Hong Kong's best high and low teas
From high-class hotel teas to cha chaan teng classics, there’s an afternoon tea for every occasion and budget.
Pen It In
Think of a Hong Kong high tea and The Peninsula Lobby can’t be far away. Hong Kong’s good and great have been taking tea at the Pen for time immemorial. A live string quartet (every day but Monday) accompanies tea served in cups of eggshell-thin Tiffany chinaware. Help yourself to finger sandwiches stuffed with smoked salmon, egg salad, or the truly classic cucumber. Then it’s on to scones, strawberry jam and Devonshire clotted cream, made to a recipe that hasn’t changed for 50 years. The Lobby doesn’t accept reservations, so make sure to get there early.
2-6pm, $628 for two, G/F, The Peninsula Hong Kong, 19-21 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2896-6772.
Really, Really High Tea
Take your high tea as high as it gets, 420 meters above sea level at the Ritz-Carlton’s Café 103. This month the afternoon tea has a special focus: strawberry and chocolate. On weekdays the afternoon tea ($368 for one, $598 for two) features treats such as a strawberry choux puff with white chocolate cream and a strawberry basil pavé cake, all served on the restaurant’s signature bookshelf tea stand. On weekends the hotel hosts a strawberry chocolate buffet ($368) with strawberry Eton mess and strawberry flavored gai dan zai egg puffs.
Through Sep 30. 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Rd. West, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2263-2270.
Clipper Your Wings
At the Mandarin Oriental’s Clipper Lounge, it’s all about elegant takes on high tea classics that pay homage to their British roots. Think smoked salmon and cream cheese on homemade pumpernickel bread, ham and picallili baguette, pork and fennel sausage rolls or choux buns filled with coronation chicken. Sweet treats include blueberry cheesecake, strawberry mouse and the hotel’s much-loved Opera cake. Top it all off with plain and raisin scones, served with Devonshire clotted cream and the hotel’s own rose petal jam.
$278 for one, $488 for two. M/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Rd., Central, 2825-4007.
Hidden away in a quiet corner between Rednaxela Terrace and Mosque Street just off the Mid-Levels Escalator, Tea Saloon by AnotherFineDay is bedecked with pastel pink shades, Victorian furnishings and Chinoiserie tea tins. The menu offers up a vast selection of fine teas imported from all over the world—including nine types based on a personality matrix intended to find your ideal cuppa. The ladies’ and gentlemen’s afternoon tea sets come on a three-tiered stand and combine sweets for ladies and savories for the men, ostensibly. Our pick? The mini chicken burger with Oolong tea onion sauce.
$288 for one, $498 for two. G/F, 80-82 Peel St., Mid-Levels, 2525-8257.
As you’d expect from the name, Po Hing Fong neighborhood favorite Teakha is all about the tea: from green tea cheesecake, to hot masala chai and caramelized lemon iced tea. With organic, handmade and artisan food figuring high on the menu, it’s the perfect place to chill out and let the afternoon wander past. Make sure to try the Iced Yin Yang for a modern touch on a cha chaan teng classic. Not in the PoHo area? The café has just welcomed a new café in the form of Teakha II (18 Po Tuck St., Shek Tong Tsui, 3956-9009), near HKU.
Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan St., Sheung Wan, 2858-9185.
The staff at Australia Diary Company may be known across Hong Kong for having a bit of an attitude problem, but this legendary cha chaan teng is equally well known for its rich, velvety scrambled eggs on toast. Expect a queue and expect to be sitting with strangers (and make sure you know what you want when the staff comes over, or they’ll be even ruder than they normally are). But it’s all worth it for the quintessential Hong Kong afternoon snack.
G/F, 47-49 Parkes St., Jordan, 2730-1356.