Friday, November 8, 2013

The Peninsula Tokyo: Classic Afternoon Tea

Speaking of afternoon tea, a place that is famous for their iconic afternoon tea is none other than The Peninsula. A beautiful ritual steeped in tradition, afternoon tea is a signature feature at each Peninsula around the world. 
Before the three-tier set is served, guests will be served a choice of tea or coffee. Most certainly, tea is highly recommended and the wide range here includes the classic tea selection featuring tea from the Peninsula hotel brand, herbal tea selection as well as Harney & Sons fine tea selection. Harney & Sons is an American craft tea brand since 1983 and I enjoyed their Green Tea with Thai flavours (the Thai ingredient seemed to be lemongrass)

Among the starters, the Shrimp and egg salad wrap was a moreish delight with spiced creamy mashed egg wrapped in a yellow crepe skin that surprisingly contained nostalgic taste of curry. I also like the Yuzu marinated salmon and white radish cocktail which resembled an refined pickled dish with bright sour flavours. Who says salmon must always go with cream cheese and dill?  Lying besides the roasted bell pepper quiche is a Pink sandwich specially created for the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. The combination of corned beef, roasted beet and lemon cream is quite an adventurous idea that would realize its full potential if the beef had not been too sinewy. 

As mentioned earlier, The Peninsula Tokyo shows its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October by staging “Peninsula in Pink” as part of a group-wide campaign of the Peninsula Hotels to raise both awareness and funds. A percentage of the proceeds raised goes to local breast cancer-related charities. 
In line with the theme of pink, the spread of desserts dominated by pink, white and red colors. Classic mousse cakes include the Raspberry and white chocolate mousse and La Foret noire (Blackforest cake) whose cherries were well soaked but not overly done to the extent of drenching the entire cake. 
Most European cakes that contained citrus peels tend to be extra sweet because the peels are concentrated with sugar but not for this Grapefruit pound cake. The bitterness of the peels here was forthcoming, and thus it took me some time to get accustomed to the taste. Hence, I prefer the Rhubarb tart, which has an excellent pastry base that never fails to put a smile on my face. 

But it was the homemade scones that I enjoyed bits by bits till the end of the course because they were simply terrific. Both the organic plain and raisin scones were those old-fashioned kinds with a sturdy wall that collapsed upon a bite. These were especially mesmerizing with the clotted cream and raspberry compote.
The Afternoon Tea menu changes every season and be sure to avoid weekends and national holidays unless you do not mind queuing with the Japanese ladies. The selection might not be the most extensive one but it sure leaves one full and satisfied. And with the beautiful live piano music playing in the background, one can easily forget about the time and the busy crowds outside in Ginza.  

The Peninsula Classic Afternoon Tea
Price: 4200 Yen
Daily: 2.30pm-5pm (Reservations available only on weekdays)
1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: (81-3) 6270 2888 
Nearest Station: JR Yurakucho/ Tokyo Metro Ginza Station 

Special thanks to The Peninsula Tokyo for the invite

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