Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Tea Lounge, Regent Hotel: How high tea partners say "Happy Birthday!"

Between me and my high tea partner, there's no need for gifts and no need to wish with words. When the time is ripe, we just take an afternoon off the calendar and make ourselves free and say "Let's go for afternoon tea!" 

Our last afternoon tea, L'Espresso, ended with a wonderful note. We were content but somewhat disappointed that we couldn't try the ever popular weekend afternoon tea buffet by Tea Lounge, Regent Hotel. I learnt my lesson well and make a reservation way ahead of time. Three months to be exact. I've no idea why is it so popular but I'm guessing everyone wants to be part of the game...
Tucked away from the grandeur lobby of the hotel, Tea Lounge is sure to be found. Arm chairs and sofas by the tables with tea sets already in place. It's the details that I'm impressed but not so for the service since it's inconsistent but still acceptable with smiles and a whole lot of laughters.  
Oh by the way, everyone starts at the same pacing. Meaning to you, you can't really start picking your favourite desserts do anything else with the food but just wait. I've no idea why are we waiting but all I see was kitchen staffs taking snapshots of the food they have beautifully crafted. Naturally, I just go away minding my own business, maneuvering and weaving around taking my so-call perfect shots.

You see stations of desserts and all things sweet on one side, heavy dishes and whatever Japanese on the other and savoury finger food like your sandwiches in between. Everyone starts at their own pacing after the photoshooting session and for me, I like to work my way with the sweeter things but that's just me. I just find their savoury finger food nothing amazing if not rather mainstream.
Everything was great until curiosity lead me to Mocha Tiramisu. I dare say it's the worst tiramisu I've ever tried. It was no tiramisu at all! Only coffee powder and what else runny underneath it. I don't even want to get started with their Creme Brulee which was another disaster in the making. One spoonful of each was enough. I rather waste my calories on other worthy things. 
Everyone is entitled to a serving of baked souffle but just like the tiramisu and creme brulee, it wasn't worth another spoon. My partner and I were wondering what happen to Tea Lounge. It was totally unacceptable. No standard at all!
At least their macarons saved the day! I find joy indulging in the rich dark chocolate ones while my partner loves munching on the pink strawberries pleasures. 
I kinda like how the various cheese rested on the wooden board with grapes dividing each in between then guarded by dried fruits and gourmet biscuits on both ends. For a cheese noobie, the Herb Cream Cheese as well as the Wensleydale With Cranberries sure caught my attention. 
Caviar is a luxury food that many of us could only dream of spamming... For my partner, it's her first time trying the these black peas and much to her skepticism, she tried and she loved it. Not bad for her first.
I heard many relishes and recommendations about Tea Lounge's scones and personally, tried them too many times to recall and I daresay they were pretty darn good but somehow the scones didn't taste the same as before. Don't get me wrong going away thinking that it was bad. It was good but it just lack the buttery luster as it once did. It's just like my high tea partner's comment. "Something seems to be lacking."  We just don't know what.

Sorry mum, Regent's scones are no longer the best...
The cranberries scones fare slightly better but nothing special worth talking more about.
It's no secret among my friends how much I love Tea Lounge after the countless experiences I had over the years but upon this visit, I've no idea how much their standards have dropped and I can't help but to say that I'm very disappointed in them. I can accept the fact that they have two seatings instead of the one full seating that they used to offer, no credit card promotions and inconsistent service but I just can't accept food that is not up to standards. Particularly desserts. It's like a sin to create such hideous ones. Memories of that powdery and runny tiramisu still haunts me in my sleep.

I won't be heading back Tea Lounge anytime soon but when I do in the future, I hope it'll be better. You know, everything is worth a second try.
That's how we say happy birthday to one another. No need for gift and no need for words. Just a wonderful afternoon sipping tea and conversing with one another and to my high tea partner, I wish her the best in all her endeavors and may her tai tai dream materalise one day.

Tea Lounge
Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel
1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Pricing: Adults: $48++, Children: $24++
Tel: +65 6725 3246

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