July 31, 2012

Le Goûter Bernardaud LGB - Afternoon Tea

Last Sunday I went for high tea at Le Goûter Bernardaud in IFC. It was a bit of a random choice, I didn't even know if we would be having the high tea set or just a cake and a cup of tea. Well, I couldn't be more glad to have chosen the high tea set for two. It was a delightful experience that I highly recommend, as this set is far from being mere eye-candy. It is one of the most tasty afternoon tea sets I've tried in Hong Kong. The high tea set for two, at $320 + 10% charge, consists of a three tiered stand including savories and sweets as well as a coffee or premium tea of your choice.

The savory layer comes with two portions of the following:
- Bruschetta with chopped tomatos, onion and fresh herbs, topped with parma ham and green asparagus. 5* (If I could rate this 6* star I would, totally mouth-watering).
- Toasted ham and cheese. 5*
- Sandwich: egg, salmon and vegetables. 5*

Middle layer:

- Cheese tart (The cheese taste was not that evident, to the point that we thought we ate a lemon tart until we checked the name on the counter afterwards). 4*
- Raisin scone. It's hard to find good scones in Asia, and even though they're never my favorite part of a high tea set, I do admit these were ones of the best I've tried. 4*
- Apple cinnamon & raisin cake. This pastry/cake was a bit too much for me after having the also very filling scone, so I left half of it untouched. 3.5*
- Clotted cream, butter & strawberry jam

Upper layer:
- 4 macarons: caramel with sea salt, cheddar cheese, sesame & forêt noire. The macarons do have the characteristics of good macarons: crisp shells, and moist and intensely flavored on the inside. They do not, however, reach the level of other French maîtres. In fact, beware of the odd tastes served here, I mean, cheddar cheese?? Sesame?? Oh well, why not! 4*
- Baked mini apple and pear. I found these to be more suitable for a nice presentation than to actually being eaten. 3*
- Strawberry tart. I'm not fond of strawberry mousse, or any kind of mousse for that matter, which is what this cake was filled with. I would like to point out though, how just by cuting this cake, a filling strawberry aroma arises from it. Quite impressive! 4*

Note that while the savory bites remain the same for all the tea sets, some of the sweet treats change from one set to the other, as we observed from the stands on tables around us. The "random" items are: the two cakes (in our case cheese tart and strawberry tart), the pastry (in our case apple, cinnamon & raisin cake), and the flavors of the 4 macarons.

The counter:

After taking a look at LGB's counter filled with cakes and macarons, one would expect the sweets to be the climax of this afternoon tea set. Well, surprinsigly enough, it was the savory layer that delighted me the most, making it the BEST savory layer I've ever had in a high tea.

A highlight of Le Goûter Bernardaud that I can't wait to share with you is their premium teas selection from
Dammann Frères. This does boost this tea set rocket high! I hadn't had such a good tea since my days back in Paris. I chose the Black Tea no.7: Cherubins. Divine Decadence! For some reason I couldn't help but thinking it smells like Christmas. This is a medium strength black flavored tea which tastes nutty and chocolatey, with a hint of citrus from the orange. I just wonder why they ommit mentioning that their tea is from Dammann Frères; not on the menu, not on their online store... but here I am as a French tea-lover to bring the truth to you!

As for the venue, comfy and elegant seats and table with a nice atmosphere (as long as you don't mind passers-by staring!), with about half of the tables being located outside the store and the other half inside (although the inside part doesn't have any kind of separation wall).

Le Goûter Bernardaud's menu (sorry for the quality, you can zoom in and see the details):

Visited on: July 29, 2012
Overall quality: 4.5*
Price/Quality relationship: 5*
Service: 4.5*
Price: HK$320 + 10% service charge
Do I recommend it? I certainly recommend this eyes closed and I'm already planning to return soon to try their all-day breakfast accompanied with one of those amazing teas of them.

N.B. Waiters will be happy to refill your tea with hot water if you ask them.



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xx Olivia