‘Fully dedicated tearoom serving premium Chinese tea and exquisite dim sum’, Tian Fu Tea Room delivers an authentic and tranquil experience whilst dining in either outlets of PARKROYAL Hotel (Beach Road / Kitchener Road). I initially heard of the Oriental High Tea session from a friend of mine (special mention to you, Liz – thank you for always furiously recommending me good food), and the sound of it was more than appealing already. Unique complementing pairing of dim sum and Chinese tea (green/red/black) induces readers to think that it’s a pampering session on itself already. And true enough, it is.
Teahouses are sanctuaries where people come together to share ideas and relax in a quiet environment, and I should advise that you go with someone you’re comfortable with. Because throughout the nearly 2-hour high-tea session, you’ll need to have topics to talk on or I’d foresee awkward silences kicking in.
This particular Green Tea, 信阳毛尖, has been considered as the Top 10 Teas in China. People like to drink it as a relaxing beverage after a long and busy day, which I’d understand. Because after brewing the tea and pouring the water into a teacup, the aroma will seep into the air and create a peaceful atmosphere, one much needed. This unwinding beverage is paired with 4 of the 9 dim sum snacks served in the session.
They say it’s either you start and end with a bang or you don’t at all. I must say, the Steamed Siew Mai with Clam intrigued me for the rest of the High Tea, leaving me wanting more. A very refreshing start to the High Tea, and even though it was minimal in quantity, the flavor lingers on in an inverse proportion to its size.
Whenever I go to a Dim Sum Restaurant, Barbeque Pork Puff Pastry is one of my must-haves. And what I so adore about this Deep-Fried Barbeque Pork Pancake is that it was served, piping hot. Not saying that the rest of the dishes were not, because they were, but this particular dish is only 100% satisfyingly savored when hot.
Oh, the Steamed Crystal Dumpling with Prawn might not make you drool as much as the other dim sum snacks served, but the fresh and succulent prawn within the crystal ball-like dumpling can almost literally make you fly – both because it is stinging hot inside, and also because you can’t get enough of just one. Steal your friend’s portion.
冻顶 Oolong Tea is a Green Taiwanese Oolong. A little fact behind the name, ‘Dong Ding‘ – it means ‘Frozen Summit’, which is the name of the mountain in Taiwan on which the original tea plants taken from the Wuyi Mountains were planted. It has a naturally sweet and captivatingly fruity aroma and taste, sometimes reminding one that of a peach.
If there is one dish that disappointed that afternoon, it’d be the Minced Meat Dumpling in Sour and Spicy Stock. The initial taste was reminiscent of a detergent, but was gotten used to after a quick while, we unanimously agreed.
Yunnan 滇红 Black Tea has a very smooth texture to it, sweet-tasting with a tinge of bitterness. And the serving of the Black Tea also signifies the start of the desserts to the High Tea.
And if I am forced to state a favorite dim sum snack out of the 9 served in the Imperial High Tea session, the Sichuan Glutinous Pancake would be it. Sweet, mildly sticky, crispy and warm, it was like your mouth was sent to Club Med or something, you don’t know where to begin describing its wholesomeness.
Probably one of the famous Chinese ends to a meal, the Beancurd with Sesame Cream was made with just the right amount of sweetness. It was bearable and leave you craving for more, especially knowing this was the last dish of the spectacular session.
As aforementioned, it will take a long time finishing the whole session even though there aren’t many courses. But as Chinese, the intervals between each pair of dim sum snacks take a long time, well, take it as a good time to catch up with your friends / partner you may. I haven’t had such an indulging meal for long, and surprising to myself, I found myself thinking about it days after. I have never craved Chinese food.
Even though the serving isn’t for giants (photos shown are for 3 persons – meaning there is only one item for each dish per person), it was still worth the price ($20++) at such an establishment, environment and ambience. Service was top-notch too, checking our satisfaction from time to time, very professional mainland Chinese waitresses. I am not going to deny it, but if anyone at all asks me to go as a dining partner to Tian Fu Tea Room, I wouldn’t hesitate.
—> Note #1: The High Tea is from 2.30pm – 6pm daily. It’d be advisable to make a reservation as they only seat 30.
Address (In Context): 7500A Beach Road, PARKROYAL on Beach Road
Telephone: 6428 3170
Photos by Kathleen.