High tea @ Axis Bar and Lounge

August 16, 2017 in European (cafe)

It has been a while since I had high tea. So when my girlfriend suggested catching up over high tea, I thought it was a good idea. However, as one would know, high tea usually starts at mid-afternoon. But I was glad Axis Bar offered theirs from 12.30pm cause my girlfriend and I had commitments in late afternoon. Keke. And with that, reservation was made via Chope.

With only 1 menu offered that’s rotates every month, we started our afternoon tea ($42 for 1, $40 each for 2) with:-


1) Dish #1 (above) – Pandan ice jelly with coconut emulsion.

2) Dish #2 (above) – From right to left, we were served i) nasi lemak cornet, anchovies and sambal jam, ii) Singapore chilli crab and mantou bits, and iii) ayam satay with peanut gravy. We didn’t like the chilli crab dish. Because the mantou bits were like crouton instead (really small pieces too), we felt like we were a big shot of spicy chilli crab gravy. .

3) Dish #3 (above) – From right to left, we had i) baker’s red beans pita bao, ii) tomato, sardine and lettuce wrap, iii) mini sub with spicy chicken floss, and iv) pandan kaya and butter toast.


4) Dish #4 (above) – Because I don’t take beef, my kampong style beef rendang pie was replaced with a second piece of nonya potato curry puff. So yes, I had 2 nonya potato curry puff, 1 tahitian vanilla scone and 1 banana scone. Didn’t enjoy the puff as the filling was pretty salty.

5) Dish #5 (above) comprised of:-

(A) 1st tier (above) – Purple yam chiffon cream chantilly (left) and palm sugar masala layer cake (right).


  

(B) 2nd tier (above) – Bandung rosella bavarious (left) and lychee strawberry choux puff (right). I really liked the bandung dessert. It was light on the palate, and not too sweet.


  

(C) 3rd tier (above) – Pineapple coconut sable (left) and chocolate almond kueh pai tee (right).

6) Tea (above) – TWG tea company’s tea was included in menu, and I went with ‘eternal summer’.

What I really like about Axis Bar & Lounge is the space and ambience. It offers a sweeping views over Marina Bay. But what I really liked was that they did not cram the space with many furniture. Oh wait. Axis is a lounge, and not a restaurant. Haha. And mothers would be delighted to know the place is family friendly. The place is equipped with high chairs and children’s plastic plate-ware. Most importantly, because the space was big and spacious, kids could have a ball of time roaming around freely. Just like my girlfriend’s 15-months child!

Would I recommend Axis Bar & Lounge for high tea? Definitely. Afternoon tea is available from 3pm to 5pm on weekdays, and 12.30 to 2.30pm (first seating) and 3pm to 5pm (second seating) on weekends. But do read up their menu before coming. I didn’t really like the August 2017′s menu.

And if one plan to drive and park at The Mandarin Oriental, do note that they do not offer complimentary parking coupon. But because we enquired with the manager who happened to be the one passing us our bill, he gave us a $18 discount instead. Nice. Keke.

AXIS BAR & LOUNGE
5 Raffles Avenue, The Mandarin Oriental, Level 4, Singapore
6885 3500, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Thur, Sun : 11:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 8
Fri – Sat : 11:00 – 01:00
Value: 7
Service: 7

High tea @ Lime

August 25, 2016 in European (cafe)

My colleagues and I did a staycation in Sentosa over the weekend. Well… Not exactly weekend since we checked in on Sunday and checked out on Monday. o_O Ha. And our plan was to have hi tea at the hotel after checking out. But that went down the drain when we were told we had to make reservation (for the hi tea) at least 1 day in advance.

Okie, I wasn’t too pleased cause it wasn’t mentioned on their website that we had to. Neither did the staff advise us too when we mentioned we were planning to have hi-tea at their hotel when we were checking in. Oh well… I digress.

And so, we were left stranded at the hotel till 1 of my colleague suggested Lime. And that was a very feasible proposal because PARKROYAL on Pickering was just 4 MRT stops from Vivocity on the North East line. And with that, we headed off to Clarke Quay.

While making our way over, we played safe by calling Lime to make reservation prior to our arrival. And over the phone, we were told there were 2 sets; $38 and $50. With each set meant for 2 people.

My colleagues and I got lucky too, cause apparently it’s an ongoing promotion running till 31 October 2016.

We hurriedly placed our orders for each set in the tele-conversation. The four of us were anxious lah. Cause the daily hi tea was from 3pm to 6pm, and we would only arrive at almost 4pm. We were afraid we didn’t have enough time to drink the free flow of coffee and tea to our hearts’ content. Hahaha. Auntie max.

It’s a 5 to 8 minutes walk from Clarke Quay MRT station. And upon arrival at Lime, my colleagues and I were promptly led to our table after the staff checked our reservation details. However, although the place was pretty empty with only 4 to 5 tables occupied, service was slow. We waited for almost 15 minutes (or longer) before sensing something was amiss. And it took us a while to catch the staff’s attention for us to ask if we needed to have our orders taken, and to place order for our (free flow) drinks. We didn’t think it was weird initially when the staff didn’t take our order after 10 minutes since we placed our order over the phone and the staff knew we had arrived.

The staff went on to say they were in the midst of preparing our food. But frankly, that felt like a cover up. The staff should have informed us (at the very least) that the food will be prepared once we were seated, instead of letting us wait clueless-ly. And! The staff should have also asked us for our choice of tea and coffee first, as we waited for the food.

So yes, there’s only 1 menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4) for the hi tea. The only difference between the $38 and $50 is the additional 2 glasses of alcohol; Prosecco or Rosé. And with that, we started our afternoon tea:-

1) Tiers of Joy (afternoon tea set), $38 per set for 2 (above) comprised of:-

(A) 1st tier (above) – 5 types of finger sandwiches; Tuna, cucumber, ham, egg and salmon. I’ll be honest. I went straight for the wholemeal sandwiches since I try my best to stay away from refined flour when I eat out. So yes, it’s definitely a wise decision to include an assortment of white bread and wholemeal bread. Although I shall make a mental note to self to ask if it’s possible to change all to wholemeal bread. At least for my share. Keke.

(B) 2nd tierOrange-choco tart, raspberry cream puff, mango financier, earl grey brownies, fresh fruit tart.

(C) Top tier (above) – Assorted macarons.


(D) Raisin scones (above) – This was really good! And I noticed not many places serve clotted cream with scones, these days. So yes, I was a very happy girl!

  

(E) Unlimited serving of coffee and tea (above) – For coffee, one could choose single or double espresso, latte macchiato, cappuccino, cafe mocha or just a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Whereas there are 10 types of Gryphon tea to choose from. We initially thought the tea would be served in tea pots. But no, every order of the tea were served in cups. So yes, we could somewhat guess the same tea bag must have been re-used cause when we ordered second round of the same flavour, the tea that was served was visibly lighter in colour. Hmm… My advise would be to start with a cup of coffee before proceeding to try the different tea. We didn’t manage to try every tea flavour of course. You didn’t really need me to say it out loud that our bladders could only hold so much, right? =p

2) Prosecco or rosé wine, + $12 (above) – And with an additional $12, one is entitled to 2 glasses of Prosecco or Rosé wine. Ie, the $50 set.

Would I recommend Lime for their hi tea? Despite the slow service, I would. $38 (without the alcohol) for 2 people is a very decent price!

LIME
3 Upper Pickering Street, PARKROYAL on Pickering, Level 1, Singapore
6809 8899, Website
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Sun : 06:30 – 10:30 (Breakfast)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Value: 8
Sun : 12:00 – 16:30 (Lunch)
Service: 6
Mon – Sun : 15:00 – 18:00 (Afternoon tea)
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)

High tea @ The Clifford Pier

April 5, 2015 in European (cafe)

It’s the long weekend with Good Friday falling on 3 April! I personally like to spend my long weekends by staying in. Gasp! Haha. But for this long weekend, I packed my Saturday (2nd day of the long weekend) with yoga and high tea. Keke. And for high tea, my friend and I decided to head to The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

There’re 2 venues for afternoon tea within The Fullerton Bay Hotel. One can choose between The Landing Point or The Clifford Pier. But obviously, I did not realise that till I called. I mean, one would normally assume there’s only one venue within a hotel. No? When I called to make my reservation for high tea, I was informed by the lady on the other end that they were fully booked for high tea. She went on to suggest afternoon tea at The Clifford Pier. That of course got me a little confused since I was still not aware they had 2 venues for afternoon tea, but I just went ahead with the reservation. Ha.

And luck was on my side cause personally, I preferred The Clifford Pier over The Landing Point for its ambience. The Clifford Pier was elegantly designed, all while preserving the original architecture of the 1930s jetty. My friend and I could imagine where the ticket counters and waiting area used to be.

For anyone who’s curious about The Landing Point, one may read fellow blogger SpringTomorrow‘s high tea review at The Landing Point. And besides the ambience, the other difference between the 2 venues would be the food. Taking from their official website, The Clifford Pier’s afternoon tea menu offers Singapore dishes with distinctively local flavours, and are specially curated by acclaimed Singaporean cookbook author Shermay Lee. A selection of 8 savoury and 8 sweet items to reflect Singapore’s culinary past and present.

As such, there’s only 1 menu (pages 1, 2) at The Clifford Pier. As my friend and I came on a long weekend, the menu was priced at $59 (adult). If not, it’s usually priced at $38 (adult). And with that, we started our afternoon tea:-

1) 3-tiers tea set (above) comprised of:-

(A) 1st tier (sweets) (above) – Pineapple-vanilla thumbprint cookie, roselle jam linzer cookie, hainanese kaya bun, pandan swiss roll, sugee financier, bandung macaroon. Our favourite were pandan swiss roll and pineapple-vanilla thumbprint cookie.

(B) 2nd tier (savouries) (above) – Kueh pie tee, mini popiah wrapped in handmade nonya egg skin, nonya chicken curry in roti jala wrap, bak kwa jam sandwich, hae bee hiam french toast, otak sandwich. Chilli sauce for the 2nd tier was provided separately.

(C) Top tier (sweets) (above) – Plain scone, tropical fruit scone. Spreads like butter, clotted cream, berries jam, kaya, and pineapple-vanilla jam were also provided.

2) Savouries (above) – Kurobuta pork kong bak bao, chili crab mantou. These were served separately (from the 3-tiers tea set) on a plate. And these were refillable! Halfway through our afternoon tea, the staff came up to us with a plate filled with chili crab mantou. But we turned him down cause we couldn’t even finish what was on our table!


3) Buffet items – And besides what’s stated on the menu, we could also help ourselves to more food at the buffet station! Deep fried finger foods, noodle, rice and sushi were offered. There’s also a laksa point which I couldn’t resist helping myself to a bowl. Hee.

4) Beverage – And on the beverage menu, The Clifford Pier offered tea (3 choices), cafe-type coffee (but don’t expect any latte art for the latte) and local beverages like kopi kosong and teh tarik. I went with a cup of latte before ending my afternoon tea with a pot of warm earl grey tea. Keke. One could further help oneself to bandung, milo and soy milk at the buffet station. I liked that there’s a bowl of grass jelly for one to make chin chow (mixture of soy milk and grass jelly)! Although the soy milk was too sweet for our liking.

So yes, I will definitely recommend The Clifford Pier for high tea. It’s a refreshing change to have a Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea where food were spun off familiar Singapore dishes. And these were very reasonably priced at $38 (on normal weekends). But make sure to come with a very empty stomach though. We couldn’t finish what’s on our 3-tiers tea set. I noticed the same goes for most tables. Service was great too. Food was replenishable, and the staff did not make us feel like we would be gluttons if we wanted 3, 4 or 5 rounds. You know how we could tell if the staff is judging? So yes, thumbs up for that!

And my strong recommendation of The Clifford Pier stemmed from the ambience, which I loved the most. It was simply lovely to be sitting back in the comfortable chair, enjoying the splendid view of the Marina Bay harbourfront and appreciating the beautiful architecture of the place with the lush ballads by the pianist-singer (Mondays to Saturdays, 3 to 5pm) in the background. My only tinge of regret was that we wasted so much food. My friend and I only managed to finish 1 portion of the 2 portions served. Take away was not allowed since it’s a buffet.

Do come at 3.30pm sharp as the afternoon tea is only 2 hours long from 3.30 to 5.30pm!

THE CLIFFORD PIER
80 Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Level 1, Singapore
6597 5266, Website
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sun : 15:30 – 17:30 (Afternoon tea)
Value: 8
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Service: 7
Sun – Thur : 22:00 – 00:00 (Supper)
Fri – Sat : 22:00 – 01:00 (Supper)