Here are Foodie, we’re often inundated with the latest-and-greatest afternoon tea offerings (hey, we’re not complaining), so it takes a lot for one to stand out from the pack. Of the many we’ve tried and tasted lately, these three stand out:
Cha Chaan afternoon tea at Cobo House
Named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef two years in a row, Janice Wong of 2am:dessertbar in Singapore landed in Hong Kong a few years back with her first restaurant, Cobo House, designed by Adrien Cheng of K11 Art Foundation, with every object featured sourced by him from around the world. For this new afternoon tea, which is limited to 10 sets per day on weekends only, Chef Wong has looked to the local neighbourhood of Shek Tong Tsui for inspiration, where old-style cha chaan tengs abound. First and foremost the presentation is a showstopper, on oversized, transparent Chinese-style tiered tray, along with a transparent platter and a basket made out of Lego (!) to hold the scones. Though the sweets for which Chef Wong is famous were abundant, we were actually more taken with the savoury items, of which the sinfully creamy deep-fried chorizo cube and the five-spice duck calligraphy mantou were the highlights. On the sweet side, we particularly enjoyed the salted egg custard choux and the kaya magnum for its intense pandan flavour (though we wished we had eaten it first as it was melting everywhere by the time we got to it). The scones, on the dry side, were an afterthought for us after sampling all the other fanciful goodies on offer.
Price: $508 for for 2
Afternoon tea period: every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday, 3–5:30pm
G/F and 1/F, 8 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, 2656 3088
New afternoon tea experience at The Lounge, Four Seasons
Perenially popular with the ladies who lunch set, afternoon tea at The Lounge remains a relaxed yet elegant experience. Now collaborating with premium artisanal tea brand Tealeaves, the revamped afternoon tea includes a seasonal tea selection that can be served hot or iced. We strongly recommend the innovative iced teas, of which the vanilla passion fruit, made with cold-pressed pineapple juice, lemon juice, ginger juice and vanilla passion fruit tea, made the strongest impression. The sweet and savoury tea stand items, with a nice balance of each, are infused with either tea or complementary floral and berry flavours. Pastry Chef Ringo Chan deserves a shout-out for his classic techniques with a twist. Of note were the imperial oolong crème with poached white peach and the berry tea moist cake. The traditional scones are justly famous as well.
Price: $275 for 1/$535 for 2 (Monday–Friday) and $295 for 1/$570 for 2 (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays) (upgrade to Ruinart Blanc de Blancs for $185/glass or one of three tea cocktails from Blue Bar for $135)
Afternoon tea period: daily, 3–5pm
Lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, 3196 8820, firstname.lastname@example.org
FRUIT-TASTIC! summer afternoon tea at Seasons
It’s a close call, but we think we can safely say that the scones at Seasons are the best in town: buttery, moist, with a tender crumb. An ode to summertime with its vibrant colours and light, fruity flavours, FRUIT-TASTIC! is charmingly presented in both a classic three-tiered stand and signature wooden box. We’re not exaggerating when we say we enjoyed each sweet and savoury item featured, from the deeply flavourful tamarillo gazpacho and basil emulsion – pesto in a glass – to the croque-madame-like mini ham, Emmental and quail egg toasties, to the beat-the-heat iced pineapple lolly coated in white chocolate, to the refreshing iced tea jelly – a nod to Hong Kong’s love affair with iced lemon tea. Our only gripe? The unattractive silver teapots. We recommend an upgrade to porcelain or ceramic pots to match the rest of the tea’s understated elegance.
Price: $268 for 1/$518 for 2 (upgrade to Or Tea? for $8/cup; Prosecco Canaletto for $68/glass; Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut for $105/glass; Garden of Eden cocktail for $70; Purple Heart mocktail for $50)
Afternoon tea period: 3–5:30pm (Monday–Friday) and 3:30–5:30pm (Saturday, Sunday and public holidays)
Shop 308, 3/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay, 2505 6228