Filipinos love to eat. It does not matter what time of the day or night, we find ourselves with food in one hand and getting more food in the other. With all the hustle and bustle and the traffic, it is nice to find a place where people can enjoy wonderful meals and relax. It did not surprise me that Marco Polo Ortigas Manila found a way to make this happen.
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila recently introduced A Cozy Afternoon Tea at the Connect Lounge. Afternoon tea is a custom that originated from the affluent class of England. The main purpose of the meal is to partially satisfy the hunger while waiting for dinner in the evening. Having our own version of afternoon tea called merienda, it’s a most welcome option to explore and certainly one that most Filipinos don’t have any qualms about.
Upon leaving the elevator of the 24th floor, the scenic view of the metro greets you with openness and warmth of sunlight. The seating arrangements can accommodate a wide range – from two people on a date to a large tea party in the middle of the room. There is a kitchen bar counter where you can customize up to four baguette combinations.
First, there are five flavors of baguettes to choose from; Corn, Parsley, Squid Ink, Tomato, as well as the classic plain baguette. (From left to right)
The next choice would be the type of sauce; Thousand Island, Honey Mustard, Guacamole, Corn, and Humus.
Lastly, you can choose the meats, vegetables and cheese to finalize your customized baguette. You can let the chef decide if you cannot decide which combinations you prefer.
Upon seating, the server will ask whether you would like tea or brewed coffee. There is also an option to upgrade it to the Smoothie of the Day (for an additional 200 pesos net) or to the Cocktail of the Week (for an additional 280 pesos net).
The afternoon tea starts with Amuse Bouche Sherbet of the Day. Our flavors for the day were mango and watermelon. There’s a frozen shell encasing the sherbet that added a different texture. Definitely starts the afternoon tea on a high note.
Most of the dishes will be served in a 3-tier stand. The top level is the English Scones with Strawberry Jam and Clotted Cream. Nothing says afternoon tea like English scones. The English scones are so delicious especially with the clotted cheese and the strawberry jam. Our baguettes are found in the middle tier.
Since I chose to let the chef decide my baguettes’ combination, I was very excited to try my baguettes. First up was the Salami with Humus on Parsley Baguette, a combination which is not commonly done but complements each other perfectly. Next, I tried the Ham and Cheese with Honey Mustard Spread on Tomato Baguette. The perfect balance of ham and cheese with a slight taste of tomato with an aftertaste of the honey mustard, yummy. Another unlikely combination was the Shrimp and Cream Cheese on Squid Ink Baguette. I never thought of putting cream cheese on shrimp but it works. The last creation was the Chicken with Guacamole on Corn Baguette. A perfect grill for the chicken with guacamole is an absolute delight.
The bottom tier of the stand offers a selection of pastries which include Sausage Rolls, Coffee Jelly, Tres Cremas, Peach Crumble and Raspberry Mousse. There’s nothing exciting about the Sausage Rolls but will definitely fill your hunger. The Tres Cremas was perfectly balanced in texture, moistness and sweetness. The Peach Crumble really does crumble. The blueberry on top over powers the peach but it’s still good. The Coffee Jelly is not too strong but flavorful. The Raspberry Mouse had a light hit of raspberry and had a nice texture to it.
After the 3-tier serving, the afternoon tea ends with Chocolate Fondant. It was a little too sweet for my taste but I am sure those with sweet tooth will love the rich chocolatey goodness. It was a good thing I had my tea to offset the sweetness.
I ended up ordering the Cocktail of the Week which was called Pink Blossom. A combination of tequila, peach, strawberry and cranberry juice. It was a wonderful relaxing cocktail to end my afternoon tea.
The overall experience for the Afternoon Tea was great. Did I forget to mention that it is good for two people at 788 pesos net? Did I also forget to mention that I ate all of this by myself? I guess that’s how you know if it is worth it or not. Definitely worth it. So much for a light afternoon snack.
Contributed by Lawrence Ong