Last Saturday we made a spontaneous decision to visit the Cafe Causette at the Mandarin Oriental – for no specific reason other than Patrick and I had time to spare and we were close by. Patrick had never been before and while I had visited it twice already, I’ve never tried the afternoon tea. So there is always a first time!
The afternoon tea is served from 3-6pm and costs 278 per person, including coffee or tea (unfortunately they had run out of dragonwell tea, but the Japanese sencha was nice too). We decided to order one to share, and Patrick had a set of mini burgers to start with, as he had not had a lunch that day.
I did not try the burgers, so I can’t say much about their taste and whether or not I would recommend them. But I tried the afternoon tea, and in fact I managed (together with Patrick’s help) to finish it completely. Needless to say that I did not eat dinner that day!
I started with the scones – there was one raisin and one classic scone in the box, both were warm and freshly baked. The texture was great, ideal to pull apart and add cream and jam to it. I always add cream at the bottom and then jam on top, but of course, everyone is different.
The cream seemed to have curdled a little or maybe it is because of the humidity in Hong Kong, but it was not that great – I added very little and instead concentrated on the rose petal jam. Surprisingly I did like it, although I don’t like rose water – but it worked well with the freshly baked scones.
Next up, I enjoyed the bacon, onion and cheese quiche (nice, but not too special) followed by the amazing croque monsieur made with cheese and truffle (no wonder it tasted so good – the best cheese sandwich ever!).
The sandwiches were ok – the pumpernickel with salmon and cream cheese was a little bit dry while the ham, mustard and wholemeal bread sandwich was a little too soft (but that’s my personal taste). The cucumber, dill and egg sandwich was fine. All together, the sandwiches were just standard – nothing to excite me.
Then on to the dry cake – a very yummy lemon drizzle cake with the right balance between sweet and sour. The fruit cake was densely packed with flavour, lots of raisins and orange peel – but VERY sweet. I needed a lot of green tea to enjoy the cake, but then isn’t that what you expect from a fruit cake?
Finally, the pastries. A coffee eclair that was a good combination between chewy, soft and crunchy chocolate on top. A small American cheese cake (which initially looked like a cookie to me) that was very rich – and finally a chocolate, coffee and hazelnut cake that was just divine. I love the taste of rich dark chocolate balanced with coffee.
So what are my thoughts, would I go there again? Yes, for the croque moniser, the rose petal jam, the lemon drizzle cake and the pastries. But not so much for the sandwiches and the fact that the Mandarin Oriental (out of all places) had run out of Dragonwell tea! So while I enjoyed it very much, I’m keen to try other afternoon teas first – before I revisit the Cafe of the Mandarin Oriental. What is your experience, have you tried the Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Oriental and would you agree?