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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

High Tea at Chihuly Lounge @ Ritz Carlton

So, after a hiatus from high tea indulgences, I finally managed to get *Charliez to go to Chihuly Lounge with me for afternoon high tea. Having heard good reviews about it from several sources, we both harbored rather high expectations. After all, this was situated at The Ritz Carlton Millenia at 7 Raffles Avenue, Lobby, Singapore 039799 and the number to dial is 6434 5283.

The lounge was comfortably done in rich earthly tones, complete with elegant furniture and plush carpetings, a pianist playing beautiful music to provide a soothing ambience, and rather attentive service crew constantly fluttering around our table.

We understood that the high-tea concept here does not go by buffet style, like the others I have enjoyed. We selected the 8-course set without alcohol since I had to return to settle some work stuff after the high tea.  Pots of aromatic tea were served to us in pretty teapots and dainty cups - *Charliez had the Strawberry-yogurt tea while I selected the Wild Cherries Black Tea.

The First Course and Second Course were served once we were settled down - Passion Fruit Mocktails and a bowl of crackers - lobster crackers, fish crackers and kale chips. While the cocktails were cooling and tasty with its blend of sweet-sour overtures, we were a little surprised that these crackers formed part of the set. The XO chilli sambal dip was rather tasty though.

Next, the Beef Wellington for me, and Vegetable Roll for *Charliez since she does not take beef.

The Beef Wellington is from their Carving Station next to the glass window - served with horseradish cream and Port Wine Jus. The beef was very tender and well-marinated in a delicious Port Wine Jus - juicy and flavorful. The pastry skin around the beef was so thin it melted in the mouth.

As for the Vegetable Roll, it was wrapped in a crusty skin and filled to the brim with goodness such as mushrooms, capsicums, tomatoes and corn etc. It tasted sumptuous as well, a burst of flavors of fresh vegetables well-prepared.

The 4th-5th courses came in a three-tiered tray, consisting of an assortment of sweet pastries and tiny sandwiches. The miniature pastries looked tantalizing, and the waitress explained to us what each item was in detail after setting it down upon our table.

On the top tier lay two different types of Scones - the ones with tiny raisins and the plain ones. These were the fluffiest, softest scones I have ever came across - unlike the hard ones I was accustomed to. These had the texture of tarts, except looser, and tasted very lovely. The light dusting of powdered sugar atop the pastries added hints of sweetness to the fragrant pastries. We enjoyed the scones very much, especially eaten with their homemade butter.

Now, we moved on to attack Tier Two - the open and closed sandwiches. The Smoked Salmon Buns were rather tasty - soft, saltish salmon and cream sandwiched by mini, soft-textured almond-topped buns. Next, the Triple-Layered Wholemeal Sandwich with Cream Cheese and Mashed Avocado, and a slice of Cucumber - this one had little taste and was a little disappointing as we felt like we were merely eating plain bread.

The one next to it was delicious - Smoked Chicken and Watercress in Laugen Roll - the smoked chicken was savoury and blended well with the refreshing "grassy" taste of the tiny watercress stalks. Lastly, the Parma Ham on Olive Baguette - a tasty sandwich especially when chewing on the semi-hard texture of the bread. At this point, both of us were already feeling very full.

Nonetheless, we moved to Tier Three. The Caramel Brownie was a tiny slice of sweet, chocolatey haven, blended nicely with caramel centre. Next, the Raspberry Macaroon - the crust was flaky and hard at the same time, and the raspberry centre came with an odd "lemongrass" or herbal spice taste. 

The Cuatard Tart was next - an aromatic egg-pudding centre with softened crust and meringue atop. Finally, the Lemon Cheesecake with fruits atop - soft and refreshing blend of citrusy flavor.

Now, for the 6th Course - they rolled over a large glass trolley filled with tea cakes, cookies, praline chocolates and kueh lapis for our selection. We ordered one of each to share - and savored the tasty sweets slowly.

They brought over the 7th Course - Passion Fruit Sorbet that was very refreshing and we gladly welcomed the slightly sourish, thirst-quenching soother to steer us away from the array of savoury and sweet items we had been consuming. 

Last course finally  - the Berries with Bora-Bora Vanilla Cream - something we gladly polished off and asked for the bill. The high tea cost us a whopping SGD$55.00 each, but I must say it was not as fulfilling or lovely as our expectations had been. I'd had better ones at Rose Verandah, The Landing Point and Tea Lounge for certain.

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