My idea of a high tea session is one that is with the perfect peaceful and tranquil setting; one that you can wind down to and just sit there for a good couple of hours. Axis Bar & Lounge @ Mandarin Oriental Singapore exudes just that ambience, offering high tea sessions from 3pm, in this bold yet elegant blanket of black and deep shades of brown and red. It feels warm, spacious yet cozy.
Engaging a live pianist in the house is a sweet sweet icing on the cake. That afternoon, she played Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ and also a song from Adele. It’s even more cool, because we can actually make a song request. Aw.
1688 Grand Rosé ($18++ / glass; $98++ / bottle) :: The first in Singapore, this salmon-pink non-alcoholic champagne calls for a mid-day lounging session just about now. It is most befitting for people with a love-hate relationship with champagne, like me; loves champagne, hates alcohol. I don’t drink because I have the Asian blush, and it doesn’t feel good. Now, this is one serious bubbly alternative I can enjoy without worry.
It is a full-bodied champagne, enhanced with red fruit notes and some subtlety of natural Muscat flavors, a girl’s favorite, especially. Further, it is a relatively healthier option, what with the inclusion of only natural ingredients and no added sugar.
Exclusively for the month of September 2013, the Chef has creatively infused 1688 Grand Rosé into some of the high tea snacks, while having the remaining complement the creations. The Luxury September Bubbly Afternoon Tea Set is a 5-course tea set which involves the 3-tier spread and only costs $42++. To pair it with the non-alcoholic champagne itself will be at the above-stated price.
See, it’s really quite a snatch, and I love that the high tea set is enough to last me throughout the afternoon (provided I don’t start swallowing them). If you want to do a trade with your dining companion, let me tell you what is great. The Champagne Chocolate Lollipop is literally a party in your mouth when you bite through. The chocolate with hints of champagne just fireworks in your mouth. Rich and thick.
The Truffle-Scented Egg & Chive Petite Sandwich, need I say more. It really isn’t just scented, you can actually taste it. And it’s without fail, orgasmic. Whatever next couple of dishes would be truffle-y too.
I personally adore the combination of Lemon & Thyme (Scone). The herb lifts the flavors and hits the nose pleasantly too.
Everything on the rectangular plate was good, from Smoked Salmon Mousse to Marinated Lobster to Porcini Mushroom. It is very much the ‘posh’ plate. Have the Porcini Mushroom Tart the last, as it gives no chance but fills your entire mouth with the flavors of mushrooms. Heavenly.
Though not situated on high grounds, it is a blessing that it bears an unblocked view of the Raffles Place / Marina Bay skyline. Just imagine the sight when the sun sets, coupled with the thoughtfully decorated interior. Perfectly romantic.
Special gratitude to Usha, Vernia and the Mandarin Oriental Singapore team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting session.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Level 4
Telephone: 6885 3500 (Takes Reservation)
Opening Hours (for High Tea): 3pm – 5pm (Weekdays); 12.30pm – 2.30pm & 3pm – 5pm (Weekends); Bar & Lounge opens from 10am – 1am (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 2am (Fri – Sat), and 10am – 12am (Sun).