On Friday I Sugar Rush’ed the tea sweets at Mandarin Oriental New York.
Those sweets were part of Tea of Togetherness, a special afternoon tea for the Lunar New Year. They’re doing this tea until February 15th for $48 a person. FYI, you can still order the classic afternoon tea* for $38.
Tea is served in the Lobby Lounge. The lobby is on the 35th floor of the hotel and…
…the views are stunning.**
Here’s the menu ^_^
The scones are served first (you’ll see why in a minute), two per person. These are the Mandarin’s signature ginger scones, served warm and dusted in powdered sugar.
Whipped devonshire cream and orange marmalade. So good, so good!
The savories and sweets come out together in one bento box.
Attention to detail is key when it comes to creating a good afternoon tea, and that’s one thing the Mandarin excels at. No pre-made, bulky, and dry tea sandwiches. Everything is precise with extra attention on the aesthetics. You’re presented with four savories. Eat the peking duck bun first. The bun is steamed so you don’t want this one to get cold. Stuffed with thin slices of duck (and crispy skin!) with scallion relish, hosin, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds.
Each savory has a special “meaning” for the Lunar New Year. This one is to symbolize longevity, seizing opportunities, and cleverness.
Next, jade prawn dumplings. They’re steamed and served in a lemongrass broth with napa cabbage and sliced shiitakes. The dumplings symbolize happiness and good fortune, and the stuffed package is a symbol for great wealth.
This one is adorable. Smoked salmon and watercress roll with pickled cucumbers and egg relish. A wish for prosperity and positive start in the new year.
Mandarin chicken salad is part of the classic afternoon tea, but they changed around certain ingredients for the Tea of Togetherness. Think diced Asian pears, chives, and ginger dressing. The bread is also buttered and topped with black and white sesame seeds. Going to try see if they’ll share the recipe for this one, the flavor combination is excellent. This sandwich symbolized eternity, wisdom, peace, and family harmony.
And then we move onto the sweets ^_^
Single-bite, buttery and flaky almond cookie squares.
Vanilla sponge and coconut jelly…tasted exactly like haupia!
A proper jin dui stuffed with red beans, rolled in sesame seeds, and deep-fried.
And my favorite of the set, a creme brûlée tart with caramelized pineapples.
*So are the views at Asiate, the hotel restaurant.
**The Mandarin often does themed afternoon teas (in addition to the regular tea)…remember Fashion Week afternoon tea? Hope they bring that back this year.