An honorable label for Hanoi is ”the land of lakes” and lakes have quite an impact on the city. Of course, afternoon tea next to the lake is something straight out of a romance novel. It is true that in Hanoi it seems like every lake has a story, but not all stories get to be heard. The last is true for the man-made Mễ Trì lake by the Convention Center, part of which is the JW Marriott Hotel. However, every day plenty of new stories happen and we want to share ours with this JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi high tea review.
The spaciousness of an enormous building can be felt everywhere and it gives off a serious vibe. Although the strict lines are softened a bit by reflecting ornaments and brown tones. The lounge itself is an open area with grandeur at its core. Not only is there a high ceiling and wall of windows to keep extensiveness in focus. Also, the lake view increases the feeling of being on top of the world. It truly was wonderful to cuddle with the cozy oversize lounge chair while we enjoyed the view and tea.
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi Afternoon Tea
The high tea menu at JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi changes with the seasons and occasionally they jazz up things. We loved a local signature on the savory side and appreciated tropical fresh fruit even more, but we did miss scones. Without scones, we found comfort in 100% fruit juice of the day and Darjeeling tea.
From the Marriott drinks menu, we chose the TWG Royal Darjeeling tea with a sweet bouquet of apricots, peaches, and dried fruit. The taste of the tea is lovely musky and sweet with fruity citrusy hints and so much more. Besides tea, we decided to go for the fresh 100% fruit juice. Both pineapple&coconut and papaya&mango were served chilled and we loved every sip of it.
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On the modern square-shaped three-tier sandwich stand we got savories, sweets, and fruit. We started on the bottom part with a neatly cut fresh fruit. On the fruit plate, we enjoyed perfectly ripe pieces of guava, jackfruit, mango, dragonfruit, rambutan, and passionfruit. All of the above was just perfect although strawberry and apple were not.
The crab sandwich celebrated the star with just the right amount of seasoning and crunchy fresh cucumber for extra moisture and texture. On the other hand, the avocado and shrimp sandwich didn’t deliver much flavor. Besides the radish slice, nothing was standing out, plus the dry bread didn’t help. We certainly preferred the beetroot with feta cheese on the spelt bread. Another slightly disappointing open sandwich got a boring topping made of tomato and Brie cheese slices on top of the dry bread.
Asian savories not only looked better but also tasted a whole lot better. Most of all we loved the juicy and tasty beef wrap. We loved the sharpness of the garlic seasoning in minced beef filling and the sweetness coming from crunchy carrot sticks. Besides that, it was also wonderful to enjoy the thick rice paper, which had a soft bounce compared to the thin rice paper used in traditional Vietnamese rolls. As expected the Vietnamese roll tasted fresh and well balanced with coriander being the strongest seasoning.
A completely different story happened with seaweed-wrapped beef jerky, which was packed with flavor but quite difficult to chew and impossible to split in two. Lastly, a salmon sandwich topped with seaweed caviar and a thin layer of creamy spread was straightforward tasting. Due to the generous amount of the topping on a thin grilled bread slice, the sandwich ticked all the boxes.
As soon as we took a bite of marzipan-filled macaron it started to melt. It was perfect in every way including the light meringue and heavy filling. The same goes for the chocolate chip cookie, which came with a pleasing crunch and plenty of chocolate. We loved all aspects of vanilla pie from shortbread full of flavor to the smooth vanilla filling. At the first look, we assumed that the dark chocolate cube might be dry, but we couldn’t be more wrong. With such little amount of filling, it was incredibly moist and tasted divine.
It doesn’t matter how many bean desserts we eat, we still can’t say we like them. As it happens the bean cube was too mushy for our taste and it felt like sweetened bean sprouts with sesame seeds being the failed saving attempt. We liked the egg tart much more, especially the base.
To end afternoon tea at the JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi with chocolate praline felt the right thing to do. Both chocolate pralines melted away like crazy and neither had a specific taste of the filling. Even though we didn’t catch the star we enjoyed the balance. Let’s agree that dark chocolate is a heavy opponent to the pistachio cream, but they work very well as a whole. For the second praline, we would never guess that it was filled with mango and we still don’t believe it. The last praline left us in one dimension – sweet, which is fine, but far from the mango-filled white chocolate praline, we dreamed of.
Our afternoon tea at JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi had a few opposing elements. In one way it felt very formal but on the other hand, it was quite loose. For example, the staff wasn’t helpful maybe due to the language barrier or poor interest. The staff could be more meticulous with cleanliness as well. Our high tea stand was quite a mess. Also, we expected more from the food on the afternoon tea Marriott menu. Even though there was a handful of tasty bites on the table we left feeling melancholic and we can’t say this is a must-visit place in Hanoi.
JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi High Tea High Tea Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 8.7/108.7/10
- SERVICE – 7/107/10
- TEA SELECTION – 9/109/10
- PRESENTATION – 9/109/10
- BITES – 8/108/10
- VALUE – 9.4/109.4/10
Price and Location
The afternoon tea menu for two at the JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi cost us around 22 USD. As part of this price are a single teapot of desired hot tea and a three-tier sandwich stand. Here is a link to the location for better navigation.