It’s only a 15-minute drive from Waikiki but almost feels like another island.
The hotel originally opened as the Kahala Hilton. Years later Mandarin Oriental took over and it was the Kahala Mandarin Oriental. And now it is the Kahala Hotel & Resort.
I loved afternoon tea when it was under operation by the Mandarin Oriental (they afternoon tea service seriously. There are three options:
Simple Tea Service – tea, scones, and four sweets OR tea and four savory sandwiches
Classic Tea Service – tea plus scones, four sweets, and four savory sandwiches
Royal Tea Service – the classic tea service, plus a glass of champagne
The menu lists various sweets and sandwiches and you can pick the ones you want. I thought that was a nice touch since most tea places don’t give you the option to select. There’s a little drawing next to each item designating them as either Island Inspired, Asian Flair, European Elegance, or Heartier Selection.
Teas are from Harney & Sons. We ordered a pot each of:
Caribe – green and black tea blend with guava and strawberry
Pomegranate Oolong – Ti Quan Yin oolong infused with pomegranate
Bangkok – green tea blended with lemongrass, ginger, coconut, and vanilla
They use teabags instead of loose leaf. That would irk me in NYC, but I’m always in a good mood in Hawai’i. No complaining ^_^
Here’s the view from our table. The Veranda Room is beautiful, but ask to sit outside if you want a view of the water (and dolphins!)
I met Kelly and Steph for tea this afternoon. We are very lucky to call Hawai’i home.
Ready to eat? We tried all six sweets, six sandwiches and three scones on the menu. Just for your viewing pleasure ;) Let’s take a closer look…
Sandwich #1: Smoked Salmon on Rye Toast. With capers, red onion, and parsley cream cheese
Sandwich #2: Hamakua Springs Farm Mushroom Turnover. Stuffed with Shimeiji & Ali’i mushrooms sautéed with butter, olive oil, garlic, shallots, and white wine.
Sandwich #3: Rare Roast Beef with Romaine. With ponzu mayonnaise on baguette. Garnished with Tobiko.
Sandwich #4: Ka Lei Egg Salad with Watercress on Mac Nut Bread. Egg salad is mixed with celery, cucumber, and green onion.
Sandwich #5: Chicken Tarragon and Grape Salad on Endive
Sandwich #6: Ham & Manchego Cheese with Parsley Butter. Layered with fresh tomatoes on multi-grain bread.
Onto the scones! Sugar-dusted tops. One each of cranberry, raisin, and chocolate…
…scones come with clotted cream and orange marmalade.
A little break and a fresh pot of tea before we move onto sweets. It’s important to pace yourself, otherwise you’ll end up stuffed and sleepy. I haven’t seen Steph in over a year (I saw Kelly in San Francisco the other month) so we had lots of catch-up to do. She’s living in New Mexico for the next few months!
Sweet #1: Chocolate-Raspberry Tart – the filling this tart shell was like an extra rich dark chocolate pudding.
Sweet #2: Lilikoi Madeline – this was my favorite. A classic madeline with a brush of lilikoi curd.
Sweet #3: Kona Coffee Ganache Pave – flourless chocolate cake topped with Kona coffee whipped cream and chocolate pearls
Sweet #4: Yuzu Macaron
Sweet #5: Brown Sugar Shortbread
Sweet #6: Profiterole with Sicilian Pistachio Studded Pastry Cream
Whew! Hope you guys enjoyed that. Definitely worth going out of your way for. Especially if you plan to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach (or drinking champagne in the shade).