Saturday 29 June 2013

Diptyque Moheli Afternoon Tea @ Cafe Gray Deluxe Hong Kong, The Upper House

Had a pretty depressing week and was not in the mood of writing. :( 

But as I was organizing the pictures of my first afternoon tea with Baby Valerie, I found myself smiling and feeling better. Babies are amazing, aren't they? Their every single move is enough to make your heart melt... as long as you are only responsible for playing with them instead of tending to them. :P

(Photo courtesy: Vivian)

We girls were having Diptyque Moheli Afternoon Tea at Cafe Gray Deluxe and were so excited that Ly had brought Baby Valerie along! We took pictures with her and forced Ly to promise that Valerie's very first tea-with-aunties姐姐-pix would appear in Valerie's wedding slideshow in the future, haha... 

Back to business - our Diptyque afternoon tea!

Top tier: curry poached chicken salad tartlet & ginger pear chutney, blackcurrant scones

Middle tier (from left): smoked salmon on bagel toast with salmon caviar & lime cream cheese; egg salad and cucumber finger sandwich; salami and Gruyère cheese pretzel bun with whole grain mustard; roast beef sandwich with pomegranate glaze, pickled red onion, and goat cheese

Middle tier from another angle

Bottom tier (from left): Tonga bean ganache and caramel, mini cinnamon roll with golden raisin, jasmine and rose bavarois on graham crust, coffee macarons; apricot jam linzer, almond milk rice pudding and marinated citrus

A better view of the rice pudding and apricot jam linzer 

(Photo courtesy: Vivian)

How was the food? I'd say that it's generally okay but Baby Valerie was far more interesting than it lor (I did spend more time playing with Valerie than eating!). :P While one normally expects fancy pastries and savouries with layers of flavours in a 5-star hotel, our supposedly Diptyque-inspired tea set was, sorry to say, unimaginative and straightforward. It was disappointing that the tea set had no connection to Diptyque at all... the brand was not even mentioned in the tea set menu! 

The food was so average that there wasn't much worth writing about. There's one thing I always like about Cafe Gray's tea set though, which is the scones! They are big and chunky so you can put lots of jam, cream and honey (honey is such a lovely touch :j) on them. I lurrrrve the sugar granules atop which give the scones an extra bit of crunchiness. There were only a few things that had really gone wrong, such as the stale macaron and the puddle of weird flavours that was named "milk pudding". 

Tea was a nightmare. I appreciate the fact that Cafe Gray have their own tea blends, but they should really hire a better tea master. Last time I had their signature Cafe Gray Tea, which contained roselle and was horribly tart. This time I knew better - I thought - and ordered Flower Blend. Given how the description was worded, I thought there were 2 choices of flower blends, namely either rose petal tea or chamomile and mint tea. I told the waitress that I wanted the rose tea, but in the end I was given a pot of tea which tasted like anything but rose. It was bitter and very herbal, much like Chinese medicinal herbal tea... :0 A waitress confirmed that it was indeed my order, and she added that it was not a pure rose tea. So perhaps Flower Blend was actually a BLEND of rose, chamomile and mint!?? My advice: stick to the classics...  

When we asked for the bill, we were given 3 vouchers for Diptyque Moheli gift set. THREE!? There were 5 of us! We then found out from another waitress that because we ordered 2 x tea set for two persons and 1 x tea set for 1 person, there would only be 3 vouchers. Jesus Christ! Could they not be so miserly? They should have stated clearly in the menu that vouchers are issued according to the number of tea sets instead of number of persons. Not wanting to start a fight for gifts among ourselves, we changed our orders to 5 x tea set for 1 person (the difference was that we had to pay a bit more because tea set for 1 person was $240 while tea set for 2 persons was $420, i.e. $210 per head). The waitress agreed with the arrangement but then she recalculated the bill wrongly... so much hassle before we eventually got our gift - 2 small samples of Eau Moheli eau de toilette - at Diptyque's Pacific Place store!

Ambience: B+

Service: B- (misleading beverage menu, mean voucher policy, wrong bill... enough said)

Food: B- (average food, awful tea)

Overall remarks: Cafe Gray is an acceptable tea place if you know what to expect (and which tea to order). Go for MO Bar (see here or here) if you want a truly amazing branded tea experience! 

The Moheli tea set was hardly impressive, but the afternoon was just as enjoyable with my dear friends and Baby Valerie.  ;) Thanks for organizing, Vivian! 

Cafe Gray Deluxe Hong Kong (website)
Level 49, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Afternoon tea: 3:30pm-5:00pm daily
* Diptyque Moheli Afternoon Tea is served until 30 June 2013. 
$240 per person, $420 per 2 persons

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