I’m pretty sure I have fulfilled my afternoon tea cravings in Hong Kong by now. Don’t blame me because it’s hard to find the same quality of afternoon tea sets in Vancouver. Please correct me if I’m wrong and recommend me some good afternoon tea places in Vancouver if you know any!
I’ve tried most of the uppity-up afternoon teas in Hong Kong including Green at Hotel Icon, Intercontinental Hotel and Bar and Lounge at The Ritz Carlton. For this specific afternoon tea event, my mom and I wanted to go back to a classic spot and to the old school afternoon tea sets in Hong Kong. The Mandarin Oriental has been around since the 1960s and my mom remembers walking by the hotel when she was a kid to peek inside to see what’s going on in this luxurious and glamorous hotel.
For a place that contains so much history and class, we had to make reservations for afternoon tea at The Clipper Lounge a few days before arriving. We were lucky to get a seat next to the window on the balcony above the reception. The lobby was lavished with marble and mahogany reflecting what Mandarin Oriental is all about – luxury hospitality.
Plain and Raisin Scone with Rose Petal Jam or Devon Clotted Cream
The Clipper Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental has the best scones I have ever had in Hong Kong. Some times I would add their rose petal jam or Devon clotted cream but eating it by itself was perfect. The exterior was crumbly and sweet with a buttery and moist interior.
Warm Pickled Walnut, Asparagus, Parsley and Baby Gem.
I thought this was a mustard and celery tart but it turned out to be the strong flavours coming from the pickled walnuts. Delicious with a slightly sour taste to start your taste buds.
Normal croque monsieur should have cheese on top of the bread but it was a bit hard to taste that so it was really just a normal toasted ham and cheese sandwich to me.
Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll
Compared to the other savoury treats, the pork and fennel sausage roll had the most meat. As I bit into it, it tasted like German sausage roll with a flaky exterior and a warm meaty interior.
Fruit Cake with Raisin, Sultana, and Orange Peel
This was my least favourite in the entire tea set because it was sweet and bitter. I know some people who would love this because it tastes like Christmas but it was just too intense for me from the orange peel and raisins.
Poppy Seed Dry Cake
Poppy seed cakes tend to taste a bit dry and they were never really my favourite. Clipper Lounge’s poppy seed cake was surprisingly quite moist but after a few bites, I had to put it down.
Passion Fruit Éclair
I’ve always been hesitant about passion fruit because the fruit is known to be sour. To my surprise, the eclair was relatively sweet with a rich passion fruit filling inside.
Strawberry Mousse Cake
I only had one bite of this and it tasted like strawberry jam on cake. The colour was definitely appealing and girly but it was just a bit too sweet.
Blueberry Cheese Cake
The only thing that ruined the cheese cake were the tiny and sour blueberries on top.
Rich in chocolate with layers of almond cake and hints of coffee, their opera cake was my favourite sweet pastry in the entire tea set.
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Homemade Pumpernickel Bread
My mom and I completely mistook the smoked salmon bread for some sort of dessert. The pumpernickel bread had the same texture and flavours as squirrel bread. On top of the bread were generous pieces of smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Baguette with Ham and Piccalilli
I’ve noticed a repeated usage of pickled ingredients in their afternoon tea set. If it was only ham and baguette, it would have been a bit boring but the piccalilli addition made it spicy and piquant.
Prawn Cocktail Sandwich
I love it when afternoon tea sets have a seafood sandwich. Their prawn cocktail was like a shrimp roll with lots of prawn and salad dressing in it.
Choux Bun filled with Coronation Chicken
The coronation chicken was just smothered in mayonnaise with hints of curry spices in it. There wasn’t much distinction in this pastry but the bun was buttery and crunchy.
Overall, the Clipper Lounge is my favourite afternoon tea spot in Hong Kong because they give us two tiers of savoury instead of sweet. Let’s be real everyone, you could actually finish all of the savoury bites because they’re not as overwhelming as sweet pastries.