Hong Kong’s amazing array of afternoon tea options ranges from swish hotel buffets to cosy cafés. With Mother’s Day coming up, we’ve sampled some options for spoiling mum – or any special woman in your life!
Tea Saloon by Anotherfineday
HK$498 for two
This is afternoon tea at its most adorable! Tea Saloon by Anotherfineday is gorgeously girlie, with vintage and Victorian furniture, whimsical knickknacks, and pastel pinks, purples and florals. Tea Saloon is serious about tea and has a huge selection, including nine teas represented by a chart of birds. You select the bird that best matches your personality and a pot of tea duly arrives. My daughter isn’t a tea drinker, but there were plenty of other options and she lapped up an iced rose chocolate with delight.
Afternoon tea is presented with “ladies’” and “gentlemen’s” options, with the male being heavier on the savouries. Served on the traditional three-tiered stand, the food had a theme of “Alice in Wonderland” on the day of our visit. I’m a huge fan of savouries, so I loved the luxe red checkerboard lobster sandwiches, Welsh rarebit, mini crab burger, and tomato devilled quail eggs with quinoa. The second tier’s sweet treats had my daughter’s undivided attention, with a Flamingo champagne cupcake, mango mousse pop, lemon cheesecake macaron, and summer strawberry tartlet among the stand-outs. Meanwhile, traditionalists would love the scones, jam and cream that sit atop the top tier. – Melissa Stevens
Tea Saloon By Anotherfineday
80-82 Peel Street, Mid-Levels
Feast (Food by EAST)
HK$268 for two
This Mother’s Day, if you happen to find yourself feeling peckish after a hard day’s retail in Quarry Bay, Feast at EAST hotel is a convenient and no-frills option for an afternoon tea pit-stop. Formal, starched linen tablecloths, be gone! It’s clean wooden lines and minimalist here, with an affordable and substantial afternoon tea set that could easily double-up as supper.
We kicked off with a chicken Caesar salad (you can opt for soup of the day if salad isn’t your thing), followed by a sharing board of antipasti including smoked salmon, artisan breads and pickles; pressed warm ciabatta panini filled with Parma ham, mozzarella, sun-blushed tomatoes and pesto; and sweet potato fries with truffle mayonnaise. Finishing things off is a diverse selection of mini desserts and cupcakes, with strong additions such as macarons and madeleines. The star of the show had to be the mini tiramisu housed in a cool shot glass!
Let’s not forget the tea: choose from a selection of traditional brews, or upgrade to Feast’s homemade hot ginger tea instead. This isn’t a traditional afternoon tea menu and doesn’t pretend to be so. In keeping with Feast’s surroundings, it’s modern, it’s great value and it’s something a little different. – Emi Finch
Feast (Food by EAST)
29 Tai Koo Shing Road, Quarry Bay
Tiffin at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
HK$596 for two on weekdays, HK$656 on weekends
Tiffin underwent an extensive renovation in 2017 and offers an exquisite elegant afternoon tea with impeccable service. From the carefully curated menu of tea selections (which includes a Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Bespoke Blend), Sophia chose the Mountain Berry tea and, for me, Earl Grey. A timer was placed by my teapot and was carefully watched by our waiter to ensure the perfectly brewed cup.
The afternoon tea is beautifully presented; savoury and sweet treats sit upon an elegant three-tiered stand. We started at the bottom tier with six elegant and delectable savouries. Sophia loved the ham and curried egg sandwiches while I devoured the foie gras mousse with black winter truffle and port wine jelly. The air-dried tomato and goat cheese tart also hit the spot with the crispest, lightest pastry. Moving up, the lemon meringue éclair was simply to die for, and the vanilla coconut cupcake received top marks from Sophia. Freshly baked scones with two types of jam, strawberry and pineapple passionfruit, were the winner for me.
Afternoon tea also includes unlimited visits to the dessert bar. On the day we visited, the chef was making wafer-thin Crêpes Suzette and dark chocolate soufflé to order, accompanied by a selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets. – Kate Woodbury
Tiffin at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
1/F, I Harbour Road, Wan Chai
The Lounge at JW Marriott
HK$278 per adult on weekdays, HK$358 on weekends
Like many kids growing up in Hong Kong, 11-year-old Sophia shares the city’s passion for buffet. And, as this was our first afternoon tea buffet, she approached it with her usual military style. The buffet is well organised with two clearly defined sections: savoury and sweet. We started in the savoury section where a vast array of Asian treats awaited, including the signature noodle bar, delicate dim sum and sushi. The chicken curry puff was a clear winner for Sophia.
Western palates are also well catered for with an extensive salad bar with two types of mouth-wateringly soft smoked salmon, a cheese board and traditional finger sandwiches. Sophia pronounced the potato salad as “the best ever”. The sweet section is laden with delicate cakes and two types of scones with clotted cream and jam. There was also a selection of cheesecakes and Hong Kong petit fours. But the real showstopper for Sophia was the self-serve ice cream station with a seemingly endless selection of toppings. The service is attentive and a selection of fine tea was offered once we had chosen our sweet plates. The afternoon tea buffet at the Marriott has long had the reputation as one of the best in town and it certainly didn’t disappoint. – Kate Woodbury
Lobby Level, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
See more in our Wine and Dine section!
This article first appeared in the April/May 2018 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.