Monday, April 16, 2012

Tea Lounge - Japanese Afternoon Tea

Last year, there was also this Japanese Afternoon Tea at Tea Lounge, however I could not make it for last year's so when I saw it again this year, I knew I had to go. Sadly, by the time I came to know of this, the weekend afternoon tea buffet was already fully booked with a rather long waiting list! :( So I decided to go on a weekday.

The "journey" for today's afternoon tea wasn't smooth sailing at all, it was as if I was fated not to try this afternoon tea again this year. Luckily, I managed to get there still to try it out (:

This Jap Afternoon Tea is presented by Pastry Chef Yoshihide Hamamoto of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo. I'm not sure if he's the chef who came last year though! His creations showcases traditional English afternoon tea items with a Japanese twist, with some good creations really showcasing the mix of cuisines but some didn't shine as much though the names sound really appealing.

Tea Selection

The different tea blends on offer! Some weren't displayed here but are on the menu. You can open the cover and smell the tea to decide what you want! There's also a full and informative description of each tea, including the leaves, how they're roasted, the flavour, whether its full bodied or not, etc in the menu! 

The setting

Mountain/Mixed Berries

Forgot what its called, anyway its a mix of diff berries and is caffeine free! This tastes like a less sweet version of cranberry juice haha. Doesnt really go well with afternoon tea IMO 'cos its slightly sweet? 

Lemon curd/Devonshire cream/Organic Strawberry Preserve for Scones

Left: Lemon Mango Tea

This was Mom's tea and it was slightly sour! Good refreshing tea to accompany an afternoon tea I feel! This is also caffeine free!

Top tier: Assorted sandwiches

We were served this first and not in the traditional stand 'cos the sandwiches were ready first and not the oth desserts! (: I'll talk about the sandwiches that I didnt take individual pics of!

Smoked Salmon and Ikura on Nori Bread (front left): a few things. 1) There wasn't any ikura, or there was but I didnt see and didnt taste any. 2) The bread didnt taste like nori bread, it was hard and well, tasted like wholemeal bread to me. Nori's seaweed btw. Mm smoked salmon was a tad salty for me? 3/5

Organic Egg and Wasabi-Mayo on white bread (back, right): This one had no wasabi taste at all, the normal egg sandwich. Though I must say that the egg mayo on top was v light! 3.3/5

Japanese Cucumber and Cream Cheese on Sour Dough 

The Jap cucumber was v crunchy, though the cream cheese was barely discernible. Would've thought it was mayo if I didnt look at the menu! More cucumbers would have been an added delight as the current ones are sliced quite thinly and the middle section seems to not have any, though from the pic it looks like there is! 3.6/5

Unagi and Seaweed on Soya Bread

This was the best sandwich of the day! It really feels like something Japanese. The unagi was sliced really thin and you've gotta slowly chew and savour to taste it and with the slow eating, you'd be rewarded with flavours you'll miss if you chewed quickly like you're rushing somewhere. The seaweed atop's v fragrant as well!! 4.5/5 

Teriyaki Chicken Salad with Bonito Flakes on Seven Grain

1) The bread doesnt taste like a seven grain bread haha cos its v light!
2) The chicken has no teriyaki taste at all and we even thought it was ham! V slight meat taste to it
3) This was not bad, bonito flakes just remind me of takopachi (Jap balls haha) 3.6/5

Afternoon Tea Set

Its non-refillable and the top tier is supposed to be the sandwiches!

Middle tier

Bottom tier

Dark Choc and Yuzu Souffle with Vanilla Pod Creme Anglaise

This was served shortly after we were presented the tiered stand and we were advised to eat it while it was hot else it will deflate. A few things about this too:

1) It wasn't hot when it was served, my Mom's was slightly deflated too
2) Didnt taste any vanilla pod creme anglaise. There was a layer of sugar "water" or sth right at the bottom of the souffle, maybe that was it?
3) It didnt taste like dark choc at all, more like milk choc cos it was quite sweet!!! Even with the sour yuzu to balance it out, it was still sweet!

Didnt enjoy this at all, lucky it was a small cup. 2.5/5 

Roasted Tea Chocolate Tart

Didnt taste any roasted tea at all, this was like a regular dark choc tart! Not bad, pastry isn't the usual crumbly type, quite hard and stays in a piece even when bitten! Rich dark chocolate here (: 3.6/5 

White Miso Cream and Dark Cherry Tiramisu

The white miso cream tastes a little like yoghurt? It would've been good if there was a stronger liqueur taste or if the cherries were soaked in liqueur to "lift up" the dessert! Else it was pretty flat. 3.5/5 

Wasabi Apple Eclair with White Chocolate Dipped

This was one of the best desserts I had that day!! Really reminds me of Japan and a good twist to the classic English eclair! The cream has subtle hints of wasabi, savour this slowlyyyy please. No apple taste though! 4.3/5

Yuzu and Grape Fruit Jelly

This is good as a end-of-meal palate cleanser! Its sour and tangy!! 3.6/5

Strawberry Cream Sesami Pie

This tastes like a v thin tart base with cream and strawberries, v normal. 3/5

Peach Tart Tatin

Honestly, you cant tell what fruit's on top haha its just sweet and a little soft/juicy. The crust was a little airy and flakey, not bad. 3.4/5

Honey Ginger Panna Cotta

This panna cotta was hard. Not soft and pudding like, like what I had in most Italian restaurants. This was hard, slightly cake-like texture. Taste it slowly and hints of ginger can be detected which I quite like! (: 3.4/5

Plain Scones

These were undoubtedly fluffy!!!! I've heard some saying that Tea Lounge has the best scones in Singapore, I'd agree if you like those fluffy soft kind of scones! It wasnt crispy on the outside like how I like mine but the fluffiness, oooh, definitely the most fluffy ones I've had to date!! This must definitely be eaten in small bites and over a period of time else you'll get full and tire of it quickly, I feel. 4.3/5

Adzuki Beans and Matcha Green Tea Scone

This tastes like green tea, and there are some adzuki beans scattered but barely discernible. A more cakey texture and less fluffy vs the plain one. Felt the strawberry preserves went best with the plain and less so with the green tea one. 4.2/5

For 38++/pax, I wouldn't say this is value for money, a good experience though. But one that I doubt I'll be returning for. For a little bit more, I'd get a wonderful Sunday brunch buffet at Basilico with foie gras, seafood, and a sizeable size of desserts too! The were some good stuff today but on the whole, quite disappointing. There are magazines to read and papers as well, the ambience is q good with a pianist playing at about 2.30pm I think? Oh yes you can choose 2 teas I think, and I switched to the Jasmine tea which was not bad.

Service is friendly, professional and prompt!!

Tea Lounge
The Regent Hotel


  1. wasn't this supposed to be a buffet as printed on the papers? it seems as though it was like ala carte served in 3 tiers.

    1. Hey Anon, buffet is only on weekends! (:

  2. Dear Ying Yin,
    Thank you very much for your detailed feedback.

    Could you please email me your deails to to further discuss your experience?

    Best regards,
    Martin Dell
    Director of Food & Beverage
    Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons Hotel

  3. Nice write up.

    But do note that the term "Jap" (as used in "Jap Afternoon Tea") is a derogatory term like "nigger" or "hongkee".

    It's more correct to use the word "Japanese".


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