New Afternoon Tea Menu at St. Regis Singapore

More than just luxurious food and fragrant tea -- Brasserie Les Saveurs' new afternoon tea offers serenity and peace

The thing about dining out in Singapore is that, like most other things in the country, it’s often an event fraught with stress, and always with someone else waiting to take your place. "I hope you’ll be okay with giving up your table at 9:30pm?" asked the French maître d’ as he called to confirm our dinner reservations for a certain Brasserie one Saturday evening, his unfailingly polite tone not quite masking the fact that, at 5pm, we essentially had no other choice than to accept our two-hour dinner slot. The French might have three-hour lunches back home but when in Rome…

There are, however, dining experiences where life slows to a decidedly more down tempo pace, and rules as such no longer apply. The Brits have them everyday; we call them "the Holy Grail of all meals that we only think about when we have a day off from work". Afternoon tea, it is more universally known, and the previously hallowed ritual of the wealthy in Britain has since made its way across the globe, evolving to include a much larger offering than its original repertoire of cheese, bread, finger sandwiches and scones. But at the heart of it, afternoon tea is still an affair characterized by fancy silverware, sterling service and more importantly, the rare chance to while away an afternoon with nary a care for work.

What is it: For an establishment as synonymous with luxury as St. Regis Singapore’s Brasserie Les Saveurs, launching its afternoon tea menu only now seems a little late. But better late than never, as we always say, and already, the new three-part Afternoon Tea set menu comprising of a scone bar selection, three-tiered silver stand of finger sandwiches as well as a decadent dessert display, and accompanied by TWG tea (or a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve at additional cost) has attracted as sizeable crowd of Japanese tai-tais, business types and ladies who lunch even on a dreary Wednesday afternoon when we paid a visit.
Must-try: The entire selection on display might not look like much, but It’s absolutely pertinent that you plan your eating route strategically — we didn’t, and ended up staring at desserts longingly; traditionally, the scones are eaten first, followed by the savouries and sandwiches, and finally the desserts. The new Scone Bar, which features freshly baked sweet and savoury versions of the afternoon tea staple, is the pièce de résistance of the menu, and with good reason.

On the sweet side of things, there are offerings of California Pistachio and Cranberry, Bittersweet Guanaja Chocolate Chips with French Orange Zest, as well as Caramelised Passion Fruit with Tahitian Vanilla options, but nothing beats the classic scone, smeared generously with St. Regis’ full-bodied homemade clotted cream. The scone also goes spectacularly well with a wonderfully zesty cranberry jam. Quick tip: break the buttery treat into pieces, then slather on the jam followed by the clotted cream — every bite is worth falling off the diet wagon for. In the savoury selection, the Perrigord Black Summer Truffles, served with shavings of truffles a la minute and paired with slices of iberico ham, was a hot favourite. "The chef shaves off the truffles like it’s nothing!" my dining companions exclaimed excitedly as they took seconds and thirds of the scone. If you think about how much it costs for additional truffle shavings on your pastas in restaurants, you’d be heading back for more too.

The highlight of St. Regis’ afternoon tea menu is the scones section, which features a delicious array of freshly-baked sweet and savoury scones.

In comparison, the silver stand of finger sandwiches (such as Sliced Tomato and Cucumber and Smoked Salmon and Dill Cream Cheese), pot pie and quiche of the day is a little more pedestrian (though the accompanying cup of broccoli soup is smooth and deliciously creamy), but it’s not meant to be the star of the meal anyway. If you still have room for dessert at this point, the irresistible display of French pastries and cakes (selection changes regularly) will tempt even the strongest of wills.

Verdict: For the ambiance, location and quality of food, Afternoon Tea at Brasserie Les Saveurs is surprisingly affordable and accessible — for that much-needed serenity and peace of mind it affords, we’d have been willing to pay more. Even if only for just one afternoon, we can safely say that work was the last thing on our minds as we sipped our flutes of champagne and had our stresses thoroughly soothed away by the impeccable service.


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