Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ritz Carlton x Godiva Afternoon Tea

The hiatus from 9-to-5 work afforded me to do things I wouldn't be able to do before - like having a leisurely afternoon tea on a weekday. Ritz Carlton Hong Kong is running a 3-month-long promotion with a crossover afternoon tea menu at Cafe 103 starting in October, featuring the chocolates and goodies from Godiva, and we were given a sneak preview one weekday afternoon.

Love this hot balloon-shaped afternoon tea "tower"! If I could take one home I would!

Cafe 103 is the one remaining restaurant I have never tried before at the hotel, so I was quite happy to be able to check it out this time. It is located on one side of the main lobby up on Level 103; the space was bright, spacious and comfortable with the same gorgeous view of the Hong Kong skyline below from the window.

Godiva is perhaps better known for their chocolate, but this time, while chocolate still features prominently in the afternoon tea menu - we started with an excellent cup of hot cocoa - the theme is on their sablé, the traditional French butter cookie. The chefs at Ritz Carlton and Godiva collaborated to create a number of items using different sablés from Godiva, with each of them said to be inspired from a particular geographic region. My personal favorite were the Matcha Tea Sablé made with a piece of Matcha-flavored cookie, white chocolate and matcha cremeux on top and dotted with the sweet yuzu curd, as well as the Almond Speculoos Sablé with a creamy cheesecake and flue de sel caramel topping on an almond sablé.

Matcha Tea Sablé assembled by me - obviously not close to professional standard
Before we began enjoying the extravagant afternoon tea set, we were given a brief introduction and demonstration by Chef Philippe from Godiva about the making of these desserts, and even a chance for some hand-on experience to assemble our own Matcha Tea Sablé. That was really fun - obviously the end product was not as good as those made by professionals, but it did give us a new dimension of appreciation for the effort required for the pastry chefs to put everything together so nicely and consistently.

It's understandable that most people went for the sweet items on the afternoon tea trays, but the few savory snacks were excellent too. I particularly liked the smoked salmon wrapped with a spongy capers bread and topped with caviar. It's like an inside-out sandwich and it was pretty and delicious. The foie gras sandwich was an interesting one - using sablé on a savory item with the smooth and creamy foie gras on top.

I am glad I skipped lunch so I could enjoy this sumptuous afternoon tea to the fullness. Better do this more often while I still can. Thanks Ritz Carlton for the kind invitation.

When? September 9 2015
Where? Cafe 103, Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Level 103 International Commerce Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui
Menu Highlights? Matcha Tea Sablé - Matcha sponge, Godiva white chocolate and matcha cremeux, yuzu gel
Note: This special afternoon tea menu will run for a limited time only - from October 1 2015 - January 1 2016.

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