It’s been a while since I wrote about my high tea adventures. I still love to high tea, but I’ve found that they are all quite mediocre and there is not much to talk about. However, recently a coworker and I both happened to be in Hong Kong so we decided to baller it out and go to Penninsula Hotel in TST for High Tea.
My coworker called and was told that they do not take reservations for high tea, and line up starts at 1:30pm for 2:00pm tea time. Maybe coming from western civilizations, it’s a bit strange, but I’m not sure why a grand hotel would prefer to have a bunch of people lining up randomly but whatever. We got there at 1:15pm and already there were a few people lined up…so we stood around in the lobby for almost an hour waiting to be seated. By the time it was close to 2pm, the line up was amazing – I would say close to 50 tables + were waiting.
We got a table in the first round of seating, and we got to order our teas really quickly. Both the tea and food came out really quick, service as expected from a top notch hotel team. Teas were fabulous – aromatic and obviously high quality loose leaf tea. The food however, was beyond disappointing.
Since no one introduced the tiers to us (again, is this only done in Canada?) let me give you a guesstimate of what we ate.
Bottom tier (pics below) – raisin scones. It wasn’t bad per se. They came out warm…but quite dry for scones. Not very fluffy, and from the taste, obviously not very much butter was used. Verdict: my scones are better.
Mid tier – finger sandwiches…i THINK it was tuna roll, smoked salmon sandwich, and what should’ve been a cream cheese and cucumber sandwich. Tuna roll was rolled in this black….bread…that was so dry it tasted like cardboard. To be honest, I thought it was chicken, but my coworker thinks tuna…so we’ll go with tuna. Smoked salmon was okay, except the ikura on top was a bit dry which means this was done before hand and left in the fridge with no cover. Plus my coworker’s ikura had membrane attached…which was sort of disgusting. Finally, the cream cheese sandwich – a high tea staple – was DISGUSTING. It was soggy, and the cucumber was SO salty that I wondered if it was a cream cheese and pickle sandwich?
Top tier – dessert. By the time we got here, both of us were a bit wary and no sure if we wanted to continue tasting. TBH I can’t really guestimate what we ate because I’m still not sure. I THINK there was a lemon curd profiterole, a key lime tart, then either a mocha or caramel tart or something…and a chocolate sorta cake or something. Lemon curd was pretty good, a little soggy but that’s okay. The key lime part of the tart is fantastic but the crust was SO thick and SO hard. The unidentifiable tart was actually pretty good despite the fact I didn’t know what I ate. But man that chocolate thing. was DIS.GUS.TING. It tasted like week old brownie – dry, too sweet, and did I mention DRY? If we weren’t sitting in the middle of the lobby of Penninsula Hotel, I would’ve spat it back out – instead, I had to rinse it down with multiple cups of tea. NOT a good way to end my tea time.
And during all of this, there was a line up of people watching us eat behind me. (again, reservations would totally clear this issue…)
So, for a price of $724 ($658 + 10% mandatory gratuity)… what.the….eff?
In conclusion, don’t waste your time here.