The Secret Garden Afternoon Tea set at InterContinental Singapore

Inspired by the magic and flora of the children's classic, The Secret Garden, Intercontinental Singapore's award-winning Pastry Chef, Ben Goh, presents Classic Afternoon Tea: Secret Garden and the Lobby Lounge from 2 May to 15 July 2018. The new afternoon tea features a three tiered showcase of savoury treats, boosted with an elegant box which opens up to reveal a collection of  exquisite Victorian desserts that speak the same hushed, mysterious tones of the story.

Chef Ben painstakingly incorporates floral elements into some of the savoury components in ways one would never imagine. Among others, think Smoked Duck with Osmanthus Jelly in a waffle shell, Smoked Salmon Mousse on a Chrysanthemum Mantou and Chicken and Peach-rose Jam on toast. The former is my personal favourite, smoked duck has its salty nature tampered by the sweetness from the osmanthus jelly. Despite it's negligible appearance, it possess a lovely light and refreshing fragrance. The waffle shell vehicle adds a layer of buttery richness to give the overall amalgamation more heft.

The Chrysanthemum mantou, however, was too oily, with the thinly sliced mantou soaking up too much oil in the frying process. Chrysanthemum was also hardly detectable in the end product.

Moving onto the sweets, it's easy to find favourites. Chef Ben's award-winning creation - Earl Grey chocolate mousse with Apricot compote and Sea Salt Chocolate Crumble lives up to its name. The use of earl grey balances out the sweetness and provide a nice earthy, tea flavour while apricot compote offers a fruity jam component to the chocolate treat.

In line with the mystical themed high tea, the raspberry-rose lemon pound cake was presented in the shape of a "magic mushroom". It's whimsical - bright red polka dotted cap on a pure white stem - akin to something straight out from a storybook. Beyond it's stunning aesthetics, cutting through the pound cake reveals pastry efforts on par with its looks -  neat assembly of multiple layers from lemon curd, raspberry jam and rich pound cake.

Afternoon tea is not complete without English scones and Chef Ben goes one step further to inject a lavender lemon narrative to the staple. While the lavender fragrance was just subtle enough not to have diners entertain thoughts of "eating soap", the lemon interceptions were most delightful in balancing out the richness of the tea time treat. We adored that they served clotted cream as an accompaniment; fyi, that's only the right thing to do.

Savouries tier and box of sweet treats aside, diners can also enjoy free flow homemade ice cream and à la minute crêpes at the live stations.

The Secret Garden High Tea for 2 is available from 2 May to 18 July 2018 at The Lobby Lounge of InterContinental Singapore is is priced at $78++ for 2 inclusive of loose-leaf teas and coffee. $108++ gets you 2 flutes of Taittinger Brut Champagne. Perfect for those looking to settling in for a leisurely chill out session in a nostalgic heritage building environment with quality savouries and sweets.

The Lobby Lounge
InterContinental Singapore
80 Middle Road
t: +65 63387600
Reservations: Chope

Operating Hours (for High Tea)
Daily: 2- 5pm

Words and photos by Belinda Yong who wishes that every time of the day is food o' clock. She loves trying new cuisines and creations,  and prays hard for a higher metabolism.

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