Alex: Since starting our small little FFS empire, it’s safe to say we’ve had our fair share of high teas throughout the years. I’ve never really been one for tea, unless I’m comatose in bed from sickness…but champagne, coffee and sweets? I won’t say no!
Hand’s down the best high tea I’ve experienced in Australia was actually a High Coffee at The Intercontinental! It was substantial, there was a seemingly endless flow of espresso martini’s and piccolo latte’s flying around so I was curious to see how the high tea at the same hotel compared. Especially since the change of Head Of Pastry with Simon Veauvy taking over.
We settled in with a beautiful glass of Moet & Chandon Rosé Impérial. Slightly fruitier and flavoursome with a much less fizzy taste than the classic Moét. We went to this High Tea around Christmas time so The Cortile Lounge was beautifully displayed with an array of Christmas ornaments. All we needed was a fire-place going and a temperature MUCH lower than the sweltering few days we had.
The cold dishes were simple yet effective in its execution. It was the standard display of sweet and savoury delicacies but done well, which unfortunately for a lot of other High tea’s, they fall flat.
The Tabouleh and pumpkin salad with honey yoghurt dressing was light and with a lovely hint of sweetness to it. I would’ve liked a tad more of that honey yoghurt dressing just to drench the pumpkin a little more but otherwise a pleasant starting point!
Sandwiches consisted of cape grim Roast Beef with Caramelised Onion, swiss cheese, and rocket. I loved the richness of this sandwich. It was decadent but just the right amount of bite in order not to tip you over the edge. The smoked salmon with Wasabi Lime Mayo on mini pumpernickel brioche sounded great on paper but I felt as though lacked in any kick from the wasabi which I was actually looking forward to.
Cue to a few more glasses of champagne (to be honest I don’t think we drank tea, oops) and we moved on to the hot savoury. The Pumpkin and Ricotta Quiche and the Beef Bourguignon Pie. I think as a guy the reason why I enjoyed this more so than other high teas was the fact that there is more than enough food to feel satiated. The pie was insane! And I sort of wished it were bigger, or something you could order as room service for dinner, because the flavours were so layered and textured. Hints of beautiful, rich red wine enveloped the palate.
On the bottom row of the stand we had the Buttermilk vanilla scones with vanilla cream and strawberry jam. Last time we had the scones from the Intercon and I quote “Let’s just say (and the three of us agreed) that these were some of the best scones we have ever eaten, fluffy and airy, warm and homely with a dashing of icing sugar.” I feel good saying that thankfully they lived up to my previous expectations. Still light, definitely not dense at all.
The sweet treats (seen below and above) varied in textures and flavours. Included were:
-Rhubarb & Strawberry Macaron —Vanilla Shortbread Créme Brulée -Blackcurrant Punnet with Dragee Chantilly -Berry & Pistachio Slice -Milk Chocolate Mousse cup with Pink Grapefruit and Passionfruit
The winners were definitely the macaron and crème brulée. I think by this point I had reached a level, so anything with chocolate was just making me feel too heavy.
You can tell that a lot of effort was put into creating the menu here at The InterContinental. There’s no themes or fuddy duddy’s getting in the way. Just good food which at the end of the day is all we want!
It’s safe to say that after walking in with high expectations, they stayed high. Everything from the service and the food, to the company. It’s a perfect way to chill out, enjoy some champagne and stuff your face with dessert! I can’t wait to come back.
The high tea is available Monday to Friday from 11.00am-4.00pm and is $60 with local sparkling wine (amazing value considering the amount of food) or $75 with french champagne.
Until next time!
*For Food’s Sake dined as a guest of the Cortile Lounge and the InterContinental Sydney. A special thank you to Nicole for organising our visit!