Bangkok Post reviews
Drinking tea, eating tea
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: August 2, 2013 at 8:25 am
TWG brews perfect tea gastronomy at its new boutique
TWG’s tea-centric restaurant, which opened a few weeks ago at Siam Paragon, displays more than 400 blends of tea with stations offering macarons, ice-cream, sorbet, pastries and tea accessories.
To partake in the utmost gastronomic pleasure in the world of tea drinking does not require decades of grooming. The phenomenal success of TWG tea retailer-cum-boutique eatery proves it.
TWG (abbreviation for The Wellness Group) was established in Singapore in 2008. Over the past five years, the brand has launched more than 500 blends of tea (now available in 40 countries worldwide) and more than 20 dining outlets under the concept of a tea salon and boutique.
The latest addition to TWG's uber chic tea-centric restaurants in Bangkok opened a few weeks ago at Siam Paragon. The 300m2 venue isn't just just a tea retailer offering treats to match its blends, but offers a unique, one-of-a-kind cuisine prepared with TWG's exclusive recipes and always with an ingenious touch of tea.
The recipes, the same at all outlets around the world, are created and perfected by TWG's co-founder/tea master Taha Bouqdib.
The menu, though extensive and diverse, befittingly represents the salon as a truly tea-accented dining venue. Yet the restaurant doesn't only offer the typical afternoon tea set on a silver tiered tray. It also features impressive repertoires of gourmet breakfasts, light dishes, pastas, sandwiches, main courses, pastries and desserts, all of which can be enjoyed with tea or other beverages, including cocktails and wines.
The Fortune Tea Time set comprises warm tossed croque sandwiches, two freshly baked scones accompanied by tea jelly and whipped cream, an assortment of three macarons and a choice of tea.
Upon arriving at the salon and along the avenue toward the dining area, guests are greeted by a tea boutique where more than 400 choices of tea, from classic to imaginative blends in colourful lovely packaging, are neatly displayed. You'll also find a macaron station (featuring distinctive choices of macarons, made in-house on a daily basis) and a corner selling homemade ice-cream, sorbet and pastries (the likes of cakes, tarts and croissants) _ all infused with tea _ as well as tea accessories.
Our lunch started off nicely with TWG's tea salad, featuring Comptoir des Indes tea-smoked salmon, shrimp and foie gras in green tea-infused vinaigrette (590 baht) and Aviator salad, TWG's brilliant translation of chicken Caesar with poached egg.
The pasta was beyond expectation. The Venetian clams (390 baht), simply presents Weekend in Venice Tea-infused spaghetti noodles tossed in pesto sauce with black olives, garlic and lots of sauteed clams, was highly praiseworthy. The al dente spaghetti came thoroughly leavened with TWG's magnificent pesto that's perfumed with the fragrant fruity tea to give a sweet aromatic touch to the pungent and peppery sauce.
The Spaghetti Imperial (360 baht) was another pasta dish to laud. The spaghetti was tossed with turkey ham and mushroom in a rich cream sauce infused with truffle oil and Weekend in Casablanca Tea to give a lavish dash of Earl Grey.
For a main course, you won't regret trying the Ballotine foie gras (590 baht), which features roasted chicken ballotine stuffed with silky goose liver and served with a Blue Pavilion Tea infused-gravy, roasted eggplant, artichoke and fettuccine pasta.
The Ballotine foie gras featuring roasted chicken ballotine stuffed with silky goose liver and served with a Blue Pavilion Tea infused-gravy.
Roasted apricot cod (590 baht) is a good option for fish lovers. A supple fillet of the characteristically oily, cottony white-meat fish was served with silky smooth matcha green tea-infused potato puree and accompanied by Apricot Tea sauce. Crepes are also highlighted, with nine selections of sweet and savoury French crepes, each accompanied with your choice of tea, and are available daily from 11am-7pm.
From the savoury list, we found joy with the Parisian crepe (550 baht), filled with potatoes, turkey ham and Gruyere cheese tossed in an Earl Grey-infused bechamel sauce sprinkled with chives (550 baht). While the sweet counterpart, the 1837 Crepe (260 baht), which is most popular among Thai diners, presented a thin, but very supple crepe served with homemade berry marmalade made with raspberry, blueberry, cherry and blackcurrant and infused with 1837 black tea. The crepe was served with homemade 1837 black tea sorbet and exhibited a good balance of sweet and tangy zest.
For those looking for typical high tea delicacies served on a silver tiered tray with a pot of tea, the Fortune Tea Time set (740 baht) is an ideal option. The set includes a choice of TWG tea _ hot or cold _ warm tossed croque sandwiches (the Croque Imperial, filled with French Gruyere cheese and thin slices of smoked salmon, was superb), two freshly baked scones or muffins accompanied by tea jelly and whipped cream, and an assortment of three macarons (matcha, 1837 black tea-blackcurrant and chocolate are truly delectable on the tastebuds and not overly sweet).
Service was cordial and professional. Reservations are a must.
The tea-infused Venetian clam spaghetti.