The Lounge & Bar
International Commerce Center
1 Austin Road
The footprint of British colonial rule has not faded with time since Hong Kong’s return to China. Excluding the cab drivers, English is widespread and spoken well. They still drive on the wrong side of the road. Milk tea was practically invented in Hong Kong from the British practice of adding milk to tea. I’m pretty sure boba was all the doing of the Chinese though. Afternoon high tea, the tradition of enjoying tea with a selection of mini sandwiches and scones, has become as quintessential to Hong Kong culture as it is to British culture. It was difficult to choose just one place among the many hotels, cafes, and lounges that offered afternoon high tea. The Lobby at the Peninsula Hotel is one of the more iconic destinations, but the ambiance of the place seemed a bit too traditional and dated for my tastes. I landed upon the very modern and very sleek Lounge & Bar at the 102nd floor of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. With stunning views of Hong Kong island, it did not fail to impress.
I am glad I specifically reserved these window seats.
Their tea selection is, of course, very fancy and extensive. They come in cute little insulated pots. I opted for a fruit forward tea while The Annoyer went floral and regretted it. Fortunately, they accommodated a 2nd selection, which was more fruity and enjoyable.
The tea set came with this eye popping tower of treats.
Salmon & Caviar Sandwich
Black Truffle Paté with Strawberries
Ham & Cheese Baguette
At the top, were the savory items. The baguette was a disgrace. The bread was as dry as my left shoe. The salmon was smoked and delicate. The foie gras was easily my favorite. The quiche had a buttery crust and a very moist eggy center.
The middle tier had some very lovely pastries. The strawberry tart was easily my favorite, because I am just a sucker for strawberry anything almost. The financiér was a moist caramel-y delight. I actually quite enjoyed the rum baba. It was not saturated in alcohol. The smooth vanilla cream was a delightful contrast to the fruity pineapple flavor. The opera cake had expertly crafted layers of chocolate upon chocolate. I was very pleased with the sweets!
Raisin & Plain Scone clotted cream, strawberry jam
The scones were very moist and not dry and biscuit like. I wished I could have enjoyed more of it with the just lightly sweetened cream and tart jam. I had just one bite of my scone and called it quits.
I’m no expert when it comes to high tea, but I would put The Lounge & Bar up at the top of my list for wonderful high tea experiences. The service was on point. The tea selection was vast. Aside from the terrible baguette roll, the savory and sweet accompaniments for the tea were delicious. The ambiance of the place felt very posh and I almost felt like I was someone special in this world just by being there. To enjoy a few hours at the top of the world, gazing out on a beautiful view like that, with great food and great company, well I don’t think I could ask for much more.
10 – You NEED to eat here (if you want high tea with a spectacular view)
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here