Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lounge on the Park, Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur

"A slice of Mandarin"

As a foodie’s paradise it could only be so long before Kuala Lumpur would be on the High Tea Inspectors’ radar, and following our colleagues a week after their Ritz-Carlton experience, we took one for the team at the glorious Mandarin Oriental Lounge.
Situated in the heart of KL, the Lounge is perfectly placed to rest and indulge for an hour or two, after a morning of sightseeing or shopping at the Petronas Towers and Suria KLCC mall, which are mere metres from the Mandarin.
The plush surroundings, live music and friendly staff create a beautiful space of relaxed comfort, and with a view of tropical gardens we were left in no doubt that we were still very much in Malaysia.
With a tough choice of two afternoon tea spreads - the traditional ‘Royal English’ afternoon tea just edged out the chocolate version for us.
The dainty treats that arrived were faultless. Four perfect, pillow-like sandwiches were fresh and full of delicious flavours – smoked salmon, chicken, egg salad and cucumber. Traditional but unbeatable classics.
A seemingly endless variety of tiny sweets were like jewels in both appearance and flavour Рcaramel cheesecake, cr̬me brulee, lemon macaron, Madeleine, Dundee cake, raspberry mille feuille, fruit tartlet. And the small scones (plain and raisin) served with high quality jam, marmalade, lemon butter and cream were delicious.
I can’t go past an Osmanthus Green Tea when it is on the menu as it was at the Mandarin, and it was served in an elegant but understated china teapot to match the rest of the service.

As with KL in general – the Mandarin is a great value, 5 star experience – and if your hunger pangs aren’t satisfied, there is a lovely cake shop next to the lounge for takeaways.

Just a little extra;

At the end of May the High Tea Inspectors returned to the Mandarin in Kuala Lumpur to celebrate yet another 60th Birthday.  Thank you to the wonderful staff and violinist for the two rounds of happy birthday and to chef for the tasty birthday cake.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

"A nice cup of tea and a sit down"

After an eventful trip to India, the three intrepid inspectors landed in Kuala Lumpur in need of some respite/shopping. However, we can't be all play and no work so we decided to put our backs into a high tea marathon at the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur.

Arriving a full hour too early, we were invited to have a nice cup of tea and a sit down until the food begins (from 3 - 5pm). We all agreed that this was most excellent service, fully anticipating a "computer says no" approach to early arrivers and so happy to be able to rest one's tootsies and build up an appetite with some jasmine tea.

Part of the charm is in choosing and for your process of discernment, the entire range of 42 teas is wheeled around along with vials so you can get a whiff of the good stuff before getting the usual. The teapots and teacups are stately china, and a nice touch is the tealight teapot keeper-warmerers.

When 3pm rolled around we were greeted by the familiar sight of the three tiers of treats, the top consisting of mini chicken pies, quiches, plain scones and apple caramel scones - a new twist on an old favourite. The second tier was gourmet open sandwiches, artfully arranged, though if one was to be picky (and one is) we might suggest that these may not have been made in the recent past. The bottom tier was full of jewel coloured sweets, cheesecake flanked in dark slabs of chocolate and studded with fresh mango pieces and raspberries! The way to anyone's heart to be sure. There was also raspberry macaroons, orange eclairs and pastry cups with fresh berries and gold leaf, to put that extra sparkle in your step.

All in all, a great high tea in the surrounds you'd expect from the Ritz-Carlton - the service was really superb and all for just 69MYR (A$23) - no dinner required.