The plain, modern exterior of the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur belies its decadent, yet classic, interior. A haven from the stifling humidity and traffic-packed streets of Malaysia’s capital city, I’d come to sit back and relax over an afternoon tea in the renowned hotel chain’s lobby lounge.
Afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur
Classic black and white marble greeted me as I walked across the reception area to a small escalator, which took us up to the first floor lobby lounge. Elegant seating and coffee tables stretch out along the long, open space, with its marble floors and gold leafed ceiling. At its centre there’s a large circular sofa banquette, which leads off to a balcony with an impressively large chandelier, a further dining space and cake display waiting for you on the other side.
Once welcomed and taken to our cosy seats by the window, our server brought over an amuse-bouche for us to enjoy while we perused the tea menu. This tasty salmon and cream cheese mousse, with accompanying crackers, disappeared quicker than it took us to choose a tea, as the menu was made up of 40 different black, green fruit and herbal infusion teas to choose from. I was torn between trying something unique, like the black tea with rose petals or going for a classic, but when I saw Orange Pekoe on the menu, my decision was made.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur Blend
However, my server said we couldn’t leave without trying the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur Blend, exclusively crafted for the hotel, so they also brought us over an extra pot just so we could try it.
Made from green Oolong Tie Guan Yin – a tea served to royalty since the Tang dynasty I’ll have you know – I enjoyed its subtle, light flavour. I thought it had quite a creamy taste to it, and even smelt a bit like cream soda. Definitely not like anything I’d tasted before!
One of the special touches I liked here were the cute teapot warmers – each teapot had its own little candle warmer to stop the tea from cooling down. Now I really want to get one of my own!
A unique savoury selection
As much as I love a classic afternoon tea, I do love seeing hotels and restaurants offer their own twists and takes on the British tradition and the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur didn’t disappoint. For me it was the savouries that stood out – in particular the warm mini chicken pie and petite chicken and beef burgers.
Brought out fresh from the oven, they were all super tasty, managing to each go down in two mouth-watering bites.
These was joined on the savoury tier by fresh spinach quiches and funky ham and pastrami sandwiches, gentle flavours given a little kick thanks to the addition of mustard and onions.
Freshly baked scones
Perfectly timed to coincide with us finishing the last of the savouries, our server returned to our table with a plate of freshly baked scones; both plain and fruit. Letting the cream melt into the still-hot scones, these went down a treat, and we sat back to enjoy some more fresh tea before moving onto the sweet finale.
This final top tier had an interest mix of sweets, including a nod to local cuisine in the form of a Chinese egg tart. Although they look very similar I discovered that they are sadly not a patch on the Portuguese custard tart. To be fair though, although more bland than their Portuguese cousin, I still found them enjoyable, they just lacked a wow factor.
The orange and chocolate meringue was, in my opinion, just like eating a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, and we both really enjoyed the gooey marshmallow with its coconut base, the strawberry and cream tart topped with pistachios and also the very, very rich dark chocolate cake (possibly again with a hint of orange).
What we thought
I loved the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur’s setting for afternoon tea. The Lobby Lounge is a light and airy space and set up and away from the reception area and main restaurant, I found it one of the most peaceful settings I’ve had for afternoon tea!
I also just couldn’t get enough of the string quartet that entertained me throughout my visit. These guys had a wicked sense of humour and would spend a lot of their time playing renditions of modern songs or quirky unexpected numbers. For example, during the two hours or so we spent there, the music included tunes by Maroon 5 and Ed Sheeran, interspersed with arrangements of cheesy songs such as the Lion Sleeps Tonight and even nursery rhymes like This Old Man!
The service was high quality, without being over attentive, and as for the actual afternoon tea itself, well it got a big thumbs up! I thought the drink choice was impressive and particularly liked the fact a decaffeinated blend was available – something I haven’t seen before. Plus I can’t fault the food – particularly loved the savoury offerings. The mini burgers were absolutely delicious and I have to say I never think I’ve had a pie as part of an afternoon tea before!
At 80MYR/£14.50 (at time of writing) for afternoon tea for two, I also have to add that I think it offers real value for money. A great choice for afternoon tea in Kuala Lumpur, I heartily recommend it to fellow tea-loving visitors.
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Afternoon tea at the Ritz-Cartlon, Kuala Lumpur is available everyday in the Lobby Lounge between 3-6pm. It costs 80MYR for two people.
Our afternoon tea was complimentary for the purposes of this review. However, as always, all views are my own.