Great Scot, 10 Scotts Could Be Better

20131214_151705Haven’t been to a High Tea for quite some time. So me and my friend decided to try out 10 Scotts at Grand Hyatt ‘cos the old coffee lounge they had – Scotts Lounge I think – used to serve very good high tea.

While Scotts Lounge had more of a business meeting look, 10 Scotts is a much spruced up version, with brighter, warmer colours and comfy sofa seatings (although we were given the less comfy wooden chairs and table maybe because there was only two of us). The high tea spread is simple. There is a buffet table offering trays of cakes and pastries, a fancy ice cream corner (more on that later), a Chinese food section, and a section for cheese, sliced parma ham and bread. A fridge serves dishes of salads, fruits, cheese & veges, tofu, and ice cream. And finally, a two-tier tray with mini tarts, sandwiches, curry puff and popiah is also served. And oh, there’s scones (more on that later). Beverages wise, there is a menu with one page of coffees and 3 pages of various teas. If you prefer free-flow champagne, the high tea cost 83++. Without bubbly, at $53++ it’s still a tad pricey but that’s the usual price for hotel high teas these days. We wouldn’t have mind that much though if the service was up to par…

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There are two seatings: 12.3o-2.30pm and 3-5pm, and we chose the latter cos that’s the usual time for tea. As my friend was late, I checked out the laid out spread first. The cheese counter (above) was decent with 6 different cheeses which all tasted very fine. Along with  bread and sliced parma ham, it made for a good starter. In the Chinese section, Peking Duck – all ready made – was excellent. There was also  flavoured rice with kai lan and soy sauce chicken (below). Though the meat tasted great with sliced red chili and the vege fresh, the rice however tasted uncooked. The items though were well accompanied by the cold tofu that one can find in the fridge.
20131214_160607Almost forgot the drinks. I’m a coffee person, but with so many choices of tea available, I took a chance with a flora tea, Rose Bud, which proved to be very refreshing with a smooth  aromatic taste. When my friend finally came, she asked the waitress (not the one who served me) what she would recommend, the young girl offered, “Chamomile”. OK, that wasn’t very adventurous so my friend went for something that was above Rose Bud on the menu, a tea that mixes hibiscus with apple. It’s just sad then that the waitress actually forgot to place the order and my friend went without a drink for a good 15 minutes. And not that anyone came to check if all our orders are in place. Or later offer to refill our teapots with hot water or try another tea on the menu. I may not be a tea person but I have learned a lot of things from my tea drinking friends. I won’t even start on having to ask if I could have honey for my tea (I was given sugar packs in a very unclassy bowl). Anyway, the Hibiscus tea was a bright maroon red, tasted very herbal with a strong taste of green apple – we had to beg for more water – but it was an interesting concoction that gets better when you drink it.

20131214_163946Back to the food. The two-tier stand of goodies was on the whole quite good, especially the popiah, curry puff, mini ham and pickle sandwich, and a salmon roll. Odd that no one  told us that it is actually refillable which we found out on online reviews after we left the place…

And finally the scones (above). We found it real strange that they didn’t bring these out earlier but at almost near 4.30, a time when the waitresses also developed an urgent urge to clear everything on your table – yes, even plates and trays with food still on them so they can prepare for dinner at 6pm. Those gestures were  very unnerving, not to mention annoying. especially when we didn’t get much attention to the refilling of our teas.  Back to the scones, beside the fact that the two given to us were very uneven – sorry, just a peculiar irk with me cos was taught by my mom that “both oranges must be the same size when presented during Chinese New Year” – they were also served cold and not warm. The condiments in the glass jars were cute – jam, cream and kaya (?). Considering that scones are traditionally eaten with butter, why wasn’t that offered and we have to ask for it?
20131214_165245Have to say, what saves the poor service from the waitresses was the cheerful culinary servers behind the buffet tables. We decide to end our tea with the rather innovative “flowerpot ice cream” (see above) which is basically hazelnut ice cream in a real flower pot, topped with brown cake crumbs as “soil” and a tall mint twig as the plant with a spluttering of flower petals. It was truly a cool dessert that brought the smiles back to our faces. That plus the fact that we weren’t chased out of the premises by 5pm which one waitress had warned that they just might cos they are expecting the dinner crowd thereafter. Well, most of the 3pm high tea diners hardly moved and so we continued chatting till 6.

There are good and bad bits at 10 Scotts, but the good bits are not great enough to make us want to go back and try it again. Not till they improve the service anyway, befitting a hotel of that stature…

 

 

 

 

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