Aki and I wanted to try out the two afternoon teas at the adjoining Raffles/ Fairmont Hotels in Makati but couldn’t figure out another date to set for a second one so we thought…why not hit two teas with one scone? I mean… two birds with one stone. Yes, why not? And just like that, the pastry chef and baker were off!
PART 1: Fairmont Lounge, Fairmont Hotel, Makati.
The stunning gold-hued, sprawling, hanging glass pendant lights cozied up the space by the lobby table with fresh flowers.
Fresh flowers soften the sleek, modern details and dim mood lighting of the interiors.
The title of this artwork reminded me of one of my favorite actresses, Jessica Chastain.
The Filipino High Tea assortment is an introduction to some of the traditional, quintessentially Filipino food specialties. It was served whimsically yet appropriately bespeaking the Filipino culture…on the solid wood sungka board, each food bite suitably filling each of the holes!
- Chicharon with Laman – fried back fat pork skin, the variety with meat included.
- Turon – Filipino banana wrapped in Lumpia wrapper and fried.
- Lumpiang Ubod with Peanut Sauce – bamboo shoots, carrots, cabbage, jicama wrapped in fresh Lumpia wrapper over a full-bodied peanut sauce with peanut bits. The contrasting textures of soft yielding Lumpia wrapper, the al dente vegetables, and firm peanuts create an interesting bite.
- Putong Ube with Salted Egg- The mildly sweet, tender purple yam-flavored rice cake contrasts with the firm-textured salty flavor of Salted (duck) Egg.
- Ube Halaya – This is a firmer, milkier version of the usual purple yam concoction.
- Yema Cream Puff – This is a creative way to present the Yema, a custard made of egg yolk, sugar, and condensed milk. Combining the Yema with a buttercream filling tempers the sweetness; the choux pastry combines the soft slippery filling with a pleasant chew.
- Sapin-sapin – literally translated as “Layer layer,” a traditional dessert consisting of layers of colored glutinous rice topped with toasted coconut flakes. I’ve always been a sapin-sapin fan and this is my favorite piece here. Like the other desserts on this array, this is not too sweet. The sticky, chewy texture is a delight.
- Pichi-pichi – sticky rice ball. I usually don’t eat pichi-pichi but this is surprisingly yummier than what I remember pichi-pichi to be so I finished my serving! It’s not too sweet; it’s tasty, with a texture like a cross between a Mochi and a Cassava Cake.
- Candied Peanuts
For the price of P695++ for two persons, I find it a good value for money specially for visitors to the Philippines because you won’t have to buy a whole bilao (big, flat woven bamboo tray) of Sapin-Sapin and each of these native food and desserts. In one set, you can already sample the perfectly individual-sized assortment. Aki and I split the Portion-for-One and took home the other half for her happy Manong Driver.
Our gracious server, Grace, told us that everything on the afternoon tea set is made in-house (from the chicharon to the lumpia wrapper, to the ube desserts… everything).
I had the Japanese Sencha tea and Aki had her own choice of tea. It is unlimited tea for one variety per person. There is also the option to have Barako (local Batangas Robusta) Coffee instead of tea.
Next, we had our little Powder Room Break. I love it when the powder room is clean and pretty. Marble walls, distressed vintage gold mirror wall, modern fixtures, immaculately clean.Then we simply walked through the elegant hallway towards the adjoining hotel, the Raffles Makati.
I love this beautiful Filipiniana artwork (the picture doesn’t do justice):
PART 2: WRITER’S BAR, RAFFLES HOTEL, MAKATI
At the Raffles Lobby, the Writer’s Bar is just behind the distinguished pair of bookcases.As soon as I walked past the bookcases and discovered the artistic, polished details in the sophisticated, graceful, fashionable ambience, I immediately felt pampered with much anticipation that something special was coming.
I would be right. The Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea, inspired by the era that evokes romantic and refined sensibilities, was the order of the day! A beautiful display of tableware by Wedgewood, the iconic maker of English fine china, was highlighted at the center of the drawing room, if you will, with a preview of the forthcoming sweet treats.
The three tier afternoon tea tray came……with a charming selection of Savory Bites (Crab and Cress on a roll, Cheese Tart, Poached Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwich, Chicken Walnut open-faced sandwich);
Scones (plain and raisin) served with Strawberry Jam, Lemon Curd, and Clotted Cream;
and desserts (Victoria sponge Cake, Lemon Tart, English Toffee cupcake with almonds and toffee bits, shortbread biscuit with raspberry filling, and an Orange Chocolate Truffle).I enjoyed everything from start to finish with my Paris Tea (black tea with caramel and vanilla)… my favorites being the cheese tart, lemon tart, and scones. I’m so happy to find this Afternoon Tea so near! For P1150++ for two persons, this is another great value for money for a lovely afternoon with lovely food with lovely music in a lovely space and of course, with lovely company! This is a beautiful place for a day to encourage friends with the Word.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
We were enamored by the piano playing of Romy Posadas, one of the Philippines’s foremost jazz musicians.
What a perfect song Romy played. I will sing it to these sandwiches, scones, and desserts when I plan my next afternoon tea session here.
I have dreamed that your arms are lovely, I have dreamed what a joy you’ll be.
I have dreamed every word you whisper when you’re close, close to me.
How you look in the glow of evening I have dreamed and enjoyed the view.
In these dreams I’ve loved you so that by now I think I know what it’s like to be loved by you, I will love being loved by you.