There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
And in that regard some lovely ladies and I ventured to try yet a new venue for my now habitual afternoon tea. This time we decided to check out the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Afternoon Tea. At first glance the lobby of the Mandarin Hotel presents itself as all it boasts to be, an elegant, Asian-inspired luxurious abode where impeccable service is not only only the norm but their signature.
We got there just a few minutes before the Tea Service was to commence and after a few communication conundrums we finally were offered a seat in the Cinnamon Restaurant. Although I have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental on previous occasions, this was the first time I visited for afternoon tea. We asked for a menu but it wasn’t available. After being informed of the tea service offered we were delighted to hear they had an a “Western” set and an “Asian” Tea set, we were ecstatic to try something new so we opted to order one of each. Each of the sets is meant for one person and only includes one drink. Once the hot tea is ordered it can be refilled a no extra charge.
Tea was served, good conversation started rolling and a few minutes later we witnessed the arrival of the first set. The Western Set was everything we expected it would be. Beautiful pastries, deliciously crumbly scones, intricately decorated tea cakes and fresh finger sandwiches. The flavors did not disappoint and neither did the warm tea.
The Asian Tea Set was presented to us promptly after that and it comprised two different kinds of Indonesian kueh (Lapis Legit and Lapis Surabaya) and my all time favorite Indonesian dessert Klepon (sweet rice balls stuffed with coconut sugar). The savory portion of the Asian Set included Chinese Dim Sum. We all enjoyed trying new dishes and had varied opinions on which was our favorite.
I was too distracted by the great conversation and yummy food to find out how much each set was. We paid 375,000 Rp. total for the two sets and two extra teas. It think it was a great deal seeing the quality of the ingredients was top notch and the service was excellent. The Mandarin Oriental Afternoon Tea is definitely on my “good” Afternoon Tea list and I will be happy to give it another try, specially if I’m feeling like getting good Indonesian pastries and don’t feel like leaving the city center. For a more authentic Indonesian feel I would make an effort to go back to the Dharmawangsa Hotel, if all I wanted was perfect scones and beautiful live classical music in a more western setting, I would probably do the Hyatt, but for an excellent tea close to home that offers the best of both worlds, the Mandarin Oriental Tea hit the spot.
As we were leaving we paid a short visit to the The Cake Shop at the Mandarin. This shop is well renowned for their scrumptious cakes and buttery pastries. If you happen to be in the area after 5:00 the daily breads and pastries are offered 50% off. That way you don’t have to come home empty-handed and you have an excuse to go do tea with your girlfriends and bring something for your family.
Afternoon tea becomes a ceremony when it is shared with good friends, and a Ceremony it was!
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jakarta
Tea Service from 2:30-6:00
Jalan M.H. Thamrin