We experience a new Cloud Forest Afternoon Tea, 35 floors above London at TĪNG. Expect a fusion of modern Asian flavours and traditional afternoon tea with scones paired with pandan and coconut jam, finger sandwiches infused with wasabi and Asian inspired sweet delicacies.
This year marks 50 years of Shangri-La. In 1971, the first Shangri-La hotel opened in Singapore and the team here at Shangri-La At The Shard London have created a multi sensory celebration, transforming the lobby and hotel into a tropical oasis in the sky. Beautiful floral arrangements and colourful patterns inspired by Singapore’s Peranakan culture fill the senses with tranquillity and optimism.
Entering TĪNG on the 35th floor, I was thrilled by the impressive visuals of the city skyline and floral scents of the blossoming orchids display. Feeling as if I had been magically transported to a botanical garden in the metropolis that is Singapore. The traditional and authentic Singaporean experience goes far beyond the impressive installations but is infused into the Cloud Forest Afternoon Tea experience with the collaboration of the culinary team at Shangri-La Singapore.
Our Cloud Forest Afternoon Tea starts off with a signature welcome tea. Infused with honey, lemon, and mango, the refreshing delicate notes that tea is, go hand in hand with the masterful presentation, served on a wooden tray setting the stage for the dramatic smoke effect, mimicking a cloud dancing across the table.
Tea is a British tradition that goes back through the centuries and the extensive menu of teas available here include teas from across the whole world. One of the signature teas I tried was a Masala Chai, an Indian black tea that has been infused with aromatic spices producing a warm and spicy brew. The international selection means that I was able to try teas from multiple regions like the Japanese Sencha green tea and Chinese milky Oolong tea.
The savoury selection takes on all realms of Asian influences; a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich, with a hint of wasabi giving a surprise of heat to the once ordinary sandwich, a smoked salmon & yuzu nigiri, a mini pancake with duck, cucumber, spring onion & a rich plum sauce, a delicately crunchy vegetable spring roll with sweet chili dip, a firm favourite by everyone sat around the table and a steamed hoisin pork bao bun delivered in a traditional bamboo steaming basket.
I adored the attention to detail on each of the individual sweet pastries. The delicate items commenced with the Shangri-La Sling Mousse, turning the legendary Singapore sling cocktail into an innovative fruity dessert, a mandarin & vanilla macaron, a chocolate dessert with mango filling shaped like a cute ornate pebble, and a tropical tart made from coconut and pineapple.
Being of both British and Southeast Asian heritage myself, I appreciated the perfect balance of the two-cultures, by honouring Asian cuisine with British gastronomy. Once the scones had arrived, a debate between my friends and I erupted over whether clotted cream or homemade strawberry jam goes on first. For me, the pandan & coconut custard goes on first, truly a nostalgic childhood favourite of mine growing up in Thailand, Sangkhaya in Thai, it is a rich and creamy coconut taste with a vivid pandan fragrance, an authentic Southeast Asian twist to the traditional afternoon tea.
The impressive selection of complex flavours makes you forget that you are equally matched with the astonishing 360 view soaring above St Paul cathedral, Tower Bridge, and Canary Wharf on the horizon.
The Cloud Forest Afternoon Tea is served from 12:00pm – 4:00pm, priced at £62 per person or £72 per person with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne or the Cloud Forest Sling Cocktail.
To discover more, visit: ting-shangri-la.com
All imagery courtesy of Shangri-La at The Shard, London
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