Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scrumptious Treat for Tea

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Now there's another reason to head to Tsim Sha Tsui -- and it's not for shopping.
The afternoon tea at InterContinental Hong Kong now has a Gallic touch with the pastries revamped by new executive pastry chef Cyril Dupuis. The Frenchman moved to Hong Kong this spring to take the position with the hotel and has an outstanding culinary pedigree. He previously worked for Alain Ducasse for 14 years, overseeing all the pastry operations of Ducasse's Paris restaurants. Dupuis also spent three years working with chocolatier Pierre Herme at Patisserie Fauchon in Paris. He's quite impressed people in Hong Kong are afternoon tea connoisseurs and like the Japanese prefer their desserts to be not too sweet. So you can already imagine his delectable creations are tres bon.

The afternoon tea set is a delicious spread with savouries along with the sweets and scones that you can eat while soaking in the amazing floor-to-ceiling harbour views in the Lobby Lounge. As for the teas, there's a selection of special teas, both Western and Chinese. I tried the Loong Jin or dragon well tea which was very fragrant, and there's also teas from Mariage Freres from France.

We started with the savoury items, which included tiny sandwiches that you can almost pop into your mouth in one bite. There's the French ham with tomato pesto, egg and truffle mayonnaise, smoked salmon and salmon tartare with yuzu cream, and curried turkey with mango. Each are delicate in flavour and not too heavy as they're only a prelude for what's to come.

The scones are a pretty big size, presented in a kind of bread basket and comes with the clotted cream, tea jelly and strawberry jam. I could only manage half of one otherwise I wouldn't be able to sample all the desserts -- the main event!

Each of them are a smaller version of the ones you can get throughout the day at the hotel. So if you enjoy the miniature version, you can have more later...

There's the passionfruit ginger tartlet, slightly tart from the passionfruit which I enjoy, a change from the usual lemon tart. Something slightly richer is the strawberry cheesecake with fresh berries that's a bit creamy in texture.

Quite sweet is the caramel eclair, a finger-like pastry stuffed with caramel filling, and eating half of it was definitely filling. There's also a lot of cream in the vanilla tart, a soft texture combined with a crunchy crust. However, a light, refreshing dessert is the Marco Polo tea blanc manger with raspberry and lychees. Served in a small round glass, it's panna cotta with a slight tea flavour from the Mariage Freres Marco Polo white tea mixed with the lychee sauce on top.

Chocoholics will have a field day savouring the last dessert of the afternoon, the dark chocolate orange elysee, a rich mousse cake with thin layers of orange jam add some sharp flavour. I could not finish even half of this cake as I was already so full!

Dupuis has other signature desserts such as the vanilla mille feuille, blackberry tea milk chocolate cake, strawberry fraisier and one called Mont Blanc... wonder if it looks like the Swiss peak...

So squeeze some time and have a leisurely afternoon tea at the InterContinental's Lobby Lounge. It's from 2:30pm-6pm, HK$428 for two from Monday to Friday except public holidays, and HK$488 Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.

Lobby Lounge
InterContinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
2313 2323

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1 comment:

  1. I'll be sharing this with my friends who are going to HK soon. Ducasse is a freakin' legend!