Degustation: Afternoon Tea at the Mandarin Oriental

Wednesdays are chocolate buffets. I happen to dislike chocolate, but my sister’s a total fan and my mom’s been dying to eat at the Oriental, so alas…I just played the part of the unashamed photographer. Think of this as a documentary piece or dissection of one choco-filled afternoon.

Before I make you all drool, I might as well pretend to be a first-class Yelp reviewer and give thanks to the Oriental for attending to the smallest details—like putting a flake of white gold on each glass of chocolate pudding. I had the Sur le Nil, a citrus-y green tea, my mom had the Fuji-Yama, a traditional Japanese green tea, and my sister had the Grand Oolong. I think we unanimously voted the Fuji-Yama as our favorite.

The afternoon started with “welcome chocolate shots”, which you could pick between dark and white. The shots were infused with cinnamon and mint, or so my mom claims. They also started us off with mini scones with rose, strawberry, orange jam and butter. Shortly after we sat down, a guitarist sitting on the balcony above started serenading the sweet-toothed below. Waitresses constantly circled the tables and refilled our cups for us. When out, our teas were rebrewed as many times as requested.

I’m not much of a foodie, nor am I a chocolate connoisseur, but my sister said her favorite was “The Top”, a nutty coffee cake topped with layers of milk and dark chocolate sandwiching chocolate mousse, topped off with a hazelnut. My mom’s favorite was the “Jivara Chocolate & Pear Shooter”, which was chocolate mousse layered with shortbread, glazed pears, whipped cream, white chocolate, and a sprig of mint. Before I go into too much detail and become psychologically diabetic, I’ll have pictures describe the rest:

Mom: After this, you won’t crave for chocolate for a really long time.
Sister: Yeah, like a month.
Mom: It’s like that time I painted the horse; I didn’t want to paint again for a really long time.

I know that feeling…like never wanting to build another 1:8 scale model in my life…or photograph another chocolate dessert.

Total: 2648 bahts (with tax & tip); about $80 ($27/person). Not bad, considering that I had my tea rebrewed four times.