Blue Avatar, Mao Mao and I went to the TWG outlet at ION for afternoon tea. Despite it being a weekday, it had a long queue of people waiting for a table. We joined the queue and waited for about 30 mins before it was our turn. The chairs and tables were tightly packed together with the back of the seats touching each other. We had to walk sideways to get to our table. Mao Mao commented that this must be the reason why the waiters at TWG were all so skinny.
All of us decided to go for the Chic tea time set ($32). It came with a pot of tea, three finger sandwiches and a dessert. For the sandwiches there were three sets: vegetarian, royal and imperial. As for the dessert, we could choose between scones, muffins or one of the cakes on display.
There were a lot of teas available and the tea menu was as thick as a paperback. It took us a long time to decide what to drink. Blue Avatar ordered a Vanilla Bourbon which the waiter said was low in caffeine. Mao Mao choose Sacred Water which was like a kind of white tea. I had the Caribbean Voyage which was described as a red tea blend containing cacao beans and green almonds. I wanted to visit the Caribbean so I secretly hoped that drinking this tea would foretell an auspicious future.
All of us tried each other’s tea. The Vanilla Bourbon was had a tinge of alcohol and tasted slightly sourish. Mao Mao preferred the sour taste but Blue Avatar and I felt it tasted better after adding some sugar. The Caribbean Voyage had the lovely smell of chocolate but we can’t detect the smell or taste of the green almonds. The Sacred Water was a white tea which was very light in flavor.
The tea was delivered in white or black ceramic teapots covered with a warmer. The warmer worked well and keep our tea warm all the way until the end of the meal. Out of curiosity, we lifted the lid of the teapot to see what the tea leaves blend looked like. It was empty of any tea leaves so I just they must have brewed the tea somewhere else and then poured it into the teapot before they served us.
All of us chose the Imperial sandwiches as they seemed most tasty. None of us wanted the Vegetarian sandwiches which was the same price and seemed rather expensive for some greens. Neither did we chose the Royal sandwiches which was seafood. Maybe next time.
We started with the cucumber sandwich with also contained cream cheese infused with Earl Grey Fortune. It was nicer than we had expected. It was a little savory and did not taste like a meatless sandwich at all.
We tried the chicken sandwich next and found it rather disappointing. It contained chicken with Comptoir des Indes Tea infused crème fraîche. It tasted rather dry and bland. The tea infused taste did not really work with the chicken. We decided that we would gladly trade the chicken sandwich for another cucumber sandwich.
Our favorite sandwich was the foie gras sandwich. It was the one that tipped the scales (for me at least) in favor of the Imperial set. It was just simply a foie gras spread but it was really delicious. When the ingredients are good, there is little you need to do to make them taste delicious.
For the desserts, Mao Mao and I chose the cakes on display while Blue Avatar chose the scones. This way, we could try more than one dessert. One of the cakes we ate was a chocolate cake which was rich and chocolatey. It would be too much for one person to handle and I speak this as someone who could eat a whole box of chocolates in an afternoon.
Another cake we tried was called Singapore Surprise. It was like crème brûlée with some raspberry. The crème brûlée was very sweet and creamy so the tangy raspberries helped to take some of the sweetness off.
The scones had raisins in them. Normally I don’t like sweet scones, preferring savory ones I could eat with butter. But I found these scones rather nice and not sweet. They were a little firmer than I expected and somewhere between a muffin and a biscuit.
The scones came with cold tea jelly and cold whipped cream. There were six kinds of tea jelly at TWG and we were given the Geisha flavor which was light and a bit peachy. I tried eating the scone with both (not at the same time) and felt the creaminess of the whipped cream go better with the scone. While the tea jelly was nice on its own, it did not really blend with the flavor of the scone.
TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #02-21 Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 67351837