Some of us wish to lead a tai tai life, but with bills to pay, one can only dream. The easiest way to emulate that life? To enjoy high tea. While there are a plethora of afternoon tea selections in Singapore, sometimes you just have a craving for that hit of chilli and spice. Well, have the best of both worlds at these top spots for a leisurely afternoon repast with amped up local flavours.
1. Three-Tier Local Signature Afternoon Tea Set at Lobby Lounge, Shangri-La Hotel
It is a celebration of Singapore’s beloved classics at the Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel with their three-tiered local signature afternoon tea set ($38 for weekdays, $42 on weekends and public holidays). The first tier features savoury bites such as hae bi hiam (spicy dried shrimp sambal) finger sandwich, spicy otak otak with mantou and flaky vegetable curry and chilli crab puffs. For the centre tier you will have kueh by local nyonya kueh specialist HarriAnns, including ondeh ondeh and kueh sago gula Melaka. The top-tier consists of classics with a local spin, such as pandan scones, pulut hitam cake, and durian dome that has rich durian mousse combined with luscious whipped cream. The pretty set, that’s served in colourful china, comes with a serving of pork satay with pineapple peanut sauce, pulut hitam, and also two cups of beverages (choose from teh tarik, kopi tarik, tea or coffee).
About: The Local Afternoon Tea set is available from Mondays to Fridays from 3pm to 5.30pm; Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 4pm to 6pm.
At Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Tower Wing, Lobby Level, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350, tel: 6213 4398. Visit http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/dining/bars-lounges/lobby-lounge/
Image: Shangri-La Hotel
2. Weekend Makan Affair at Coffee Lounge, Goodwood Park Hotel
Besides their signature Taiwan porridge fare featuring 46 whole dishes, the Coffee Lounge at Goodwood Park Hotel also serves a local-themed high tea buffet, aptly named A Weekend Makan Affair ($39 per adult). Guests can feast to their hearts’ content from a sumptuous buffet spread of more than 20 popular local snacks, dim sum, mains and desserts such as Kueh Pie Tee, moreish Otah-Otah, tangy and spicy Mee Siam, lemak Laksa, luscious Nonya Kueh and hot desserts. From May 4 to July 14, you can also choose to indulge in all things durian at this year’s Durian Fiesta with their Dessert Buffet with D24 Durian Pastries ($30.80 per person, available for lunch or dinner) and treat yourself to their gorgeous D24 Mousse Cake and D24 Puff and new creations such as the D24 Pandan Lapis Coconut Cake.
About: A Weekend Makan Affair is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 3pm to 5.30pm. Dessert Buffet with D24 Durian Pastries is available during lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm and dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
At Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221, tel: 6730 1746. Visit https://www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/dining-en.html
Image: Goodwood Park Hotel
3. Weekend High Tea Buffet at Tea Lounge, Regent Singapore
Enjoy an elegant weekend afternoon tea ($65 per adult) at Regent Singapore’s Tea Lounge with a buffet spread that includes favourites such as sevruga caviar with blinis from the caviar station and roasted Wagyu beef rump from the roast station, and local delights such as the signature Lobster Laksa with Rice Noodles and XO Sauce, Chicken Satay served with peanut sauce and pineapple chutney, Chilli Crab sauce with Oriental Buns, Red-Braised Pork Belly with Yam Rice and more. In addition to the usual selection of coffee or tea, you can always treat yourself to cocktails by the award-winning Manhattan bar. Think the refreshing Islay Sour ($19) tea cocktail with Laphroig 10 years, lapsang Souchong syrup, lemon juice and honey or the smooth coffee cocktail Café Exprés ($19) made with Palantation original dark rum, espresso liqueur and espresso.
About: Weekend High Tea Buffet is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 2.30pm (1st seating); 3pm to 5.30pm (2nd seating). Quote RSTL55 when you make a reservation via website to enjoy the tea set at just $55++.
At Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715, tel: 6725 3246. https://www.regenthotels.com/regent-singapore/dining/tea-lounge
Image: Regent Singapore
4. Violet Oon Singapore High Tea at National Kitchen, National Gallery
For a spot of local high tea with alluring local flavours, National Kitchen by Violet Oon is the place to go. The menu showcases the doyenne’s authentic Nyonya and local dishes and the high tea set ($56 per set, for two persons) has been popular with regulars. It is a classic three-tier high tea set with strong Peranakan flavours. Enjoy savoury offerings such as Buah Keluak Crostini and Hae Bee Hiam Sandwich, and sweet treats such as Kueh Beng Kah (fresh tapioca cake infused with coconut cream) Roti Jala with Gula Melaka and Banana Sauce. A portion of their signature dry laksa is available with an addition of $16 (for two pax).
About: Violet Oon Singapore High Tea is available from 3pm to 5pm daily.
At National Kitchen by Violet Oon at National Gallery Singapore, #02-01 National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing), Singapore 178957, tel: 9834 9935 (phone). Visit https://violetoon.com/national-kitchen-by-violet-oon-national-gallery-singapore/
Image: Violet Oon
5. Afternoon Tea at Lobby Lounge, InterContinental Singapore
The swanky Lobby Lounge at the InterContinental Singapore sets the mood for an idyllic afternoon almost immediately. Its afternoon tea three-tiered selection, crafted around different themes that change every few months, is renowned for being exquisite thanks to their team led by award-winning executive pastry chef Ben Goh. To celebrate Singapore’s bicentennial, they pay homage to Singapore with their Classic Afternoon Tea: Celebrating 200 — a three-tiered showcase of iconic Afternoon Tea delights enhanced with the vibrant flavours of Singapore (available till March 31). Delectable bites include the Pandan Kaya Opera Cake, English and Horlicks Scones with pineapple jam, strawberry jam and clotted cream, and Black Pepper Crabmeat and egg sandwich. Classic Afternoon Tea (from $78 for two guests) is inclusive of fine loose-leaf tea or coffee and unlimited crepes and ice cream. And we do look forward to the upcoming theme, which we hear could be French-inspired.
About: Classic Afternoon tea is available from 2pm to 5pm daily.
At InterContinental Singapore, 80 Middle Road, Singapore 188966, tel: 6825 1008. Visit TheLobbyLounge.sg
Image: InterContinental Singapore
6. Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea at The Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel
We can think of no lovelier place to while your afternoon away than at the charming Clifford Pier at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. While admiring the exquisite architecture, you can also partake in their Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea set ($48 per adult on weekdays, $55 on weekends) with all-time favourites, such as Kurobuta Pork Kong Ba Bao with Man Tou, a traditional snack of braised pork belly with garlicky soy sauce, sandwiched in a steamed bun, and local-inspired offerings such as the Cruffin with Masala Potato and Curry Leaves, a flaky pastry filled with aromatic turmeric sautéed potato flavoured with curry leaves and mustard, the Chilli Crab Bao, and Bandung Macaron. Do also try the Nonya Chicken Curry & Roti Jala Wrap that has fragrant curry and fork-tender chicken wrapped in a delicate lacy pancake made freshly by hand using a traditional Roti Jala dispenser. Each set also comes with a choice of traditional local coffee (Kopi), tea (Teh Tarik), or rose syrup milk drink, Air Bandung.
About: The Singapore Heritage Afternoon Tea menu is available daily, Mondays to Fridays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm; Saturdays and Public Holidays from 3pm to 5pm; Sundays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm.
At Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay Singapore 049326, tel: 6877 8911. Visit https://www.fullertonhotels.com/the-fullerton-bay-hotel/the-clifford-pier.html
Image: Fullerton Bay Hotel
7. High Tea Buffet at Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts
At award-winning, halal-certified Carousel, high tea is an extensive affair with a buffet selection of international cuisines, including fresh seafood and live teppanyaki, a traditional afternoon tea spread of finger sandwiches, buttery scones and cakes, and an array of popular local delights. Take your pick from their signature Laksa served with fresh prawns, fish cake and hard-boiled egg, Chicken Rice with choice of poached corn-fed chicken and golden roast chicken, Nasi Lemak served with crackers, sambal chilli, dried anchovies, peanuts and achar, Pan-fried Carrot Cake with Egg and Chicken Floss, and more.
About: High tea at Carousel is available from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Mondays to Thursdays ($42 per adult) and Fridays to Sundays and Public Holidays ($48 per adult).
At Royal Plaza on Scotts, Lobby Level, 25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220, tel: 6219 3780. Visit http://carouselbuffet.com.sg
Image: Royal Plaza on Scotts
8. High Tea Buffet at Marriott Café, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
At Marriott Café, they present a wonderful High Tea Buffet spread ($45 per adult on weekdays, $48 per adult on weekends) with a varied selection that checks all the right boxes. From poached prawns (and freshly shucked oysters on weekends), smoked salmon, maki and sashimi to Biryani Rice, Dim Sum and Pizza, they have it all. But it is their local delights that really hit the spot. Look out for the Nasi Lemak Station with crispy friend chicken wings, sayur lodeh and beef rending, and classic favourites such as Hainanese chicken rice, chicken satay, oyster omelette, laksa and Hokkien mee.
About: High Tea Buffet is available daily from 3pm to 5.30pm.
At Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865, tel: 6831 4605. Visit http://www.singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/marriott-cafe/
Image: Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
9. Saturday High Tea Buffet at D9 Cakery, Hilton Singapore
D9 Cakery of Hilton Singapore dishes up a sumptuous D9 Saturday High Tea Buffet (from $48 per adult) with free flow of coffee and TWG Teas that will brighten up your Saturday afternoons. In addition to the popular six-meter showcase of meticulously handcrafted D9 artisanal cakes by Executive Pastry Chef Cindy Khoo, the buffet line-up entices you with 30 international and local delights, featuring six live stations of gourmet carvings, seafood bar, Parmesan cheese wheel pasta, stone-hearth oven cooked pizzas and a variety of savoury local fare. So apart from Thai tiger prawns, 14-hour slow roasted Wagyu beef leg, and a la minute pastas, do also make space for their oyster omelette, Singapore laksa, and rojak.
About: Saturday High Tea Buffet at D9 Cakery is available every Saturday, 12pm to 3pm.
At Hilton Singapore, Lobby Level, 581 Orchard Road, Singapore 238883, tel: 6730 3392. Visit https://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/singapore/hilton-singapore-SINHITW/dining/index.html
Image: Hilton Singapore
Text: Xie Huiqin