The Lounge at JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong welcomes the arrival of summer with a new afternoon tea, Flavours of Hokkaido, available daily from 3:30–6pm from 1–31 July 2018. The tea is comprised of three courses spotlighting Hokkaido’s fresh, seasonal produce, designed by master Japanese pastry chef Shinpei Asada and JW Marriott pastry chef Andy Yeung. A winner of countless pastry competitions over his 35-year career, Chef Asada now owns and runs the lauded Patisserie Aplanos in Saitama, Japan.Chef Shinpei Asada (left) and Chef Andy Yeung (right)
To start, we were greeted with cups of Osmanthus Oolong Bliss welcome tea. The combination of slightly bitter oolong with a squeeze of lemon and some sugar syrup was a refreshing start to the big feast ahead.
The first course offered a selection of sweet bites. Presented on a three-tiered stand, it featured Hokkaido pumpkin cheesecake, haskap berry bonbon and caramelised apricot butter cake, amongst many other treats.
My first bite ended up being my favourite: the Hokkaido melon shortcake. Chef Asada explained that he wanted to preserve the natural melon taste, and he hit the nail on the head with this one. The shortcake was light and fluffy and the cream was airy and delicate. Because everything else was so light, the natural sweetness of the melon shone through and created a lasting impression. I particularly loved the chocolate feather – not for the taste, but for how pretty it looked!
My second-favourite bite was the Uji Kyoto matcha tiramisu. Chef Asada prides himself on being a playful and adventurous chef. He believes that food should be fun, and this translates into the desserts he creates. I was pleasantly surprised by the burst of hojicha (roasted green tea) when I bit into the dome-shaped jelly. The hojicha taste might be too intense for some, but I personally really enjoyed it, as the slight bitterness of the tea was perfectly complemented by the sweet layers of matcha tiramisu underneath. It also came with a matcha meringue stick that melted in my mouth – such an interesting play of textures!
I don’t have a sweet tooth, so it was surprising when the clotted chocolate cake stole my heart. By now, you might have realised that I’m a big fan of texture. The bottom layer of the cake was made of chocolate brownie and was on the crunchier, drier and nuttier side, but this complemented the top layer of soft chocolate ganache and clotted cream. Crowned with an intricate piece of chocolate and a tiny bit of edible silver foil, this cake was not only a dream to eat but was also dreamy to look at.
The second course featured delicious savoury bites like king crab doughnuts, abalone tart, BBQ pork bun and lobster consommé with seaweed chip, and while my tummy was telling me to take a break by then, my hands couldn’t help but to try a serving of the last course, a selection of blueberry and raisin scones served with homemade jams, lemon curd and Devonshire clotted cream.
Chef Asada has endeavoured to showcase Hokkaido’s ingredients in a different way, and he has definitely shown his craftsmanship and creativity in this afternoon tea set. Through the details, one can see the time and effort taken into delicately perfecting each item, and every bite was designed with both aesthetics and balance of flavour in mind. If you want a light yet filling afternoon tea, Flavours of Hokkaido is recommended.
- Monday–Friday: $258 for 1/$448 for 2 (with welcome tea and coffee) or $358 for 1/$648 for 2 (with welcome tea, coffee and a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne)
- Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: $288 for 1/$488 for 2 (with welcome tea and coffee) or $388 for 1/$688 for 2 (with welcome tea, coffee and a glass of Moët & Chandon champagne)
Lobby, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2810 8366, email@example.com
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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