Artisan Lounge sits on the ground floor in the heart of the new K11 MUSEA development at Victoria Dockside. Looking up from the restaurant, you have the most amazing view of all eight floors of the mall (it took 100 creative powers to design this sensational building), the balconies all flowing around each other – making one feel like you’re inside some sort of copper spaceship. A huge glass and metal dome pokes out from one side, and at the top, abstract patterned skylights pull subtle beams of light down through the space, much like a forest canopy.
Artisan Lounge doesn’t disappoint on its own design front either. The decor flows purposefully as an extension of its surroundings – the curves of the copper light fittings, the leather-trimmed marble dining tables and the beautiful velvet seating. It’s a really special place to sit and enjoy afternoon tea and a spot of people watching.
The afternoon tea set (from $690/2) is very well presented in a copper triangular-like cage that floats above the table, suspended from an arm running above.
Starting with the savoury, the highlights were the tuna encrusted with black and white sesame and the caviar cube, which is a deep-fried bread cube topped with a generous amount of caviar and gold leaf. This was crispy, creamy and salty, and I could have eaten half a dozen.
They also offered a delightful cucumber roll, which was a fresh take on the British cucumber sandwich – a classic on most afternoon teas sets.
Moving onto the next tier, there were some gorgeous treats. I loved the corn mousse lollipop coated in white chocolate. It tasted like fresh corn, naturally sweet and creamy, whilst also being light and airy.
The little shot glass layered with berry compote, crunchy biscuit cereal bites and cream at the top tasted like a shot of cheesecake and was yummy.
Working to the top tier, there were madeleines and macarons that went well with the great tea selection, and there was a beautiful pair of artisan chocolates by Australian chocolatier Ryan L Foote. There’s a to-go counter on the side, should you wish to purchase boxes of chocolates and other pastry items to take home with you.
Lastly, we had the scones, which were fantastic. Plain and with cranberry, they were fluffy and warm and tasted really fresh. They come with clotted cream and a delicious rose jam. My only criticism is that the cream and jam jars are tiny and not enough to go with the large scones.
Artisan Lounge also offers an à-la-carte menu for anyone wanting to skip the theatre of afternoon tea and just grab lunch.
I would highly recommend the miso cod with ratatouille, pesto and green tea tuile ($388) – it’s not cheap, but it is very tasty. The miso and cod pairing is an absolute dream combo and something I am going to be doing at home from now on.
I also tried the rock lobster mafalde ($438), which was okay; the pasta is house-made, and it’s a rather comforting dish. At $438, I do think it is extremely overpriced. The lobster was very small and quite dry. There was some lobster meat in the pasta, but not a lot, and because the lobsters used are bred in Hong Kong, I’d have expected better value for money here.
Coming from a country where afternoon tea is quite a serious and classic affair, this is a nice, modern take on it. Artisan Lounge provides a fantastic environment, and the drama is there. I wasn’t blown away by all the elements of the afternoon tea set, and I personally would have liked to have seen more substantial savoury items as I think people nowadays often treat afternoon tea as a lunch replacement, but I did enjoy many of the bites. Is this the best afternoon tea I’ve ever had? No. But it is worth checking out if you’re in the area, need a sit-down and are feeling peckish between lunch and dinner. You could even make a whole day out it by wandering the floors of the fabulous new K11 MUSEA.
Shop 008–08A, G/F, K11 MUSEA, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, TST, 2601 3428
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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