I’m in Singapore. Where should I have afternoon tea?
How about the Grand Lobby in Raffles? It’s a beautiful venue. The harpist wearing a surgical mask while she played seemed a little incongruous though I have noticed that many of the staff are wearing face masks.
The streets around the hotel seemed very quiet and the numbers of people wearing masks were low, but this post is about afternoon tea.
Half of the lobby was busy though not every table was full. Where I was sitting there were eleven tables but people were seated at only three of them.
Emelyne and Claudia introduced themselves and possibly more importantly the afternoon tea. They would be looking after me and they were not kidding.
The afternoon tea arrived in a three tier display.
Scones would be brought separately.
I had assumed after I had eaten the sandwiches to ensure the scones stayed warm.
They were indeed warm but they were placed on my plate before I ate the sandwiches. Was I supposed to eat them first?
I stuck with my preferred method.
Sandwiches first and I was impressed with the variety in the types of bread used though the tradition egg mayonnaise was also on the traditional white bread.
Nothing exciting but actually a good foundation for the flavours that followed.
The crab meat was delicious on curried bread that was rather dry but came with a spicy kick. My favourite was the unexpected tuna mayonnaise but with plenty of spring onions on a light tomato bread.
There followed more mayonnaise of the chicken variety on a seeded white bread and I have no idea what the salmon on but I’ve decided that I’m calling it friesian bread… as in the black and white cows.
Raffles showed real imagination with the bread.
The solicitous staff were topping up the tea everytime the level in my cup dropped. I became wary of drinking it when they were nearby as at one point it was refilled with every sip.
However, I cannot complain about this approach because the Emelyne was very much on top of ensuring the teapot did not run dry.
The scones, meanwhile had remained warm – one heavily fruited with raisins, the other plain though I thought flavoured with a hint of citrus that complimented the rich strawberry jam
Emelyne told me that it was simply a plain scone. If there had been a mishap in the baking, someone needs to remember it. She also asked if I would like another scone.
Obviously, she doesn’t know me well.
What do you mean: “Well did you?” Are you new to this blog?
Another scone arrived… along with a tiny bowl of almond icecream with dried fruits and nuts and a salted caramel sauce.
Emelyne explained it was a palate cleanser before the cakes.
She stayed and we had a lengthy chat about my travels. She is from Malaysia and offered a heap of recommendations for places to visit, things to do and specifically, things to eat.
I was particularly interested in what she told me about the fusion of Chinese and Malay cooking creating a new Baba and Nyonya cuisine.
So, the desserts…
The small glass of strawberry pannacotta was sweet without being sickly but the apple melba didn’t really work for me.
It should have done. I love apple desserts.
The components were fine – diced apple in a pastry cup, an apple sauce within a chocolate shell filled with cream. A fine idea and the pastry was perfect – no sledgehammer required to aid cutting it.
I just didn’t like the immediate taste of the sauce. I found it bitter.
I was now feeling a little full so I was carefully considering which cakes to eat next.
The next choice was the crunchy topped apricot cake – moist and flavourful. I’d love this as a full sized slice of cake. It was delicious.
I greatly enjoyed the reduced reliance on chocolate with these cakes… though obviously the chocolate one would be saved for last.
The hazelnut eclair was a delight. Full of flavour and, in a way, refreshing. I’m not sure how that was possible. The choux pastry was light and fluffy.
The main challenge was eating it without making a mess.
I resorted to taking it apart hoping I didn’t look like I was playing with my food
Finally… what had looked like a brownie turned out to be chocolate cake topped with raspberry jam and a raspberry chocolate wafer which had a gorgeous crunch with each mouthful
Raspberry and chocolate always works well together in my view.
Afternoon tea cost 78 SGD with service and tax taking the total price to around 91 SGD. Was it worth it?
Without a glass of champagne, this was a more expensive afternoon tea (if we don’t talk about what happened in Moscow).
However, the variety of breads used for the sandwiches, without a reliance on quiche meant this remained a traditional though interesting afternoon tea. The scones were light and fluffy (and could in no way ever be weaponised) and the cake offering was more than just ganache and repetitions of chocolate.
I rather enjoyed afternoon tea at Raffles .