Work can wait as you unwind midday and thank yourself for making it through the day thus far.
Afternoon tea was once the norm for aristocratic ladies in late 19thcentury England. Origins of this midday snack is credited to Anna Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who felt hungry one mid-afternoon and requested for bits of bread, cheese, cake, and tea. This habit caught on amongst her circle of friends and soon, a new social event was born.
A great British tradition, afternoon tea has found its place in the hearts of many worldwide. We round up five restaurants in Singapore who are bringing bolder flavours onto the tea table.
1. JUMBO SEAFOOD
This renowned Chinese restaurant is no stranger to seafood, particularly crabs. Diners now don’t have to commit to an entire crustacean to try their award-winning chilli crab; the dish appears as miniature Pan Fried Jumbo Chilli Crab Buns.
It is part of the Dim Sum Afternoon Tea set, Jumbo Seafood’s first foray at the midday tradition and includes other Asian-inspired bites such as Lotus Root Puff filled with cured ham and shrimp, and Molten Salted Egg Lava Mochi, a deep-fried chewy pastry that oozes a salted egg filling. Wash it all down with floral tea, a good ol’ Pu’er or flutes of champagne.
For more information, visit jumboseafood.com.
Located at Hotel Fairmont Singapore, Prego weaves Italian glamour into their menu. Head chef Mauro Sanna draws inspiration from his Italian heritage, serving an array of traditional delights or as the Italians might say, salato and dolce.
Start off with Noci E Miele, a puff pastry stuffed with a medley of ricotta, walnuts and honey, followed by Coppa di Panzerotti Fritti con Ricotta Pecorino e Pomodoro al Basilico, a mouthful to say but essentially a less cheesy sibling of the calzone. We appreciate that their selection of sweets isn’t too saccharine; the cheesecake tart comes sprinkled with parmesan and a lemon tart gives just the right amount of acidity.
For more information, visit fairmont.com.
3. VIOLET OON
A name known for their authentic Peranakan cuisine, expect nothing less when you come for afternoon tea at Violet Oon’s. Offering two different menus at their National Gallery and Ion Orchard outlets, head to the former for a more satiating meal.
At the National Kitchen, there are the usual suspects such as Kuay Pie Tee and Otak but what fills you up are the generous portions of Dry Laksa and a Pulled Beef Sambal Pao. You’ll get one less dessert (no scones) here than if you were at the Ion Orchard restaurant but don’t fret, there’s still plenty to be excited about.
Staples such as the Brandy-laced Sugee Financier, Kueh Dah Dah, Kueh Ko Sui and Bubur Cha Cha Pudding bring all the familiar flavours of coconut, sweet potato, tapioca and gula melaka we know and love.
Over at Ion Orchard, afternoon tea takes a more classic approach with smaller bites such as Egg Salad Tartlet with Pineapple Patacharee (a tangy pickled dish) and traditional Buttery Scones with Clotted Cream.
For more information, visit violetoon.com.
4. ATRIUM AT PAN PACIFIC HOTEL
Atrium at Pan Pacific Hotel celebrates all things Japanese with their Nippon-themed afternoon tea from now until the end of March. Realising many of their guests are enthusiasts of Japanese culture, the hotel decided to translate that into delicate, pretty canapes to soothe the travel itch. There’s an assortment of Instagram-worthy bites to nibble through such as a Japanese Egg Sandwich, Milk Butter Roll as well as sweets the likes of a Sudachi Tart and Matcha Azuki Monaka then finish with a cup of Matcha Green Tea, of course.
For more information, visit panpacific.com.
5. LOBBY LOUNGE AT INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL
This year may not be the best to hop on a plane and travel to your favourite beachside resort but hopefully Lobby Lounge’s Tropical Paradise afternoon tea can offer some reprieve. Their use of mangoes, bananas and pineapples bring us back to lazing by a white sandy beach with the waves lapping at our feet.
Savoury options range from Prawn with Potato and Pickled Mango Tart to a more fiery Nyonya Spiced Chicken with Grated Coconut. While the six desserts are equally adventurous with the least being Candied Ginger Scones with Mango Peach Jam and the most being the Cempedak Catalana (a Spanish crème brûlée) with Gula Melaka Sponge and Vanilla Bavarian.
For more information, visit intercontinental.com.