If I had to recommend one place for afternoon tea in Singapore it would be Si Chuan Dou Hua’s Tian Fu Tea Room. I love spending my afternoon sipping tea in a relaxing place, better with good food and best with good company. There are so many reasons why this place is my favourite – the tea selection is really good (they have all sorts of Chinese teas, and good quality too), the food which comes in the tea set is creative and delicious, the menu changes every month so you can definitely revisit without repeating, and the place is quieter than other tea places I’ve been to, less pretentious too. Also, I can’t think of anywhere else for tea with mainly savoury food. Most of the pastries which come with afternoon tea sets at hotels or anywhere usually are substandard and becomes wasted calories. Sure, pastries are good to look at but I want more than just photogenic food. And then you have people who do not fancy sweet stuff – savoury high tea solves the problem because I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t eat dim sum.
Last year I tried the outlet at UOB plaza. Today, I decided to check out the one at Beach Road just for a change of environment. Unfortunately, there was a noisy group when I arrived and the place was noisier than it should have been. However, I still like the place. There was ample sunlight, tables were far apart giving diners their privacy and the seats were comfortable enough to sit through 3 hours.
This is the menu for January 2015 featuring a few bird nest items.
Prosecco was served first. This was nice to have but kind of unnecessary in my opinion.
Huang Shan Mao Feng (Green Tea)
I am still new to Chinese tea and usually for Chinese green tea I’ll have Long Jing so I think this is my first time trying this one. Huang Shan Mao Feng, like the name suggests, originates from somewhere near Huangshan in Anhui province. It is also one of the most famous Chinese teas. Tea leaves picked before Qing Ming festival have better quality, just like Long Jing tea. However, the taste is distinctively different from Long Jing. It was still pleasant to drink anyway, though it isn’t my favourite.
Steamed Seafood Dumpling with Bird’s Nest
Steamed Prawn Dumpling with Parsley
Da Hong Pao (Oolong Tea)
The second tea served was my favourite from the teas today, and I think it could be my favourite from all Chinese teas as well. From Wuyi, Fujian, this is one of the most expensive teas from China.
Steamed Carrot Dumplings with Minced Meat and Bird’s Nest
Deep-fried Glutinous Rice Roll with Yam Paste
I usually don’t think much about rice dishes in dim sum but this one was really nice. I can’t explain. It’s just nice.
Minced Meat Dumpling in Sour and Spicy Stock
Noodle with Seafood
Qi Men Hong Cha (Black Tea)
Keemun is a famous Chinese black tea, also produced from Anhui. The taste was strong and bitter.
Chilled Osmanthus Jelly with Bird’s Nest
I like how this was shaped like an ingot! Really cute.
Deep-fried Custard Bun
Everything on the menu has been good and I didn’t write comments for most because there was nothing to nit-pick about. But if I had to choose one most outstanding dish, it has to be this one! When I saw the name on the menu, I was expecting a normal custard bun but fried. I certainly did not expect it to come in a chewy glutinous flour skin (I love everything with this texture) and fried with crumbs. The custard center tasted perfect too. This is my favourite custard bun (sort of, because this is not really a bun) and I hope they’ll keep this item in the regular dim sum menu!
Homemade Fine Bean Curd with Wolfberry
High Tea: 2:30pm – 6:00pm