The E&O Hotel is a magical place, where I felt like a lady all the time. That happens easily when you walk through grand corridors and their gallery, so full of history. At Restaurant 1885, the antique tea strainer and freshly baked scones lead to the more homey feeling where Ian and I had fun tearing apart the scones. Eastern & Oriental high tea certainly was a highlight of our Penang visit this time.
We were in high spirits all throughout the afternoon tea, where we admired the chef’s tendency to keep the well-established sweets alive. That contributed to the use of quality ingredients, creating the finest of flavors and a stunning presentation.
Scones at E&O high tea
The scones were simply the best! Tender, not flaky, with clotted cream and two yummy jams. With the plain scones, we liked the homemade strawberry jam which still had whole strawberries in it. The pineapple jam, seasoned with cloves, had a heartwarming taste and was reserved for raisin scones. You could also just eat it by itself, by the spoonful!
Since we were by the sea, we had to have a try of the juicy Pullman crab, served with radish on top and wrapped by seaweed belt. This only opened up our appetite even more. Among the savories, there were another two fish sandwiches. One was beetroot based bread topped with seasoned smoked salmon and lemon aioli.
The tuna sandwich was served in charcoal bread and topped with a cherry tomato and cucumber slice. The bread’s coloring agent, charcoal, gave the grounding note to the tender tastes. We can’t say which was our favorite because even the egg bun was special since it has truffles in it and we have a weakness for that! We were also served a crunchy curry puff, where the curry masala complimented the soft potato and green pea filling – absolutely delicious!
We needed a sip or two before getting to the seductive sweets and Jungpana Darjeeling was the right pairing in this sophisticated tea occasion. The muscatel flavor and floral aroma were well-developed thanks to the uncrushed leaves. A perfect tea with all confections was also the large-leafed Fancy Sencha, which was slightly sweet with refined tartness. It was the right move to stop for a moment, to enjoy the ocean view and soak in the atmosphere of the graceful surroundings.
Eastern & Oriental high tea was elegant all the time. The elegant appearance and color abundance was present for the pastries as well. We started with the Sicilian cheesecake, its rich taste and creamy texture were spot on. We tried the raspberry cremeux, where the melting cream enabled the raspberry taste to get in touch with the taste buds. Ian continued with the exotic fruit tartlet, he liked it so much that I decided to leave it for the end.
Saving the best for the last was my strategy, but there were a few that could share that title as well. For example, the Belgium Marquise would easily be among them: rich dark chocolate mousse coated in tender chocolate jelly melted away but left us blissful. Only the pandan kaya didn’t make it to the list of those we could have saved for last. The jelly was too compact and it lacked flavor. Neither of us has grown fond of pandan so far and we aren’t fans of jelly, to begin with.
To finish the celestial E&O afternoon tea session with the exotic fruit tartlet was the right decision. It even had a surprise in the middle: a piece of juicy mango! The sweet and sour topping along with the shortcrust pastry crumbled away at the touch of the teeth. Yes, that was a scrumptious finish.
The chef of the restaurant did an outstanding job with tasty and noble looking bites. The afternoon tea was a pleasurable experience that kept food conversation happening all the way to the very last bite. Everything we saw was very creative, but it was taken to another level in the pineapple jam. The perfectly cut cubes of pineapple weren’t just pretty but also nicely crunchy.
We are sure that the Duchess of Bedford would be delighted to attend the afternoon tea here at Restaurant 1885, but to make a royalty happy, they would have to find the matching tea set with the sugar bowl and serving plates. Everything was simply perfection, including service!
Price and location
Having afternoon tea at 1825 is a real bargain. It will cost you only 17,50 USD per person. However, if you decide to indulge yourself in this heritage building, here is a location link for easier navigation.
Eastern & Oriental high tea review card
- ATMOSPHERE - 9.4/109.4/10
- SERVICE - 9.8/109.8/10
- TEA SELECTION - 9.1/109.1/10
- PRESENTATION - 9.4/109.4/10
- BITES - 9.2/109.2/10
- VALUE - 9.7/109.7/10
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