March 26, Saturday – Rainy
Can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I was at the Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La Hotel with my girl friends, K and S. Q was going to join us but she was busy with her cute toddler son. So it’s just three of us for a quiet afternoon tea. Our table was right next to the baby grand piano. The pianist kindly asked if we had any request for songs as well!
For tea, I picked the Whiskey Cream which was sweet and smooth even without any cream or sugar added. I tried it with a bit of cream and preferred it plain. K picked the English breakfast and she thought it was just regular tea. S picked a tropical jasmine tea which was nice, light and fragrant.
The scones were served soon after they brought in the tea. They are much bigger than I expected. I thought we will get petite size scones but they are regular size ones instead. They were served with raspberry jam, pineapple jam and Devonshire cream.
The scones were warm, fluffy and fairly buttery but less curmbly than the way I liked mine. I got the plain scone and S got one with berries. I tired a little bit of hers and I preferred the berry one. The Devonshire cream was very good, nice and smooth. It felt light but we knew that it’s not. LOL
Next came our finger sandwiches and pastry served on a 3-tier tray.
The bottom tray was the finger sandwiches. It had 3 bread sandwiches skewered together and a croissant egg salad sandwich. The egg salad sandwich was not bad.
But the bread of the 3 sandwich squares were dry. The pickled cucumber with cream cheese sandwich didn’t taste right. I liked the traditional fresh and crisp cucumber sandwich much more than this limpy pickled one with heavy cream cheese. The prosciutto sandwich was the best out of the 3. The bread was a bit less dry (it’s protected in the middle) and the herb spread made it very interesting and tasty. The candied salmon sandwich was overly salty. We were not very impressed with the sandwiches.
The middle-tier had lamb sausage rolls, grilled prawns on beet and couscous salad. At this point, I finally figured out when the waitress said their afternoon tea of the day was “European inspired”. I think she meant Moroccan or Mediterranean. Anyway, the lamb sausage roll was very gamey (think cold, hard gamey lamb…). I usually like my lamb gamey but not to this point. I had one bite of it and left the rest on my plate. Personally, I think sasusage rolls were not meant for afternoon tea unless they were done really well. The prawn was nice but the beet was too sweet to pair with the prawn. They just didn’t work for each other. (something minty may be a better choice with the prawn) I personally hate couscous. I tried to see if this one would convert me and… NO. The couscous salad was very bland and had the texture that I dislike about couscouse.
The top-tier was the dessert plate. The éclair and the puff candy (macaroon) was not bad but a bit too sweet. The “upside down strawberry cheesecake” would have been good if I didn’t know the name. The creamy part of it was actually smooth and nice. But it didn’t remind me of cheesecake at all.
Overall, the food at The Lobby Lounge was just alright. The tea and scones were pretty good and the price for the afternoon tea was similar to other place in Vancouver at $29. Sadly, the food offered in the tea set was a bit too adventurous and not very tasty. (Note that they do change their tea set menu frequently so their May or June tea set may have better food)
The ambience was very nice with live piano music, pretty tea sets and dining wares. The service was pretty good. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with my friends. (minus food plus chatting and fun time) I wonder if I can come for just tea and scone but not for the full afternoon tea set. If so, I will definately return.