Our second visit to The Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Central, Hong Kong, was to try the afternoon tea at the ground floor based MO Bar. Mrs Nom was disappointed that we had just missed the Marc Jacobs themed tea set and even more so after our visit there has been a Jimmy Choo edition with stiletto shaped treats!
The theme during our visit was inspired by Apivita’s honey based products, a Greek health and beauty brand I’m told, not that I know any different. Having only frequented afternoon tea a handful of times in Manchester and Liverpool I wasn’t really expecting much other than sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea. However with this being the Mandarin Oriental they don’t tend to do things less than special. Our prior visit to 2 Michelin Starred Amber based in their hotel being an example.
The clientele was a mixture of tourists, businessmen and gossiping housewives passing time (we could tell by the two whispering aunties next to us). The service was attentive and efficient as expected from the hotel. One thing I like about afternoon tea is that you are left to get on with it when the tea set is delivered for a relaxing time rather than being watched like a hawk and feeling uneasy.
I’m never sure what order afternoon tea is supposed to be served, but I always prefer the savouries before the scones then pastries last. We were served the scones first from the stand and swapped for the savouries which caught a few glances. The first plate was a delight and different to usual finger sandwiches which are a bit boring. In order of the picture below we had Mediterranean quiche, black olive focaccia, tomato confit & feta cheese shavings, goats cheese pie with green apple, pine nuts and honey, pitta hummus and olive caviar and Greek flatbread with grilled chicken and tzatziki. All were perfectly enjoyable with the exception of the pitta which was a bit on the hard side.
We moved on to the scones and they were still warm, probably answers my question above as to why the scones are served first. There was a selection of raison and plain scones served with clotted cream and a choice of strawberry and grape jam. The scones were light and buttery and dainty in size but adequate, leaving room for the desserts.
The desserts from the left in the picture below were panna cotta honey and red fruits with strawberry jelly, pistachio and honey macaroon, lemon tarte and honey meringue, blueberry financier and strawberry tartar tomato and ouzo. The standout treat being the striped panna cotta and jelly.
It will take something special to top this afternoon tea, cucumber, ham and cheese sandwiches just won’t cut it anymore, neither will eclairs and brownies. I can sense myself turning snobbish, won’t last long though as the equivalent in London is something approaching £50 per head. We paid just a touch less than £20 each for the Apivita tea set, extraordinary value. To top it off we were each given a sample beauty set which included hand cream and a couple packets of royal jelly and aloe serum.