25 Collins Street, Melbourne
(Ph) 9653 7744
After our deliciously memorable High Tea at Langham a year ago (which I didn't blog about as I hadn't started blogging back then yet), P and I had been meaning to try another High Tea in Melbourne =) Since Sofitel is part of the Accor Hotels, we decided to come try their high tea as I have an Advantage Plus card, and make use of the 50% off discount =)
They do a buffet style high tea on weekends ($69pp) , and on weekdays just a 3 tiered stand and teas ($45pp). About once a month they have a theme on the weekends. Like during July - September, they were doing a French Napoleon theme, inspired by the the Napoleon Exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, and prior to that they were doing an Egyptian theme, inspired by the Tutankhamen Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. Unfortunately, they were booked out for the Napoleon weekends so P and I just went to the normal weekend buffet high tea. They said the food is pretty much the same, it's just that they have people dressed in Napoleon wear and some Napoleon decorations on the table. Still it would have been a nice experience =(
They run the buffet from 2:30pm till about 5pm. We had a very light breakfast that morning and saved lots of room for high tea goodness =) The high tea is at the lounge area on the ground floor, quite a nice area with comfy lounge chairs, a grand piano behind us, and a window view overlooking the Sofitel courtyard.
The first thing they brought us was a glass of sparkling wine =) I don't think the sparkling wine was unlimited as we didn't see anyone have another glass after the initial, but not like P and I like wine much anyway.
In the centre of the room is the dessert table w00t! And to the back wall is the savoury table with the crepe/pikelette station.
Look at all the beautiful delicate cakes <3
And the chocolate fountain!
The savoury selection up the back - the hot foods...
..And the finger sandwiches
We started with the hot foods, they only have 3 choices. The Chicken pie was surprisingly the most delicious thing at the buffet! Creamy chicken and mushroom "filling" in to the Chinese tea cup, topped with a very puffed pastry =) The Mushroom quiche square was quite tasty too though there was more pastry than filling. The Shepherd's pie was a bit disappointing though, too salty and the potato topping was very dry. They have different warm savouries all the time so just hope you get some delicious ones when you're there =)
Next I tried all the finger sandwiches - these are the same all the time.
Roast beef and horseradish
Cucumber, cream cheese and chives
Free range crushed egg mayonnaise and cress
Artisan smoked leg ham with dijon mustard
Tasmanian smoked salmon with black pepper and lemon
To be honest, these finger sandwiches were the most disappointing of the whole buffet. None of the fillings were particularly "wow", and they don't even have a chicken + mayo one! *shock horror* that's the best finger sandwich filling of all time =( Some of the bread was a bit stale and some still had bits of crust on it, and the wrap was hard, like they've all been made hours (or even a day) in advance - if I pay this much money, I expect fresh sandwiches =(
P had ordered his Jing English Breakfast - a fantastic breakfast tea, assam tea is low-grown and holds a reputation as the strongest full-bodied tea to be found, perfect for those who love a strong and malty cup of tea, with or without milk pretty much since we sat down, but it took them a while to bring it out. Just tastes like a normal tea but yay for sugar cubes! =P
The teapot doesn't really match the tea set but anyway =P
Next we decided to go for the crepe/pikelettes station, the chef makes heaps of crepes/pikelettes and stacks them at the side so they're not really "made to order" but are still warm. He dips the crepes in the caramel sauce and you add your own toppings of berries or orange compote.
The pikelettes were super fluffy and soft, and delicious with the compotes <3 The crepe would have been nicer if it was thin and crunchy though, but the caramel was good =)
Next we tried the scones - plain or fruit, served with King Island pure cream, strawberry preserve and homemade fruit curd (lemon). I've never had scones with fruit curd before, but it was super delicious with the lemon curd! Too bad the scones were a bit dense, weren't warm and were getting a bit hard though =/
Dessert table time! Of course had to play with the chocolate fondue first =) Dipping my strawberry in the fountain =P There were also rockmelons, pineapples, turkish delights and marshmallows for you to dip, but we weren't a fan of this chocolate and preferred to eat the fruit by itself =P
Cakes! <3 P and I got a piece of each cake and had it together, there was no way we could have eaten one of everything each =P and lucky we did, because some of them weren't that tasty =/ The creme brulee on the spoon was good. The profiterole swan looks pretty cool, but taste-wise, nothing too special. Likewise with the strawberry tart, just a strawberry tart. The chocolate tart was very rich, and would have been very delicious, if we weren't so full already, too dense and rich for us by this stage =P
The second plate was so so. A banana cake, a carrot cake, a lemon custard, an opera cake, and not-sure-what-its-called-but-like-a-rum-baba cake. The banana cake and the carrot cakes were quite moist, but tastes like home cakes. The lemon custard was quite smooth, the rum cake was a bit too alcoholy for my liking.
Opera cake is normally my favourite cake, but this one wasn't that fantastic. It had all the layers and everything, but the chocolate was really dark, and overpowered the coffee flavour =(
We were soo stuffed by now, all we wanted was some herbal tea to wash it all down. We asked the waiter what teas they had, and he started listing them, then said he'll bring the menu for us instead =P There were soo many teas to choose from! We decided to get the
Jade Sword Green Tea - grown in misty mountains in China's Jiande green tea terroir. Jade sword is a bright and fresh tea from Fengwukou Village Garden
Silver Needle - Silver needle white tea is the most famous white tea in the world. From Tai Mu mountain garden, our silver needle is sweet, mellow and low in caffeine. Ideal for drinking on long, lingering afternoons, or well into the night
While we were waiting for our teas, they brought out a new dessert! A rhubarb and pistachio trifle - we're not fans of rhubarb but the jelly was quite good though not sure if the flavour goes well with pistachio =P
Our teas arrived with some Chinese teacups =)
Not sure if it lives up to the description but both were quite light and refreshing, a great way to end the afternoon tea =)
Quite an enjoyable afternoon with the pianist at the grand piano the whole time =)
6/10 - would have expected better quality food at a 5 star hotel, major disappointment at the sandwiches! and the cold scones =(
4/5 - quite good service, very attentive with our empty plates, though would be nice if they brought our teas out quicker =P
4.5/5 - very relaxing atmosphere, and comfy lounge chairs =)
Not sure if we would have come here if not for the 50% off though...