red tea. The taste was quite unique, with the faintest hint of chocolate aroma. I’m not entirely sure how this was achieved- maybe the leaves already had this flavour to begin with? The tea was served in a huge teapot, shown below, and you could ask for unlimited refills of hot water. The tea was also served with milk but I found that the milk didn’t really add much to the flavour of the tea, which was already quite rich on its own.
Now for the high tea set itself. We began the tea set from the bottom– the savoury dishes. It’s quite hard to see from the photo (sorry about the iPhone quality), but the bottom tier had an assortment of the following: ham and cheese sandwiches, open faced sandwiches with pineapple and pâté, choux pastries with what I assume was an egg salad with tomatoes, chicken salad on top of puff pastry, and my favourite- parma ham sitting atop a crunchy cracker. The overall saltiness of the parma ham complemented the otherwise bland cracker, and the combination of the two textures was delectable.
Next- the middle tier. These were scones prepared two ways- plain and with raisins, served with clotted cream, apricot jam, and strawberry/raspberry jam (or maybe it was both- the jam tasted like strawberries but had a raspberry-like aftertaste). The scones themselves were delicious- plump and fresh, with a crunchy exterior and a soft, buttery interior. I think that a lot of people associate high teas with scones, so in my opinion if the scones in a high tea set aren’t up to standard then the high tea just goes downhill from there.
Finally, we tackled the top tier of desserts. Although they were beautifully presented, I was quite full whilst eating them and so my overall perception of the desserts was that they weren’t particularly impressive – except for the Praline chocolate crunch bar, shown below. The creaminess and crunchiness of the “crunch bar” paired really well with the rich, dark chocolate rolled wafer on top. The gold leaf topping added an extra classy touch. The other three desserts were fruit based, with a berry verrine, a cherry dessert (cherry cream, half a cherry, white chocolate and a cookie), and a lychee biscuit- which had an almost slimy texture which I did not enjoy.
Towards the end of the tea though, we were surprised with some complimentary ice-cream shaped macaroons, which had a strawberry filling and had that chewy interior I love in macaroons.
Overall, it was a relaxing and tasty high tea experience 🙂
^ Note the lovely surroundings of the Lounge 🙂
NOTE: Looking at other reviews around the web, the high tea seems to change quite regularly every couple of months. Also, try to book in advance as it can get quite full! Afternoon tea is served from 3-5pm.
Honeymoon Dessert (iSQUARE)
Address：Shop 604, iSQUARE, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
If you’ve ever visited/lived in Hong Kong, then you’ll most likely have seen one of Honeymoon Dessert’s branches somewhere along the way. This is probably one of my favourite “Chinese style” dessert shops in Hong Kong as the prices aren’t bad, the shops are quite clean and accessible, and I feel like I can get away with eating more by justifying that a lot of their desserts have fruit in them 🙂
Honeymoon is usually packed with people at night (I’m assuming that people like going there after dinner), but on the day I went it was in the afternoon and therefore quite empty.
Because of their huge range of desserts ( see http://www.honeymoon-dessert.com/), I always have a pretty difficult time choosing my dessert – but I almost always settle for something with mango and ice cream in it.
I ordered the Tofu Pudding with Mango Sauce, Mango and Green Tea ice cream, and my friend opted for one of my all time favourites- Thai Black Glutinous Rice with Mango (Coconut Juice) and Green Tea ice cream.
My dessert was delicious- the mango was fresh and sweet and complemented the texture of the tofu pudding very well. However, the mango sauce was a bit too strong in flavour and covered up the natural “bean” aroma that you get from tofu pudding. The ice cream went well with the overall dessert, and was more of a bitter green tea flavour than milky, which I prefer.
My friend’s Thai Black Glutinous Rice with Mango also tasted delicious – the rice was sweet, chewy, and went well with the large slices of mango and cold coconut milk. The bitterness of the ice cream contrasted nicely with the glutinous rice and made the overall flavour of the dish milder.
All in all, a very satisfying sweet treat. 🙂