My fiancé and I love afternoon tea. Having made it our mission to sample as many as we can in the UK, we wanted to experience an afternoon tea in Tokyo whilst we were there to see how the Japanese would pull off something inherently English (and to eat some delicious treats, of course).
Another requirement was that it must have an amazing view of the city, so before our trip I did some research and pre-booked the ‘Legendary Afternoon Tea’ at the Oriental Lounge on the 38th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
After a mad-dash from where we were sightseeing in Asakusa that day, we arrived and got the elevator to the 38th floor for our 3pm slot. I had requested a spot by a window, so was super pleased when they showed us to our table and found that we had a fantastic view.
We had a chance to look at the menu whilst we waited for our tea and treats to arrive. The staff originally gave us the Japanese menu, which I could read some of after my pre-trip Japanese lessons, but it would have probably taken me half an hour to read the whole thing! Luckily they had an English version as well, which they provided us with afterwards – but the Japanese version is prettier, so here it is 🙂
The afternoon tea stand was brought out promptly and was wonderfully presented. It was seasonally themed – as we were there in October, all of the edible items had a ‘Halloween’ theme.
It’s a well known fact that food always tastes better after you’ve taken photos of it… right?
In our happy place, after all the treats arrived…
The bottom savoury layer contained a visually interesting and tasty selection of:
- Pumpkin flavoured egg sandwiches with bamboo charcoal bread;
- Green smoothies with crab and black tapioca;
- Pumpkin mousse with seaweed cone;
- Salmon and dragon fruit frivolités;
- Lobster and golden spaghetti squash.
Then there were two whole layers of sweet stuff. The medium layer was super cute – all of the items were in the form of a little character with eyes and it felt a shame to eat them! The medium layer contained:
- Bat macarons with black sesame;
- Crusty creamy hazelnut chocolates;
- Chestnut tartlets.
The top layer was also a sweet plate and contained some delicious dessert items:
- Pumpkin pudding with coconut tapioca;
- Mont Blanc with sweet potato and passionfruit;
- Carrot pound cake.
As a little bonus, we also had a plate of teeny tiny scones – two each of both lemon and gouda & Grana Padano cheese flavour. They were an interesting take on scones – it was like someone had seen a picture of a scone at the wrong scale and tried to recreate what they saw, and the texture wasn’t quite what we would expect a scone to have. They were delicious in their own right though!
The scones were served with ‘clotted cream’ (not really what we would call clotted cream – it was more like hard-packed whipped cream), blueberry jam and lemon curd.
Afternoon tea in Tokyo was wonderful experience for us at the Oriental Lounge; the staff were amazing, super-attentive and accommodating, and the view we had from our table was everything I could have wanted.
The price was great; at ¥4500 (about £30) per person, which is less that we have paid at most afternoon tea places we have been to in London.
I loved the fact that the afternoon tea was themed, and we were served unlimited tea and coffee. We tried some absolutely delicious teas – I would highly recommend the ‘Mandarin Oriental Blend Tea’ and the ‘Orange Chocolat’. We also had a second helping of the tiny scones 😉