The Dorchester Afternoon Tea is now back again at The Empire Hotel & Country Club with a variety of teas and pastries flown in from the UK. I got to try it out yesterday afternoon with Jennifer. To be honest, I had never heard about The Dorchester Afternoon Tea until she asked me if I would like to join her to try it out and I agreed.
The Dorchester Afternoon Tea will be available from 1st October 2016 until 23rd October 2016. It starts from 2PM to 6PM everyday. Price per person will be B$25 and subject to an additional 10% service charge. Jennifer called in days before to reserve a table for two at 2:30PM for yesterday. I arrived 20 minutes earlier as it takes like 45 minutes for me to reach. However, it only took me 30 minutes as there was no traffic congestion on the way.
Had too much time to spare while waiting for Jennifer to arrive. Sat nearby the lobby and started my Korean drama series marathon. Just realized that my spectacle seems rather big for my face in the picture. LOL!
After confirming our reservation with the waiting staff, we were being escorted to a table which overlooks a partial view of the scenery outside. We were being given menus to choose what we would like to drink. Jennifer had their popular Dorchester Blend while I had their Dragon Pearl Jasmine. It was good! I am not much of a tea person but this Dragon Pearl Jasmine was good.
If you are not much of a tea drinker, you can opt for coffees but they are not flown in from UK though. It will be the usual coffees which Lobby Lounge serves. Apart from coffees or teas, they are also serving “fake” bubbly. In UK, you can have champagne. As alcohol is forbidden in Brunei, they serve sparkling white grape juice instead and it was nice. Even better when drank chilled.
Shortly after we placed our orders for beverages, a cart filled with assorted pastries and sandwiches was strolling our way and we were being served with these! Top tier was assorted cakes, second tier was scones and the third tier was assorted finger sandwiches. Both Jennifer and I loved the second and third tier the most. LOL!
Assorted finger sandwiches consisted of egg mayonnaise, chicken with basil mayonnaise, smoked salmon with dill, cucumber with cream cheese and tuna with sweet corn. I loved the egg mayonnaise and chicken with basil mayonnaise the most. Smoked salmon with dill was not bad but I find the smoked salmon too salty for my liking. And the bread were extremely soft!
The cake selection! We did not have much of this but I did try the white cake thingy. I don’t know what it was but there was lemon curd inside as filling. The sourness from the filling neutralize the sweetness from the outside.
We were being served four scones. I had one plain and one golden raisins filled. Both were good but I preferred the one with golden raisins. I like anything with raisins anyways. We were impressed that the scones stayed soft and fluffy even though it had been there for quite some time. The scones were served covered in a piece of napkin to preserve the freshness.
The clotted cream was simply superb. It was even better than the one I had at Table No-1 by Jason Atherton. The strawberry jam was nice too. The texture was runny and it was not sweet. The sweetness was well balanced. Simply finger licking good! I did not have any of the butter cake but according to Jennifer, it tasted lemony. I guess British likes zesty desserts? Even the butter was lemony in taste.
Verdict: To be honest, I did not have much expectation prior to trying out this Dorchester Afternoon Tea as I had never been to one and I did not know what to expect. According to Jennifer, it costs approximately £40 per person in the UK and you need an extremely advanced booking to secure a table.
Food wise, I was more than impressed. Customer service was even better. They have staff members coming to you to ask if you need any refill once in a while. For your information, everything is unlimited refill but we only requested refill for their finger sandwiches. Scones were good but we were too bloated to stuff overselves with more scones.