Weekday Three-tier Afternoon Tea at Tea Lounge
The menu may seem succinct but there’s visual feasting aplenty at the new weekday afternoon tea at Regent Singapore’s Tea Lounge. Thanks to a recent major facelift, the tearoom now resembles a verdant “jungle” – only this one’s air-conditioned and luxurious. Think plush sofas and plump cushions set in broody tones of deep green and earthy brown, tropical foliage, and botanical-themed folding screens. Another piece of good news: Tea time runs from 12noon to 5pm, so you don’t have wait out hunger pangs till 3pm or so, as is common at most other places. The customary triple tier of goodies is laden with savoury bites such as quiches, scones and finger sandwiches. They’re all pass muster, especially the superb buttery crusts on the quiches. But the real highlights of this afternoon tea are much more interactive.
The Tea Lounge takes their drinks very seriously. So much so that they’ve roped in specialists to train the staff on the finer points of coffee and tea preparation. You can get hipster café-quality lattes if you wish, but we suggest getting a pourover or tea to really take advantage of the experience. Your beverage will be prepared tableside on a brass-rimmed trolley, and it’s both education and meditative to observe the barista go through the motions of this modern tea (or coffee) ceremony – carefully measuring out the right amount of grounds or tea leaves, and steadily pouring a precise amount of hot water with an eye on the timer for the perfect brew. He’ll also be happy to share the origins of your coffee or tea.
And the visual spectacle doesn’t end there. The centrepiece of this lush space is the marble-clad pastry counter. That’s where the tiered sets are put together, and that’s also where the signature desserts – you get to pick one from a selection of four – are plated. Get a spot with a view of the counter, and you might just see the pastry team get fancy with sugar sculpting: heating, kneading, stretching and “blowing” (through a pump) the sugar “dough” to the desired form. Have a taste of it – literally – with the Golden Apple dessert. A shimmering green, the sugar shell cracks apart to reveal a trifle of sorts, layered with hazelnut crumble, yogurt espuma, yuzu apple compote, olive oil sponge and fromage blanc sorbet.
Or for something a bit more interactive, get the Coco Melon Symphony, a boozy take on mango sago dessert, but with a coconut sorbet, cubes of honeydew and cantaloupe, and sago pearls. The fun is in pouring the coconut liqueur over the shooter glass and watch it all bubble out. (If you’re feeling greedy, you can always add on another dessert order for $20). And if you’re a fan of the iconic Manhattan bar, you’ll be pleased to hear that the bartenders have created a series of coffee- and tea-based cocktails (mocktails too, if you’re so inclined) just for the Tea Lounge. They’re not part of the set, but at $19 for a cocktail (and $14 for a mocktail), it’s too good a deal to pass up. Go ahead, get your booze fix early – we won’t tell.
Available Mon-Fri, noon-5pm. $48 per person (from $63 with a glass of prosecco, up to $108 with free-flow champagne). Lobby level, Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, tel: 6725-3246.