Sumptuous summer afternoon teas you won’t want to miss

Peach & Cream Afternoon Tea 4
Life’s peachy at the Island Shangri-La this summer

Whether you have guests in town or just fancy an afternoon in the air con, afternoon tea is the perfect summer holiday respite, says Carolynne Dear. Pinkies out

The Kerry Hotel

The Kerry Hotel has invited award-winning French chocolatier Christophe Renou to design an exclusive Kerry Chokolate Afternoon Tea. Sweet treats include a decadent Tout en Choc – a chocolate torte whipped up using an exclusive chocolate recipe developed by in-house chefs with chocolatier Valrhona; a rum-soaked baba-boule with pineapple and vanilla whipped ganache (I have to admit a personal weakness for rum baba); and a cute little pot of verrine dame blanche. Savoury bites include bitesize rolls of king crab, yuzu aioli, cucumber and caviar; smoked poached baby pear with goats cheese; semi-dried tomato and foie gras terrine on brioche; and delicate poached organic chicken wraps . And of course there are plenty of fresh scones (both traditional and with candied orange) with lashings of clotted cream, berry preserve and apricot jam to complete the feast. 

The tea is available until September 3, 2.30-5.30pm daily, $538 for two. lobbylounge.khhk@thekerryhotels.com

Island Shangri-La

The Island Shangri-La has unveiled a limited-time only Peaches & Cream tea (pictured above). Pick your way through a smorgasbord of lavish ingredients, including air-dried Wagyu beef and peach on bruschetta, poached scallop and shrimp with lemon confit on spinach bread, plus a selection of delish sandwiches – white tuna mayonnaise is served on rye bread, while cream cheese is served between toasted walnut bread. Peach tart, Champagne mousse with peach, peach melba eclair, white peach and red currant mousse and peach mint macaroon polish things off beautifully.

$338/person, $558 for two; Mon-Fri, 3-6pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays, 2-6pm; until Aug 31; shangri-la.com

Kowloon Shangri-La

The Kowloon Shangri-La is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its 37th birthday with a pink-infused tea. And you can add sparkle to the event with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose in honour of the 200th birthday of the first blended rose by the formidable Madame Clicquot. The tea includes hand-crafted raspberry, sakura and Champagne jam with cranberry scones, pink rose Champagne and lychee jelly, plus savoury treats Balik-style salmon on blini, and lobster salad and beet sandwiches. Additional extras if you’re enjoying a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose include yellowfin tuna tartare brioche with ricotta cream and pink pepper-blanched peaches, goat cheese tortilla wafer served with blackberry compote and confit orange zest, and watermelon and rose petal shooter with white chocolate palmier.

Enjoy the tea between 2 and 5pm, Monday to Friday, $498 for two without Champagne, or $698 for two with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose and special items. http://www.shangri-la.com

Chocolate treats for two at The Kerry Hotel

EAST

Quarry Bay-based hotel EAST has launched a floral-inspired afternoon tea. Waft in on a weekend and enjoy beautiful blossoms infused into a sumptuous summer spread. Delicacies include a lychee rose chiffon, blueberry butterfly pea tart and cherry blossom macarons, as well as fruit scones (naturally) and triple cheesecake. Imaginative savoury bites including lobster treasure box, goose liver creme brulee, Hokkaido scallop tartlet and beet pesto crostini.  

The afternoon tea set is available between 3 and 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays, $368 for two and an additional $240/extra person. reservations@sugar-hongkong.com

 

Grand Hyatt

Cool off at Tiffin in the Grand Hyatt with a scoop of ice cream alongside your tea. Following a campaign earlier this year inviting Hong Kongers to come up with some inventive new flavours, the hotel is now including six of the best as part of its afternoon tea set. The intriguingly named Pigs can Fly, Frozen Lederhosen, So Thai and Royal Fantasy feature ingredients as diverse as salted egg yolk and pork floss to mango sticky rice and coconut. Meanwhile, the tea-stand is host to decadent salted caramel chocolate cake, raspberry cheese tart, pistachio profiterole, apricot jelly and Greek yoghurt mousse with honey lemon.

The tea is available 3.30-5.30pm daily, $298/person or $596 for two, and on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays at $328/person or $656 for two. www.hongkong.grand.hyattrestaurants.com

 

 

French artist hits the decks with chocolate records

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Artist Dr Julia Drouhin with her playable chocolate records at Harbour City

French artist Dr Julia Drouhin arrived in Hong Kong this week with her stash of playable chocolate records. Not only are the records sweet tasting, they produce an amazingly sweet sound, too. Dr Drouhin spent this morning’s media launch alternating between Canto Pop, The Beatles, Chinese opera and Abba.

The exhibition, The Sound of Chocolate, is part of this month’s wider chocolate festival hosted by Harbour City in TST.

Each chocolate record lasted for about four or five plays before the diamond tip of the record player began to scratch the grooves. The audience of local photographers and journalists was then able to tuck in.

According to Drouhin, there’s nothing new about chocolate ‘vinyl’. German companies were distributing the very same to children 100 years ago as part of a public relations initiative to promote their products.

Back in her Tasmanian home, Drouhin has perfected the art of creating the records using pinkysil silicon which she pours into a frame over the original vinyl record and then leaves to set. The resulting silicon mould is then carefully peeled away.

“The silicon is also great for giving your vinyl a really good clean – all the dust motes hiding in the grooves come away when you peel away the silicon,” says Drouhin.

Melted chocolate is then poured into the mould and the whole contraption placed in a fridge overnight. “The chocolate must be dark, milk chocolate doesn’t work because it contains too much sugar. This effects the smoothness of the chocolate and gives a rougher finish which of course means the sound quality is comprised.”

Once set, the chocolate carefully prised out of the silicone and can then be spun on a turntable.

Drouhin has exhibited all over the world but this is the first time she has used her chocolate to play Canto Pop.

She says chocolate is only good for 45” singles, although she says ice works very well with 33” long players (ice of course is harder to play as the environment must be below freezing – chocolate merely requires a room set to around 18 degrees).

Drouhin’s chocolate records will be on display as part of Harbour City’s The Sound of Chocolate Art Exhibition which runs until Feb 25. There will be daily live playings every 20 minutes between noon and 8pm, Gallery by the Harbour, Shop 207, 2/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, TST. For full details about this exhibition as well as the wider Harbour City Chocolate Trail 2018, see harbourcity.com.