Scones, dainty sandwiches and a spot of tea with men in their Sunday best and ladies in their pretty dresses are what comes to mind when one mentions high tea.
Of late, it has evolved into a 3-tiered stand consisting of a variety of savoury and sweet. Excitement coursed through our veins as we carried the Christmas Tree looking tower, larger than most, from the hands of the delivery man. We were preparing for a cosy high tea in bed armed with the knowledge that the chefs in the kitchen were renowned for catering to the Malaysian Socialites. This is a delivery only outfit with no physical restaurant.
As we gingerly lifted the cover to reveal the beautiful 3-tired high tea, we had mixed emotions. We were delighted at the sight of the set which survived the potentially horrific ride in a delivery rider’s box but felt lost with no sign of high tea classics such as scones, clotted cream nor jam.
Unfortunately, they opted for a splash of flamboyance with items as sophisticated as an Abalone Almond Tart which should have been separated into either an abalone or a tart given the mild taste, buttery texture and slightly salty nature of the abalone and they renamed classics such as a Goddess Chocolate Macaroon which should have been slightly crusty on the outside yet soft and chewy within but looked more like a flaky biscuit.
The classic tiramisu mousse cake, an all time favourite, would have been easily passed off as a cappuccino cake with its overwhelming aroma and taste of coffee with a lack of alcohol. Unlike the usual expectations of a delightful crunch from a cookie, sadly, the Hearty Strawberry Cookie dissolved in our mouth like a succulent piece of Japanese Wagyu.
The slight Japanese influence on the set with the introduction of the Red Bean Sweet Potato Wagashi was refreshing in principle, with much attention paid to detail with its individually packed small box and light peachy blushed skin. Though it had a texture smooth like a mochi and soft to the bite, the combination of red bean and sweet potato proved too sweet for comfort.
We did however, enjoy the simple Chicken Puff stuffed with fragrant tom yam seasoned chicken meat giving it a touch of spiciness and a tinge of sour wrapped with a fluffy, light and golden brown puff pastry.
Though the High Tea Set was visually dainty and dressed for a special occasion with a Japanese flair, it lacked the essence of a high tea, rooted in light, fluffy, moist pastries with a fine balance of sweet and savoury treats. As once mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
About the author: Currently based in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) but originally from Singapore. Ian Poh Jin Tze has spent the last year running a Lifestyle Instagram Account/Blog predominantly focused on Food, Photography, Fashion & Travel with features in publications such as the Asian Food Network and Singapore Airlines inflight magazine. Shares a passion for extreme sports, globetrotting and photography. Instagram & You Tube: @monk3yseendo
This article is the work of Le Cordon Bleu Online Learning 10-Week Food Writing for Publication course participant. Le Cordon Bleu is not responsible for the content. The opinion and views are those of the author.
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