Remember how I felt like absolute royalty at a dinner buffet at Grand Hyatt’s newly refurbished Tiffin? I admit – I left a part of me there the last time. I had to go back and reconnect with my royal blood through Tiffin’s beautifully branded Princess Diana tableware. So off I went, ditching my average girl-next-door life yet again for two hours, and chased the sweetest dream at Tiffin’s afternoon tea.
#Throwbacktothe90s: Tiffin was the first spot in Hong Kong to introduce the dessert buffet concept. In the early days, the waiting list to sample its sweet offerings was months long. And I finally know the reason why.
For starters, get ready to be tea-sed by a wide array of tea flavours – from English breakfast to Chinese oolong, from flowery to fruity. Our top picks are the fragrant pear, berry and Grand Hyatt’s bespoke tea blend (for the indecisive customers who just can’t choose owing to… well, too many choices).
Once you have that cup of perfectly timed tea (Tiffin’s pot of tea comes with an hourglass that times your cup of tea – how cool is that?), you start from the savoury (bottom) to the sweet (top) like a true-blue Englishwoman (or man, as the case may be).
Bottom tier (clockwise from top middle): cucumber and lemony dill cream cheese sandwich, lobster and avocado salad, celeriac remoulade and alfafa sandwich, Wagyu beef cheek burger, coronation chicken pie and mushroom tart with truffle mascarpone
Out of all the tiers, I’m always the most psyched to feast on the savoury one. My only gripe was that all the savouries were in bite-sized pieces. I wished I could have tripled the size of the Wagyu beef cheek burger in order to sink my teeth into that thick, juicy patty, as well as the coronation chicken pie with its crusty, buttery pastry and creamy chicken filling.
Foie gras mousse, port wine, black winter truffle
This unassuming jar of dessert-like mousse (which everyone initially thought was panna cotta) turned out to be a rich foie gras mousse. The creative spin of seamlessly blending the foie gras with the rest of its teatime cousins was clever – and delicious too when spread on a crisp, thin wafer. Good on Tiffin’s chef de cuisine, Robert Liu.
Middle tier (clockwise from top middle): cassis Mont Blanc tartlet, raspberry linzer cookie, mandarin orange religieuse, coconut snowball and gingerbread chocolate cupcake
Gotta love the festive touches on the sweet tier. I mean, just look at that cute snowflake sugar piece – sitting there innocently on the plate, looking so pretty. While the coconut snowball was physically tiny, the flavours were a full-on coconut explosion with a dark chocolate twist – who knew what that fluffy white ball was capable of? Another memorable item was the humble-looking gingerbread chocolate cupcake, made from a recipe courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef James Holehouse’s grandmother. The icing was light with a snazzy gingerbread touch – full of grandma’s love for sure.
Traditional English scones with strawberry jam, pineapple passion fruit jam, clotted cream and poached pear vanilla panna cotta
We started from the bottom, finally arriving here – at the top tier showcasing freshly baked scones and poached pear vanilla panna cotta. The traditional scones were perfect on their own or when smeared generously with one of the homemade jams. The poached pear vanilla panna cotta was incredibly smooth – and you know it’s the real deal when you see the cream dotted with vanilla beans.
Upon completion of the afternoon teatime tiers, nope, it doesn’t stop there. The live dessert stations continue to taunt and tempt you. Despite having a full tummy, I’m telling you: you gotta keep going. Try the hazelnut apple obanyaki, freshly made dark chocolate soufflé and crêpes Suzette!
When you’re at this stage, stop counting the calories and pile on the ice cream to distract your guilt. Not even kidding about the distraction bit, when we’re talking about ice cream flavours like mango coconut, cassis swirl, whisky pecan caramel, pineapple passion fruit and more.
Exclusive festive offerings for December:
- Traditional English scones
- Poached pear vanilla panna cotta
- Gingerbread chocolate cupcake
- Raspberry linzer cookie
- Cassis Mont Blanc tartlet
- Coconut snowball
- Mandarin orange religieuse
- Live stations: hazelnut apple obanyaki and dark chocolate soufflé
Quality afternoon tea offerings at a reasonable price. I just wish I could triple the size of my selected favourites, especially the savoury ones.
When: daily, 3:30—5:30pm
Prices: Monday–Friday: $298 for 1/$596 for 2; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: $328 for 1/$656 for 2
Kindly note: afternoon tea is not served on 24, 25 and 31 December (only lunch and dinner buffets)
Credit card promotion: AMEX Platinum and Centurion cardholders – 15% off (blackout dates apply)
M/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2584 7722
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.