My munchie pal and I continued our quest to find the best high teas in town and we hit a gold mine yesterday – the afternoon tea at Anti:dote, the stylish cocktail bar at Fairmont Singapore. The Anti:dote Tea ($48+++ per pax) comprises an appetizer, sandwiches and puff pastries, mini scones, petit desserts and a choice of coffee or tea (free-flow). Your typical high tea offerings you might say, but what attracted us to try Anti:dote out is that their tea items are ingeniously served, not on a regular 3-tier pastry rack, but on and in a soft-leather jewellery box with drawers!
Service is cordial but the kitchen actually took much time to prepare each tea set. We were there on time at 3pm but weren’t served with it till a good 45 minutes later. Which is why we reckoned they included an appetizer to the set – the organic egg with sea urchin, salmon roe and cavier was prettily served in an egg-shaped metal cup and kept warm among heated pebbles. Quite a unique and flavorful start to a high tea but as we have skipped lunch to build up an appetite, we wished the waiting time wasn’t that long…
Still, the wait was eventually worth it as the box of goodies (comprising two high tea sets) – gingerly carried over to our table by the waitress in order not to topple the petit desserts on top – was really impressive. We started from bottom up ‘cos we were advised to eat the scones first “while they are still warm” and we did so obediently. In the bottom two drawers were small square chia seeds and parmesan cheese scones, accompanied by raspberry jam, lemon curd and Devonshire clotted cream. And seriously, each bite – that melts in your mouth – was yummilicious.
After the scones, we proceeded to the top drawer which housed the “sandwiches”, namely (from left to right above) Boston main lobster with pickled cucumber and seaweed brioche; wild mushroom duxelle vol au vent; smoked salmon with lemon dill cream cheese and ikura roe on rye bread; iberico ham on seasonal truffle tart; and duck confit with foie gras terrine in puff pastry. No complaints with this truly tasty savoury selection – bar maybe the sharp dash of mustard in the last item – which is unlike the usual stuff we get at other high teas.
Shy to say that by the time we got to the top tier containing the very pretty petite desserts, we were already quite full (no thanks to all the carbs from the drawer items…). But stuffed our face we did still and all the chocolate stuff – pralines and nougat – were really delicious, as was the strawberry dressed in a tuxedo. The colourful items such as the mini strawberry cake and Yuzu tartlet were fluffy and extremely sweet, and hence all we could handle was a nibbling of each. If any consolation, a quick glance at every table and we noted that many could not finish off the top tier either (much to the anguish of our waitress, if truth be told…)
Beverage-wise, the tea selection for the high tea is much wider than for coffee – there are black teas, red teas, green teas and fusion mixes, all concocted with TWG tea blends. Though there was only the standard choices for coffee – black, cappuccino and latte – my pal and I opted for coffee this time round and fresh cups would be served whenever we need a refill. And oh, another cool touch – a take-home cookie gift (as seen above) was included in the box set. Nice.
Anti:dote also serves an Oriental tea set ($48) but the only difference is that the appetizer contains a selection of steamed and fried dim sum. There’s also a Children’s Tea ($18) if anyone want to bring their little ‘uns along.
Truly one of the best high teas we tried in a long while, seriously wouldn’t mind coming back for more (or for their lobster roll lunch promo which looks quite good too).
Anti:dote is at Level 1, Fairmont Singapore. Afternoon high tea is 3-5pm from Mon to Thu; with two seatings at 12-2pm and 3-5pm from Fri to Sun, eve of Public Holidays and Public Holidays.