Spiced Asian Afternoon Tea at W Hotel, Leicester Square:
With a hotel on the edge of China Town in Soho, just behind Leicester Square, what’s the best way to serve afternoon tea?
W Hotel is a contemporary hotel, restaurant and bar that has embraced both location and fashion to serve an innovative take on afternoon tea. The W Spice tea includes savoury and sweet dishes with more than a nod to Asian cuisine. Beware though, all is not as it seems.
I was joined by Heidi for afternoon tea in their bar/lounge. We picked from a selection of teas – in my case Japanese Sencha was not only a favourite, but quite appropriate.
The tea tower at W Hotel is prettily oriental in style, with savouries on the bottom and cakes on top. We started with steam buns. Thai shrimp and a delicious glazed pork belly with picked shallots, basil, mint and sweet soy. Both went really well with my green tea.
I was slightly less convinced by the Malaysian vegetable popiah roll, perhaps simply because of the excellent Vietnamese rolls I’d enjoyed a couple of weeks ago at Keu.
Then on to what looked like satay, but turned out to a light, almost fluffy salted peanut butter nougat. It was gorgeous, though the trompe l’oiel was just a little disconcerting
Macarons are always a favourite for me and this pandan macaron was really pleasant with a nice sticky kaya jam filling.
Mango and sticky rice roll was just a bit too much like rice pudding for me, but elegantly presented and unusual.
And the Green tea and white chocolate opera cake was both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.
The Ovaltine Kulfi was another suprise. It looked like a bit of semi frozen brownie and had something of the taste of a gooey brownie too, but with a lovely after flavour from the candied fennel seed.
All in, a suprising and well balanced afternoon tea with a twist. Credit to the chef for creating something unusual, inspiring and utterly beautiful.
W Hotel – London
10 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF